“What does an interesting conversation look like? What does it sound like?”
These were the opening questions presented to our Year 7 students this week as they explored the meaning of ‘Relationships.’ Students were given the opportunity to practice the art of conversation and then identify the key ingredients to a positive interaction - good eye contact, an interested expression, regular positive acknowledgements and a good balance between talking and listening. Research has shown that strong ties are essential to a life well-lived and positive relationships are one of the strongest indicators of your satisfaction with life.
Developing positive relationships and emotions was the theme of the Year 9 lesson this week as students shared their personal ‘Journey of Life’ maps with their peers and teachers. I had the opportunity to go into a few classes this week and was delighted with the creativity, honesty and bravery students across Year 9 showed as they explored key life moments from birth to the present day and identified emotions they had experienced along the way.
Creativity, bravery and honesty will be key character strengths on show from our Year 8 students in the coming weeks as they have been tasked with creating a short 2-3 minute video as part of our Stop, Speak, Support anti-bullying campaign. The winning entry will be chosen at the start of next half term and I look forward to sharing the results of the competition with you in a few weeks.
We were delighted to welcome Dr Anna from Family Medical Practice who delivered a talk to our Year 10 students on ‘Health Nutrition and Wellness.’ Building on the theme of ‘resilience’, the talk focused on developing a positive relationship with food and its importance in helping our students to thrive and flourish. Some key messages we can all take from the talk, both students and adults, include:
- Good nutrition is important for brain development and improved cognitive function
- Listen to your body’s natural signals - they tell us when we are hungry and when we are full
- Do not allow yourselves to be distracted when eating - you are much more likely to ignore your body signals and end up eating too little or too much
- Try and make mealtimes at school and at home screen-free for everyone
- Snacks are not the same as treats- do not confuse the two!
Our Year 11 students developed the theme of ‘Caring for Myself & Others’ in their ‘Pathways to Cope’ lesson. We explored the idea that stressors - academic, social and emotional - are part of life as a senior student and won’t go away if ignored; the important message from this lesson was understanding that it is how you deal with these stressors that matters. This included looking at strategies to deal with stress and who students can speak to, both at school and home, if they are feeling vulnerable.
A special mention this week to Tracy Le of 10B for her fantastic presentation on “The Benefits of Sleep” which I have circulated to all students from Year 7 to Year 11. Good quality sleep is essential to both the physical and cognitive recovery and development of young people and I would encourage you to talk to your son or daughter about what they have learned about sleep in recent weeks.
I hope you are having an opportunity to discuss the Wellbeing curriculum with your son or daughter and gain a greater understanding of the work they are doing during lessons and in Tutor Time. Should you have any feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr Alexander, Head of Middle Secondary (Pastoral & Wellbeing)