St Anne’s Upper Primary participated in the raising of awareness of mental health during the week of 9th May. The theme for the 2022 Awareness Week was Loneliness. The School tackled the theme by looking at friendships and how these can help children who might be experiencing feelings attached to loneliness.
During the week the various year groups participated in a number of activities where the importance of being a good friend was highlighted and, more importantly, celebrated. These initiatives have included:
- Year 3s writing up their own recipes to ‘bake’ a good friendship;
- Year 4s have ‘grown’ their own Friendship Garden with flowers made up of friendship qualities and are currently creating a ‘path to positivity’ with decorative stones;
- Year 5s have discussed the feelings that are associated with loneliness, shared kindness messages on handprints and decorated two buddy benches for the playground; and
- Year 6s are currently creating videos for the incoming Year 3s in September 2022 to make them feel right at home at St Anne’s Upper Primary and share strategies to develop more friendships.
The School’s PSHE Coordinator also prepared lessons and activities around the theme for the week’s PSHE lessons and children started off each day with a focus on developing a positive mindset. Children gave very positive feedback after these sessions.
Headteacher, Mrs Andrews, highlighted how important the awareness of mental health is at school. She said: “Loneliness as a theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is so compelling, especially as a result of the last two years experienced by children and grown-ups alike, due to the global pandemic. As a school, we decided that we would give the theme a positive spin and focus on friendships and kindness as tools to tackle feelings of loneliness.”
Mrs Andrews added “Here at St Anne’s Upper Primary we take great pride in ensuring that both children’s and staff’s well-being are looked after. This academic year the School has formed a well-being team made up of both teachers and SNLSAs who are passionate about children and staff well-being. The team meets on a regular basis and looks at implementing initiatives to improve well-being.”
As part of the Mental Health Awareness Week, St Anne’s were fortunate enough as a school, to be able to make a number of donations to local charities (The EV Foundation, Pathway through Pain, and Mary’s Meals) with funds raised by both students and staff. Mrs Andrews concluded by saying that she was “delighted to be able to present these cheques to these three very deserving charities and to have been able to use these donations as a way of illustrating to pupils the importance and the value of giving back to the community, and kindness generally, as part of everyone’s well-being journey.”