Lockdown well-being at Marlborough House
We are dedicated to promoting positive mental health in young people, not just as a standalone initiative tacked on to the curriculum, but as an integrated part of our daily lives at school. As our school has moved online, so has this provision, with an increased emphasis on well-being across the whole school community.
During this period of online learning, teachers’ daily live link-ups with children enable them to continue to offer emotional support to even our youngest pupils. One size does not fit all, but communication is key, as is resilience and independence from the children. In addition, live PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) lessons, for Reception to Year 8, provide an established framework for delivering skills to support good mental health.
The PSHE curriculum is underpinned by our Character Education; introduced in 2018, heralding a renewed focus on well-being. Each term a series of character strengths are explored in lessons. Last week in Year 2 PSHE, Mrs Reid, Head of Pre-Prep, talked about an important character strength for us all at the moment – resilience. They discussed how Anna (Frozen), Woody (Toy Story) and Merida (Brave) all show ‘stickability’ and keep going when things get tough. Children were rewarded for showing they were able to resist something or for persevering when they found something hard – “two house points for showing resilience and self-control”! They also reflected on ‘Valuing Self and Others’ – being kind to yourself and other people, with wristbands being posted to those who had helped out at home.
In the Prep School, we follow the Jigsaw PHSE scheme of work. This is a mindful approach to PHSE, to encourage independence of thought and appreciation of contemplation. This term children are reflecting on ‘Celebrating Difference’, in live lessons with Mrs Walker, Head of PSHE; providing further opportunity to talk about how everyone is coping with lockdown life.
Pre-Prep to Year 4 continue their focus on outdoor learning, with Forest School activities – providing another notable reminder of the positive effects of the great outdoors on our mental health. In the Prep School, live workout classes from the Sports department have been a great success, ensuring children enjoy the benefits of exercise during a winter lockdown.