UK Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from the 10th to the 16th May in 2021. The theme is mental health and nature, and we are all encouraged to think about how we can get some time during the week to enjoy being out in the fresh air. We hope to be taking classes on a wellbeing walk, planning extra PE sessions and having an outdoor picnic lunch (weather permitting).
The evidence is clear that access to nature is crucial for our mental health, and millions of people discovered that during lockdowns in 2020.
Merseyside Youth Association have put together a sheet of resilience-based nature challenges for pupils to try at home with their families. Please let us know what you and your children are doing during the week. You can send us photos and videos via Dojo.
St Gregory’s pupils swap the school run for a school walk
From Tuesday 4th May we are taking part in an award-winning behaviour change scheme to help more pupils walk to school.
For the next year, St Gregory’s will be taking part in WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge from Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking
When running WOW, schools see an average 23 per cent increase in pupils walking to school and a corresponding drop in car use; reducing congestion outside the school gates, increasing safety and helping in the fight against air pollution – all whilst children benefit from being more active.
With WOW, pupils log their daily journeys to school each day on the WOW Travel Tracker tool. Those who walk to school at least once a week for a month earn a WOW badge, with 11 to collect across the year.
Each year, the 11 WOW badges follow a new WOW theme, all of which are designed by pupils in Living Streets’ annual badge design competition. This year’s theme is INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD and will take WOW pupils on a year-round journey through time and across the globe, celebrating some of the greatest inventions ever created.
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets says:
“Walking to school is an easy way for children to fit more activity into their day. More children walking to school means fewer cars around the school gates - making them safer and cleaner places.
“WOW has increased walk to school rates in over 2,000 schools across the UK. It’s simple to run and pupils love to take part. Just a few minutes of a teacher’s day is needed to make a big difference.
“We can’t wait to see what a difference it makes to the health and happiness of more pupils this year.”
Mrs Roney, Headteacher, “We’re really excited about running WOW and walking to school this year. Our pupils are looking forward to collecting the badges and experiencing the natural world around them in the morning before class.
“We hope it will ease traffic outside the school gates and teach pupils vital road safety skills.”
MASSAGE IN SCHOOL PROGRAMME (MISP)
Massage in Schools is a programme that develops positive touch based on respect involving a formal massage routine as part of teaching and learning.
St Gregory's has introduced Peer massage throughout the school. All children have been taught a simple massage routine that they perform on a friend.
Peer massage is used to:
Mindfulness in School Programme (MISP)
Mindfulness in school is taught through Paws b.
paws .b is an engaging course for 7 – 11 year olds which introduces mindfulness skills and practices. The course fits into the PSHE curriculum and is taught as 12 sessions, fitting into the school timetable.
paws .b was designed for primary school settings by teachers and mindfulness experts. Mrs Green is a Paws b Teacher for the Mindfulness in Schools Project.
paws .b is designed for all children in a school classroom. It can be taught to the whole class or in smaller groups.
Students can use what they learn:
paws .b is based on six themes with two lessons in each theme;
The children learn about parts of the brain shown to be influenced by mindfulness practice. They are offered skills to help them take care of themselves: how to steady themselves and how to respond rather than react in challenging situations. They learn about thinking processes and how thoughts emotions and body state affect each other. They investigate ‘fight-or-flight’ and perception. They practice training their attention and explore how mindfulness can support them in all areas of their lives