Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.
Place2BE, Children’s Mental Health Week
Children’s Mental Health Week: 1st Feb – 7th Feb
At Simon Balle All-through School we are proud to be supporting and promoting Children’s Mental Health Week. Mental health and Wellbeing is of vital importance in times such as these and we want to ensure that our students get the opportunity to relax and express themselves. We recognise that talking about our mental health and expressing our feelings can be difficult, no matter our age.
This year’s theme is to ‘Express Yourself’. We are encouraging all of our students to take part.
The primary phase will be sent a short assembly to watch and are encouraged to take part in some of the age-appropriate activities suggested by some of our departments. This will be a wonderful & beneficial way to engage in this important event in the current climate.
In the secondary phase, every lesson two from Tuesday 2nd February to Friday 5th February inclusive will be collapsed in order to give students the time to participate in an activity or pursuit that benefits their mental wellbeing; for example, the department suggested activities, taking a walk/run, going for a bike ride or reading a book. We want to encourage students to take a break from the screen and therefore no lessons during period two (9:45 am to 10:45 am) will take place.
If you would like to share any of the activities you’ve tried during Children’s Mental Health Week, please upload to your class or year group classroom or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is mental health?
Here are some videos you may wish to share with your child when discussing mental health this week.
Video aimed at primary aged students
Video aimed at secondary aged students
Department suggested activities
Try these at home or in school with your bubble during Children’s Mental Health Week
|Drama||Find a space where you can lay down, close your eyes and clear your head. Focus on relaxing and keeping your breathing steady. If you are relaxed you will have no tension in your shoulders or arms, legs or ankles – that means the floor is taking your weight entirely and your arms and legs are fully supported by the floor – they are not crossed over your body, you should be pretty floppy! (To get this relaxed usually takes a few minutes)
Now focus on your senses; touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. In your mind’s eye, imagine a place where you would love to be -this can be a real place or a made up one.
What can you see? – At first look around in your imagination at the general shapes, colours and textures around you, but then zoom in and really look in detail. What sounds can you hear? Listen closely with your imagination. Are there textures you can feel? Are there smells or tastes that you associate with this place?
Once you are relaxed and you have really looked around your imagination at this place, you can do any of the following:
|Geography||Take a picture of you doing something outside – it could be exercising, walking. Extra recognition will be given to those who can explain the geography in the photo around them.|
How many different shapes can you spot during your walk? How many times did you see each shape? Can you draw a diagram (poster, bar chart, pictogram, tally chart) to represent this data?
Try these origami challenges
Origami Challenge One – Easy Origami Turtle – How to Make Turtle Step by Step
Origami Challenge Two – How To Make an Easy Origami Butterfly (in 3 MINUTES!)
Origami Challenge Three – How to make Origami Hummingbird
Share images of any designs you make!
|Computing||All students, practice mindfulness activities using the videos below:
Meditation for stress: https://youtu.be/c1Ndym-IsQg
Meditation to feel calmer: https://youtu.be/lACf4O_eSt0
More available here: https://www.headspace.com/meditation/meditation-videos
(These may need to be approved for Simon Balle on YouTube)
Take a walk looking for signs of spring (starting with snowdrops and quickly other spring bulbs joining in) you could take photos or maybe using the “seek” app to find out more about what you have seen. You could find out about phenology and how the seasons are studied and how they are gradually changing. You could even submit some of the dates you first see things to help scientists track the seasons.
Birdsong and bee royalty!
Go outside in the morning and listen to birdsong, look for activity of birds and bumblebees as February starts… bumblebee queens have been hibernating and will now be looking for nest sites and foraging from early flowering plants.
Bathtime? Science time!
Develop your liquid handling skills using jugs/containers and bottles in the bath or kitchen sink, even more fun with colourful bath bombs which you could look up a recipe for. Try displacing water from containers to find the volume of objects. Notice how bubble bath insulates the surface of the water by trapping air in foam!
At the end of each day, write or draw a positive memory of that day. Something that made you smile! Place them in a jar and at the end of the week, enjoy reading them!
|PE||‘it’s okay not to be okay’ – Create a dance to express how you are feeling.
Physical Activity Goal – Physical activity releases endorphins that make you happy. Set yourself a weekly move target. Eg. Run/walk/cycle 20km by the end of the week or set a daily steps target (5000-10000 steps per day).
Have a virtual chat with an older relative or neighbour about a period of history or event that they lived through and their memories of it. Write a story or diary entry about the time- it can be about global events like World War Two, the Cold War or 9/11, or more local experiences, like what Hertford was like in a different decade.
|Food||Bake Yourself (& others) Happy!
Reach out to someone without words and take time out to bake anything at all (sweet or savoury) to say something – I miss you, I’m thinking of you, I’m sorry (!) or thank you to a parent, carer, sibling, neighbour, friend or other significant in your life. Some lovely websites and video tutorials for inspiration include:
Enjoy a podcast as you go to shut off the world & enjoy:
|Sociology||Social Media Cleanse – In today’s world, many of us rely on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram to find and connect with each other. While each has its benefits, it’s important to remember that social media can never be a replacement for real-world human connection. It requires in-person contact with others to trigger the hormones that alleviate stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more positive. So this week, take a social media break- go for a walk with a member of your family and leave your phones at home, communicate with each other. Alternatively, turn off your social media apps for an hour a day and sit down with a family member or watch a film together with your phones off or in a different room. Perhaps try leaving your phone downstairs when you go to bed for the week.|
|Art||Art therapy. Create an abstract expressionist piece of art in the style of Jackson Pollock whose paintings are famous expressions of his mood. No paints doesn’t matter! Anything you can find will do.|
|Philosophy, Religion and Ethics||Try out some Buddhist Samatha meditation. https://youtu.be/5GSeWdjyr1c
How did this make you feel?
What techniques do you have to calm your mind?
Zen Buddhists believe that any action done mindfully is a form of meditation: cleaning, eating, walking are all examples. For your next task, take time and consideration with each movement. If you are eating, slow down and notice flavours and sensations. If you are walking, take care with each step. What can you feel beneath your feet?
|Economics and Business||”I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin. When he smiled I realised I’d passed it on to him.I thought about that smile, then I realised its worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.” Spike Milligan
Smiling and laughing are great for us in so many ways.
The Econ/Bus department love a good joke – as many of you know!
Find us a really funny Econ or Business related joke (or it could be a poem or a limerick.)
Or, even better…write your own.
My friend Jack is amazing. He runs a fruit and vegetables stall. He can communicate with vegetables.
Well…Jack and the beans talk.
What do you call monkeys that share Amazon accounts? Prime mates.
A photograph of you holding your joke or poem would be good.
But, a video of you reading the poem would be splendid!
We’ll be looking out for the ones that make us laugh our socks off!
|3D Design||Take the time to go for a walk by yourself or with family. Take 10 photos of the most interesting buildings, trees, cars, anything you see. This could be a close up photo called a macro photo looking at a texture or pattern. Choose your favourite photo and try and sketch this in pencil, pen, watercolour, collage whatever you can creatively show.|
|Politics||When out for a walk or run, relaxing or doing some of your weekly chores (which I know you all do lots of!) try listening to a podcast.
There are lots of great podcasts on BBC Sounds such as Profile which is a 15 minute weekly podcast about someone in the news.
Lately, there have been podcasts about Marcus Rashford and his success on and off the football pitch, Kamala Harris (the new American Vice President) and Dr Kathy Sullivan who has just become the first person to walk in space and reach the deepest point in the ocean. Happy listening!
|MFL||Get creative! Draw a simple picture of your face/whole body. Label it with words to describe your feelings in either French or Spanish. Recognising your feelings and saying them out loud can help to improve your mood and doing it on paper allows you to express yourself in a way that is personal and private.
Now change colour and add on things that you do/could do to improve your mood.
Use this video to remind yourself of how to use wordreference so you can do this accurately.
KS4 and KS5 this is also a great chance to revise vocab you already know!
Mindfulness activity – stop wherever you are and give yourself 2 minutes to scan what you can see and name as many things in French or Spanish that you can e.g. la table, le mur, le tapis, la télé, etc.
|Music||Grab your favourite Album or get onto a Spotify playlist. Listening to music is a great way to boost your wellbeing, whether it’s singing along to a classic or discovering new music.|
Please find below some helpful website and resources you may also want to explore.