This week the Pre Prep have been shining a spotlight on Children’s Mental Health Week. Now, more than ever, it is important to raise awareness of mental health and to encourage children to discuss their feelings.

This year’s theme, ‘Express Yourself’ has provided the children with the opportunity to find creative ways to explore their thoughts and feelings.

In their Wellbeing lessons, the children have been encouraged to express their feelings in a healthy way. Some children have made happiness boxes and become origami wizards, whilst others have expressed themselves through music, singing and dancing. There are posts on Seesaw and Tapestry showing the children enjoying the company of their pets, painting with feet, sewing and partaking in cosmic yoga!

Mental health has also been a focus in the children’s pastoral lessons. In the Nursery, the story the Colour Monster has been used to help the children express their feeling through colour. In Reception, spirits have been lifted through dancing and telling jokes. Year 1 has created beautiful squiggle pictures and Year 2 has shared their personal experiences and how they respond to different emotions through music, dance and sport.

I have had the pleasure of reading to the children this week. I chose ‘In My Heart’ and the children then enjoyed articulating their own feelings. Here are a few of their wonderful ideas;

‘When I feel calm it is like a butterfly fluttering.’

‘When I am angry, fireworks explode.’

I am a dancing Unicorn when I am happy.

‘When I am excited, it’s like the best party ever.’

‘Clouds are grey and sad when they rain, so am I’

There was an exciting explosion of colour and fun on Zoom this morning as the children chose a colour to represent their mood, relishing the opportunity to share their emotions with their teachers and friends.

Calmly and confidently we have opened up conversations this week that have encouraged children to discuss, to learn and to realise that mental health is something we need to look after. Most importantly, the children understand that feelings are linked to behaviours and there is always something they can do or someone they can talk to when they need support.

I do hope you have a restful and enjoyable weekend.

Louise Farrar, Head of Pre Prep

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