Badington House School

Express Yourself - Children's Mental Health Week

Published Wednesday 10th of February 2021 10:46:05 AM

There has never been more concern or comment about the mental health of children than right now.
Alarming headlines in the press, such as, ‘Pupils will fall a year behind but the mental harm may last longer’ (The Times), have brought children’s mental health into sharp focus. How timely then, that this is Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme this year is ‘Express Yourself’.
The extended closure of schools during the COVID pandemic, has had an impact on many children’s learning and mental wellbeing, however many schools have adapted well to home learning, providing a full timetable of live lessons and activities and plenty of support.
At Babington House School, where pupils have logged in daily for registration, the amount of learning and engagement in online lessons is incredibly impressive.
This is a challenging way of schooling for all, for pupils, staff and parents. That is why it is so important to remember the well-being of all. We have tried to maintain the usual school routine and rhythm, albeit online via Teams. Form time has been incredibly valuable for pupils to see their friends and talk to their form tutor. Regular Assemblies have continued so pupils still feel part of the Babington community.
Babington has a Mentoring Day providing the valuable opportunity for all pupils in the Senior School to have one-to-one mentoring session with their Form Tutor. This is an opportunity to talk, not about academic progress but about the pupils’ well-being. Staff realise, that for learning and engagement in lessons to continue at such a fantastic level it is important that we monitor the student as a whole. It might just be that a listening ear is all that is needed, it might be that there are strategies and coping methods that we can suggest, it might be that the pupil is just fine. In whatever way the meeting takes shape, pupils are being encouraged to be honest, honest with themselves and talk with their teacher - it’s so important to ‘Express Yourself.’
Within the Babington Preparatory, there are so many wonderful examples of supported home learning. Pupils are even being offered some after school fun activities to keep their spirits up. They were invited to ‘Pet Fun’ which included an online animal quiz and an opportunity to introduce their pet or favourite cuddly toy to their friends and teachers. This will be followed by Ranger Stu introducing his animals and telling the children all about them.
The digital divide between schools has been more evident during lockdown and the quality of home learning and support very varied. Within private schools, smaller class sizes have made it easier to provide online learning and track how pupils are coping.
Tim Lello, Headmaster comments, “We value the mental health and well-being of everyone in our community and pride ourselves on how well our pupils are being supported at this challenging time.”
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