Mental Health Awareness Week at OLSM Primary School in Abergavenny in Wales
Some of the things we got up to during Mental Health Awareness Week
Year 6 class spent three days experiencing the outdoors, doing lots of tasks. The class used the school grounds to learn how to light fires, made tree spirits from mud and other natural bits and pieces they collected around the school grounds. They also learned how nature comes in a variety of colours and textures that helped the class to camouflage different objects in the natural environment. On another day the class wentr to Longtown Outdoor Centre to get some experience of different outdoor adventurous activities. They really ejoyed the high wire work, archery, den building and team building activities. At the end of the week the class walked to Castle Meadows near the river and took part in some activities, looking for mini-beasts and pond dipping. At the end of the week all the class agreed that the whole set of activities had given them a break from the classroom and even though the weather hadn’t been that great, the outdoor activities had given them all a chance to appreciate how nature and the outdoors helped with positive feelings and improved their emotional well-being.
- Made nature art frames.
- Completed a Nature Pentecost Flame.
- Completed a 3 Good Things Diary over a week.
- Worked on a Toolkit of activities to help us when we feel sad.
- Discovered how music can have an impact on our emotions.
- Took part in daily meditation and breathing exercises.
- Made Google Slides and jam board presentations to share information.
Year 4 took some time out of each day to meditate while thinking about all the things we enjoy doing outside and how we connect with nature. We spent time discussing the importance of mental health and why this is as important as our physical health. We also wrote an acrostic poem about how we can connect with ‘nature’, while some of us went outside and drew a picture of a nature scene and wrote a sentence about what nature means to us. As part of our RE lesson we created 3D flowers for our Marian altar and talked about the beauty of flowers and why this time of year is an important time for nature. We did the daily mile - twice, where we took time to look at our surroundings and to enjoy the fresh air.
They also spent time outside gathering sticks which they made into gratitude sticks. They cut and wound different lengths of wool around the stick which represent something they are grateful for. These will form part of a display in class and whenever we need to we can look at the sticks and remember those things we have in life that we are most appreciative of.
Following on from this, we looked at our emotions. We used the Disney film ‘Inside Out’ as a focus for the session, discussing the different emotions we feel. The children highlighted what made them feel certain emotions and the things we can do to manage our emotions as best we can. During the week Reception also took the opportunity to connect with nature. We have been learning all about planting seeds and growing, so we took our things outside and planted our sunflowers, which we have grown from seed, into planters. One child told his mum at the end of the day that he had had 'the best day ever in school' A perfect example of just how connecting with nature is so good for our mental health!