Term 2 Extra-Curricular Activities Programme
This week we start our Term 2 Activities Programme at both the High and Primary School. As a result, we can look forward to a great number of students engaging in sports, skills, and service activities after school. The fact that we have been able to launch this fantastic programme encompassing team training, drama, dance, art, and musical opportunities is a true blessing, and I can’t wait to see how our students build on all their amazing talents throughout the term.
Sticking with the School Calendar
Thank you to everyone for helping St Andrews get started in such a positive way and especially for following all the guidelines we have in place to keep everyone safe. This coming week, please be aware the school will not be closed on Friday 12th February, even though the Government has declared that this day will be an optional holiday institutions and businesses could take to support local tourism. It will be far more beneficial to our students if after a very intense 6 weeks of hard work both in the virtual school and face to face in school, we stick to our calendar’s original plan of having a one week half term break starting from Monday 22nd February.
Wellbeing at St Andrews
The global COVID pandemic has certainly caused an indescribable amount of stress for everyone across our community and, really, the world. There are still many uncertainties we still face in the future regarding our families, but there is hope that the gradual roll-out of vaccinations will finally bring this very difficult period in our lives to some sort of closure. Across our school there have been countless meetings, especially within the Senior Leadership Team, concerning the well being of our school community. We must acknowledge and strive to mitigate the apparent and unseen effects that the pandemic has inflicted on our children and teaching staff who both have had to work in very difficult and altogether unfamiliar ways over the last year.
Our school is very fortunate to have a team of counsellors led by Ms Amy who have been advising us on how to ensure that the effects of the pandemic on especially our children and young people are understood and that we give them opportunities to talk and deal with issues they continue to face.
This first week back on our campuses coincided with Children's Mental Health Week in the UK. There has never been a more complex time for our children, and the uncertainties that have come with the global pandemic have touched the lives of our community in a host of ways. It's more important than ever that we do all we can to support our students and their families with their wellbeing and emotional health.
Some examples of how this support is happening is through dedicated circle time in Primary School and extended tutor time in High School in combination with wellbeing sessions every Friday. The pastoral teams across the school are keeping up to date with the latest research and guidance on how best to support our students, such as guidance from the Anna Freud Centre for Wellbeing and UK Mental Health Resources for Parents and Schools.
We know that creating consistent, supportive and structured days are very important for our students' wellbeing right now. In the next few weeks there will be continued emphasis on making sure our students know who they can connect with if they are finding things difficult or simply need a place to talk. Please reach out to your child's teacher, Head of Year or the Counselling Team if you have any concerns.
Our New Counsellors
To make sure everyone is aware of the help that’s available, Ms Amy would like to introduce the members of her expanded Counselling Team. Joining Amy, Twinkle and Rachel are Jade and Kate. It's been a successful journey of growth for counselling at STA starting with one whole school counsellor in 2014 to now a core team of five with many additional specialists also connected.