The message was highlighted in a letter sent to parents by Head Teacher Mrs Carol Chandler-Thompson which illustrated how girls can do anything they set their mind to so placing undue pressure on themselves is unnecessary.
To reinforce this, the school held an assembly to kick-off Wellbeing Week emphasising to girls that by saying ‘no’ it is possible to offset certain pressures and live happier and healthier lives. Girls were encouraged to realise that it is acceptable and healthy to focus on one area of life at a time, even if that means other areas do not get their full attention.
Blackheath High School’s Wellbeing Week is held every January to highlight to students the importance of being kind to themselves during what many people find to be a gloomy period in the year. Across the week girls took part in a wide range of activities focused on their wellbeing such as: origami, Tai Chai, mindful colouring sessions, yoga, meditation and walks in Greenwich Park by which the school is set.
Also amongst this year’s initiatives was A Mindful Music Concert where music scholars played to parents and the local community at a concert held in Blackheath’s All Saints Church. The school also hosted an evening panel event for parents which brought together experts from Anxiety UK, B. Eat, Self Harm UK and Positive to answer questions on healthy bodies, healthy minds and the ever-vexatious question of screen time.
Wellbeing Week acts as a launch pad for wellbeing initiatives that run across the year at Blackheath High. The school’s extensive co-curricular programme helps promote balance, mindfulness and health through activities such as Iron Woman, Rockband, Flamenco dancing and Martial arts in Mandarin.
Blackheath High School, which has recently undergone an £18 million redevelopment, places staff and student wellbeing at the heart of the school. Through its Positive Schools Programme ‘positive’ lessons are integrated into PHSE helping girls develop emotional resilience and providing them with the tools to manage stress, change and pressure. Alongside this mindfulness is embedded in the curriculum. Even the school dog Florence plays her part, providing pet therapy to girls through her role on the Pastoral Team!
In the letter, Head Teacher Carol Chandler-Thompson said:
“Girls can do anything they set their mind to in life. Our strong message for the week is that focussing on one area of our lives may mean other areas cannot have our full attention and that is OK!
“There will be points in their life when they choose to focus on their careers and that this will mean less of a social life or vice versa.
“By practising those choices now and being a little kinder to themselves in their expectations, and more realistic, they will feel more content.”