Pupils enjoy range of activities focusing on mental health and wellbeing as part of national initiative
Organised by UK-based charity Place2Be, Children’s Mental Health Week is an annual initiative that brings together schools, youth groups and individuals across the country to spread awareness about mental health. With this year’s theme being ‘Growing Together’, the initiative helps to improve pupils’ understanding of their own mental wellbeing and what they can do to support those around them.
At the academy, pupils began the week by watching a virtual assembly run by Place2Be which featured Oti Mabuse, best known for her role as a professional dancer on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, and Oscar-winning actress, Olivia Colman. Together, they spoke about persisting in the face of difficulty and how we can learn from the challenges and setbacks we face.
Throughout the week pupils took part in a range of fun and educational class-based activities focusing on mental health. For example, in their PSHE lessons, pupils in Year 4 learnt about the concept of a support network and identified the support networks they have around them. Likewise, pupils in Year 5 engaged in conversations about their emotional wellbeing and set goals for how they wanted to improve, which included growing in confidence and bravery.
On Thursday, pupils enjoyed a visit from a guest speaker Alexander Holmes, who was made a Queen’s Young Leader by Her Majesty The Queen for his anti-bullying work. During the visit, Alexander spoke to children in Years 1 to 6 about what they can do to help identify and prevent bullying.
Today, to commemorate the end of the week, pupils were encouraged to attend school in non-uniform, following the themes ‘Dress to Express’ and ‘Bright Colours.’ Children across the academy embraced the day, arriving at school in their favourite colours or wearing outfits which they feel represent themselves as individuals. One pupil dressed all in purple, with a tutu to match, and another pupil dressed up as Wonder Woman.
Mohamed, a pupil in Reception at Salisbury Manor Primary School, said:
"I liked learning how to be more positive and think of the good things in life."
David Booth, Principal at Salisbury Manor Primary School, said:
“At Salisbury Manor, we want to make sure all our pupils have the tools and confidence they need not only to make strong progress in their learning but to express their thoughts and feelings and develop healthy mindsets. It is therefore important to us that we involve our pupils in initiatives like this, where they can better understand what mental health means and what they can do to nurture their mental wellbeing. Especially given the challenges of the last two years, it is essential that we are continuing to nurture health and happiness in our young people and we look forward to continuing these types of conversations with our children moving forward.”