2021 is shaping up to be another interesting year where our agility and resilience continue to be tested. The uncertainty of the circumstances can provide a layer of complication and worry for our young people. With this in mind, in the Secondary School, we have started the year with our pastoral focus on ‘connection’. We are aiming to foster and build student connections with each other, with teachers and the school community. Heads of Year and homeroom teachers have continued to work with the students to foster skills and strategies to assist them to handle some of their current challenges.
At the recent Year 7 information session, the question was asked, “What has the school learnt about effective ways for families to support students at home during these complex times?” In order for our students to achieve and flourish, research and experience tells us that a strength-based and solution-focused approach is the best road to wellbeing. Hence, below are some suggestions to help shape a continued sense of wellbeing.
- Keep an open line of communication; provide a safe space for the sharing of feelings and thoughts. Encourage your young person to communicate with their homeroom teacher and take advantage of the supports offered at school.
- Keep in contact with your child’s homeroom teacher and Head of Year; keep them informed of how things are going and ask questions if you are unsure.
- Establish routines. Encourage your child to get up at a regular time, eat a healthy breakfast, do some physical exercise and set up their working space for the day or get ready for a morning at school.
- When students are coming into school for the PM session, ensure that a healthy, substantial lunch is part of their preparation.
- Encourage time away from the screen. In the break times and afternoons encourage your child to read, draw, exercise, practise their musical instrument or even work on a gratitude journal.
- Have a screen cut-off time. It is suggested all technology be put away at least 30 minutes before bed to foster a good night’s sleep.
- Experiment with mindfulness. ‘Smiling Mind‘ is a wonderful app which provides a great introduction to mindfulness and meditation
- Connection with peers is important; encourage conversations, connections and time for fun!
Here are some wonderful resources which provide many great ideas to support our young people through this complicated time. Some of these resources may be referred to during the pastoral care and homeroom time.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. We look forward to working with you and your young person as we continue to navigate 2021 together.
Janine Haymes | Interim Deputy Head Secondary, Head of English and French