Express Yourself: Children’s Mental Health Week

With schools partially closed and lots of uncertainty, mental health has never been more important. This week we took part in Place 2 Be’s ‘Express Yourself’ campaign for Children’s Mental Health Week. We encouraged staff and pupils to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.

Pupils engaged in discussion through tutor time, assemblies and PSHEE and everyone was buzzing about what they were planning in their afternoon off to express themselves.

Year 11 and the Art Scholars received a virtual visit from Xavier Pick, former official UK War Artist and international artist best known for his journalistic sketches and paintings. Find out more here.

On Thursday afternoon, staff and pupils ‘dressed to express’ and took time out of their timetable to express themselves through a creative activity of their choice. We have loved seeing what our community have been getting up to. Here are just a few examples.

Rishik (Year 1) 'dressed to express' in his favourite Spider Man outfit and spent time exploring his creative side through Art.

Mrs Bray spent her afternoon baking these delicious smartie and chocolate button cookies, while wearing her favourite Cath Kidston apron.

Charlie (Year 10) – no matter what the weather, Charlie spends his spare time on the water, and his creative afternoon was no different, spending time doing something he loves.

Nishika in Early Years spent time walking around her local area with her family and taking in these breathtaking views.

Ava-Grace (Year 2) spent the afternoon baking a very yummy Victoria sponge cake, whilst wearing her colourful outfit.

Leoni (Year 9) spent her afternoon baking and made a mouth-watering Victoria sponge cake and chocolate chip biscuits.

Adelle (Year 13) played with her sausage dog, Joey, and took him for a walk in the garden. She said “Fresh air is so refreshing and nice in the morning and really sets me up for a good day.

Lara (Year 5) made this stunning cake during her creative afternoon off timetable.

Using the theme triangles, Maya (Year 6) made this wonderful fantasy forest scene with some pipe cleaner art that Year 6 had been doing independently.

In school, the children of critical workers dressed to express and spent the afternoon getting creative with various activities. Early Years and Reception enjoyed an Arts and Crafts Buffet where children chose between Pasta Fish Art (Darrell Wakelam), mindfulness colouring to relaxing music and tissue-paper-balls flower art. They also enjoyed child initiated play with natural loose parts like fir cones, conkers, shells, stones, corks, wooden objects, curtain rings and had fun with the light table, glass nuggets and sensory balls. They danced to their favourite songs and played games outside. Others in the Prep School got creative with Junk using Darrell Wakelam for inspiration and creating art from toilet rolls and egg boxes ( our community at home enjoyed doing this too!). Pupils in Years 3-6 designed a Marble Run Challenge, everyone helped with designing their own part of the challenge and it is still in full flow!

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