Last week during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 we made a concerted effort to open up discussions with the children about mental health and wellbeing.
With this year’s theme being ‘Nature’ we spent as much time as possible outdoors and took the opportunity to think of new ways to use our magnificent outdoor space as a tool for improving our wellbeing.
A huge thank you to Mr Marsland for coordinating our efforts and kicking off the week with a whole school assembly to give an overview of the campaign and share some of the ways in which he has incorporated nature into his daily routine. He also gave each class a plant to enjoy and nurture, and to bring a little nature into our classroom environment.
We fully embrace outdoor learning here at Hawford, so it isn’t unusual to find classes taking place outside, but walking around the school it was wonderful to see so many children enjoying lessons and activities in the great outdoors. Some of the activities we enjoyed throughout the week included:
- Den building
- Forest bathing
- Nature walks
- Quiet reading
- Spending time on the Katakanus
Strategies for dealing with Worries and Concerns
We witnessed some great examples of working together to deal with our worries and concerns. Our Year 1 children were encouraged to write down any concerns and anonymously place them in the ‘box of worries’. During a visit to the outdoor classroom the worries were read out loud to the class and the children shared ideas of how to feel more at ease with them, before walking away their worries with a welly walk.
Year 5 enjoyed a similar activity but instead of a box, they placed their concerns in bottles which made their way to the canal for the children to collect during their Katakanu session.
Well done to all involved.