Introducing the Pupil Support Team to Years 7 and 8
This week saw the start of wellbeing sessions for pupils in Year 7 and 8 provided by our Pupil Support team, Belinda West and Rachel Melville-Thomas. Rachel and Belinda are qualified specialist Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists with many years of experience in both NHS settings and schools.
These sessions served as a starting point to encourage pupils to think about what they might do when the ups and downs of life get too much for them to handle. Rachel Melville-Thomas asked the pupils to think about what their responses to stress might be, and offered some new ideas. In particular, she emphasised that getting help is something that ANY child might need to do, and that talking things through is a normal and helpful part of school life.
Belinda West showed the children a ball of tangled strings which helped to get them thinking about how it can feel when things get too much and thought about ways in which they may be able to help themselves and each other when things get into stressful 'knots'. As part of this she introduced them to some breathing exercises that are based in mindfulness techniques.
Both presenters thought that the pupils responded well and were quite thoughtful about the subject. We look forward to sharing more thoughts and ideas with these students another time. In the meantime we remain available at the Health Centre on an individual basis as well as planning some small group stress buster sessions for the New Year. An additional session for parents on “What to do when it all gets too much” will be offered later in the term.
What to do when it all gets too much, by Freya Wood (Year 7)
"This week, two very kind and helpful ladies came from the Health Centre to hep us relax about our exams and not stress over them.
One of the speakers taught us how to relax and take a break from revision. She gave us a useful sheet with '50 ways to take a break'. Some of the things on there included meditation, turning off all electronics or going for a walk. The second speaker taught us some breathing exercises to help relieve stress. We all closed our eyes and put our hands on our chests. This helped us to control our breathing, and then we thought about our favourite colour whilst counting to ten. We opened our eyes and we were relaxed!"