Wellbeing and mental health in schools is a hot topic right now. Supporting children to cope with a rapidly evolving world and the pressures of flux and change is a key part of education. Teachers too are not immune to these pressures and changes; they need just as much care and support to enable them to come to work and perform. One area that often gets overlooked is parents. As a parent myself I often experience my most heightened anxieties through worrying about my own children – they often make being a Headteacher seem pretty straightforward. I find that the pressures my children face, if left unchecked, can begin to cause me worry too. I am sure that I am not alone in this. It is this worry that then impacts my children more – creating more anxiety in them and a perpetual loop of worriness.
Being able to maintain a healthy wellbeing is also good for our children. Children are great sensors – we must be mindful of this. It is very easy to project our own anxieties onto them which in turn can have an impact on our and their own wellbeing. Stressed children create stressed parents which in turn creates more stressed children. We are at a time of year when many young people, their teachers and their parents begin to feel anxiety. We need to all appreciate this and work together to support each other. It is really important that we are all mindful of how the little things can add to anxiety.
Not all anxiety is bad though. I don’t think there are many of us that don’t feel it the morning of a job interview or before something that has great meaning or is of high importance to us personally. I recently had to speak at my fathers funeral and felt so much anxiety that I did not feel I could do it. I am pleased to say that I got through it and that anxiety I felt helped me to cope with a stressful and emotionally draining situation and actually ended up getting me through it.
Our learners can often feel this this at Honywood. Especially around exams, tests or assessments. To support them we have been collaborating with a local organisation to offer space for learners learn about mindfulness. We have welcomed Headroom and their yurt tent for the next 6 weeks. They specialise in teaching young people about mindfulness and will also be able to help with exam stress. A drop in service will be in place for them to speak with Amanda and Jocasta who are leading the support.
To support our C11 learners as we enter the exam season we will also be offering some breakfast support in the morning. Details of which subjects will be offering these breakfast sessions will be circulated next week. I know when I have skipped a breakfast I don’t ever perform as well as I could. We hope that by ensuring our learners have had a good breakfast they will be at their optimum for their exams.