Head's Update

Head's Update

In the Prep School, Mrs. Kay marked Children’s Mental Health Week with an excellent Assembly, based around the theme ‘Express Yourself’. We watched video clips of the importance of being able to express ourselves and looked at many different ways of doing this. 

We also heard from Mr. Lamb and Mr. ‘Musher’; they shared their own experiences, and explained how they express themselves. They have kindly agreed to share their thoughts as part of my update this week.

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Mr Lamb

A choice I make to improve my Mental Health each day is to be active. It is something that is easily forgotten at the moment, but something that is even more essential when we are spending increased time in front of screens. 

Over the lockdown period, thousands of people have competed in Virtual Races all across the country and the world, and training for this new goal has kept a lot of purpose in our lives when we have lost the normal structure which we are used to. I have been racing in events organised by a company called ‘Isorun’ which also created a foundation encouraging positive choices in our lives in relation to our Mental Health. They created a t-shirt with Charlie Mackesy to celebrate and encourage us all to make good choices for our own wellbeing. Charlie Mackesy gained fame with his book, ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse’, and when the organisers of Isorun found out that Charlie was an old boy of Mowden Hall, they were keen to work with us towards something special.

They have given us a number of their t-shirts to distribute to our Mowden Community, with the singular request that they serve as a reminder to make good choices regarding our Mental Health. Those children (in the Prep School) and staff who have been interested have had the opportunity to register for a t-shirt of their own, to be their own reminder of the joy of exercise in any form. These will be distributed in the coming days and weeks.

I know that I will be running in my t-shirt, despite the chilly weather, and I hope that this encouragement may help other people to get out the door.

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Mr ‘Musher’

I express myself by getting involved with as much theatre work as possible. Performing is an awesome way to express yourself and is great for a number of reasons. It benefits mental health, and is a great way to train your brain and improve your skills by memorising lines as well as learning key information about the pieces you perform. 

As well as this, performing is not dissimilar to sport, it helps clear your mind and helps you relax, and keeps you entertained, perhaps by a funny line or accent that's heard on stage. Physically, throwing yourself around a stage for even an hour can help you improve your fitness, especially stamina as well as skills like reactions. 

This year, more than ever, creating pieces of theatre, whether that is on social media or in real life, is vital to improving everyone's mental health, as entertaining others is another key part of getting involved with theatre, due to the mental benefits. Laughter is a wonderful thing, and coming out of a show with a smile on your face is exactly why you should get more involved with theatre.

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We have had several different events and activities available to all of our children, this week, which we hope they have enjoyed and benefited from. We must remember to look after ourselves also. Parents are not terribly good at prioritising their needs, and it is not unusual for us to constantly put the needs of family and friends above our own. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the online Candle Making Workshop earlier in the week. It was so nice to do something different, and it was great to enjoy a social event. I am also going to aim to take up a new hobby; knitting…. I ordered a kit from the internet, and received a gigantic ball of wool and one knitting needle, which was not quite what I expected. I hope you all find a moment to do something you enjoy this weekend. 

To confirm, half term begins at 2pm on Friday 12th February.

Mrs Kate Martin, Head