This week is Mental Health Awareness Week which is being promoted nationally - you may be involved in your place of work or have heard about it in the news.
Whilst we have not focussed on this with the children at school it is very much at the forefront of our awareness. Despite the recent cold and drizzly spell we continue to ensure that all children are spending as much time as possible outside every day, as many of them spent much of the Spring indoors unable to go far, or visit green spaces. We know that this will improve their physical development, social skills and emotional well-being.
The national campaign highlights the importance of our relationship with nature – how much we notice, think about and appreciate our natural surroundings. Everyone knows that this is a critical factor in supporting good mental health and preventing distress.
At school we are using our outdoor learning environment to help keep us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy. Our latest endeavour has been to open up yet more of the wooded area behind the fence at the back of the field for den making and assault course building. We know that spending time outdoors, noticing and visiting nature has helped promote positive wellbeing over the past few months.
To enhance our skills in supporting one another at Harrison, six members of the team are currently undertaking ‘Mental Health First Aid’ teaming run by Mental Health First Aid England. Our am is to be better equipped to support each other as a community.
Despite the work that has been done in opening up our site so that the children have more access to natural spaces to play, there is still more to be done too.
We believe that increasing our children’s awareness of nature around us will help them to develop more pro-environmental behaviours and are keen to create more opportunities for the children to connect with and relate to nature.
Future plans include building minibeast hotels, planting flowers and veg, creating a year R sensory area, making bird boxes and clearing an imaginary play space in our grounds.
When restrictions lift if you would like to help us or know someone who could please let us know. At present two members of our site team are not back at work so we would really appreciate a bit of help.
Have a great weekend
Mrs Gmitrowicz, Mrs Bowden & Miss Eddleston