This week the pupils at St Ives School in Haslemere celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week with a number of initiatives both on and off curriculum around this year’s theme of ‘Let’s Connect’ in association with Place 2 Be and BAFTA Kids.
The week began with the children being allowed to ‘Dress to Express’ where they could wear whatever clothes they liked to express their unique personalities. There was a huge array of different outfits on display. This was followed with a whole school assembly, led by St Ives’ Wellbeing Champion, Mrs Cooper, who encouraged the children to think about how they all connect with the people around them and the communities they’re part of. She challenged the children to explore the different ways they can connect with different people throughout the week and to share their ideas in assembly on Friday.
St Ives has always had a very strong pastoral provision. It is a small school, where every child is known as an individual and kindness is the most revered characteristic. Last year, St Ives launched its Wellbeing strategy, known as ‘With Wellbeing at Heart’ to ensure that pastoral care is at the centre of every decision made. Part of this strategy included the appointment of a Wellbeing Champion, Mrs Cooper, who has introduced a Wellbeing Club, as well as Wellbeing Drop-ins for any children that need them. In addition to the school’s established friendship bench and worry box, she has introduced a ‘gratitude’ box where children can post messages of gratitude and appreciation, which are read out in Friday’s assemblies.
Children’s Mental Health week ended with an Awards Party, to celebrate the school’s recent Small Independent School of the Year Award win. The children enjoyed an afternoon of traditional party games and much deserved ‘awards’ cupcakes!