Children’s Mental Health Week 2022
This Year, Children's Mental Health Day day was celebrated between the 7th February and the 13th of February.
This years theme is 'Growing together'.
Growing Together is the perfect theme for Children’s Mental Health Week 2022 because emotional and mental growth is vital to better mental health. Children and adults alike often face life’s most difficult obstacles, but events that challenge us can help us grow. So, this week we’re encouraging children (and adults) to consider how they have grown, how they can help others to grow and how they can express themselves positively. The children have also raised awareness of the importance of their own positive mental health, as well as in other young people and adults.
On Friday 11th February, the children took part in our very own 'Dress to Express Day'. This was an opportunity for children to come to school dressed in anything that expresses who they are!
Early Years - Nursery and Reception
Our youngest children started the day talking about their different clothes, what they liked about themselves and what they are good at. We know we are all unique but that we can grow and learn together!
They enjoyed expressing their individuality through dance!
As well as Dress to Express day, Year 1 were encouraged to discuss the term ‘mental health’ and think of how we can look after our own mental health. The children were very knowledgeable and understood that it meant how we feel, the thoughts we have and how this affects our choices. They came up with some great ways of keeping our minds healthy.
“Mental health means how you feel and you do things to make yourself feel happier and calmer. Your friends can say nice things to you to make your mental health better” (Joseph)
“You need to do things that calm you down and make you feel happy, like going on a walk or playing with your friends” (Fletcher)
“You can do nice things like making things or having a go at a new activity” (Florence)
“Exercise is good for your mental health and your body” (Austin)
As the theme of this year is ‘Growing Together’, we discussed how we could look after both our own and our friend’s mental health. The children were encouraged to think about a time where they felt stuck and told themselves they could not complete a task. We spoke about how we could overcome this by thinking positively or saying something kind to friends who are finding things tricky.
“You need to tell yourself that you can do it and keep on trying and then you will be able to do it” (Bella N)
“If you tell a friend that they can do something and tell them to keep going then they will persevere” (Charlie)
Throughout the week, the children took part in activities to look after their mental health. They really enjoyed taking part in Cosmic Yoga, GoNoodle’s, reading stories about perseverance and coloring mindfulness pages. They were also encouraged to be kind and say positive things to their peers.
LI: To describe and recognise a range of feelings and develop simple strategies for managing them.
The children discussed the different emotions and were encouraged to think about when they might feel like that. The children discussed how these feelings might look, feel or sound like. By the end of the lesson, the children were able to discuss their feelings and relate them to different scenarios as well as thinking of different strategies to support and manage their feelings. They came up with ideas such as reading, talking to someone, taking time for yourself and doing something you enjoy.
For Children's Mental Health Week 2022, Year 4 discussed the importance of individuality and how it is okay to be different! The children spoke about looking after their mental health, not just their physical health and how this can help us grow as an individual. On Friday, the children came to school in outfits that expressed who they are, their interests or their personality, examples included: football kits, comfy clothes, dance and karate outfits plus many more. Each child had the opportunity to describe their chosen outfits and give the reasons why they had specifically chosen this idea. Following this, we discussed what makes us unique and why this should be celebrated. We took part in several activities that help develop our positive mental health and wellbeing, this included; extra outdoor activity time, discussions surrounding our future goals and mindfulness colouring. Each child chose their own seat in the classroom, to sit with the friends that they felt comfortable and happy with.
On World Mental Health Week 2022, Year 5 enjoyed spending time with their friends. We did lots of activities where children could choose their own partners or choosing to work alone - whatever worked best for them. We dressed in our own clothes to express ourselves - lots of children chose 'comfortable' clothes, some chose 'fashionable' clothes and others said 'this is just me'! We also looked at who was in our support network. We did this through a lovely balloon activity. We wrote the names of all the people who help us around the outside and decorated it with lines to show they are all linked together to help make us 'float'.
For Children's Mental Health Week 2022, Year 6 started the week by following a guided meditation video in their RSE lesson. They spoke about looking after their mental health, not just their physical health. As it was also assessment week in school, and the children worked extremely hard, they had plenty of extra break time to be able to get some fresh air and exercise. On Friday, the children came to school in outfits that expressed who they are, their interests or their personality, such as: sleepy, tired, historian, comfy and colourful. Following this year's theme of 'Growing Together', Year 6 completed their own goals ladder. They chose their own personal goal, then thought about the steps they or someone else could take, to help them achieve this goal. To end the week, they completed some mindfulness colouring sheets and wordsearches, sitting with the friends that they feel comfortable and happy with. They also watched a bit of the film version of their class novel - The Call of the Wild.