Girls’ Junior School News
As we welcomed Junior School students back to school on Monday morning, it was so lovely to see the energy of our students arriving at school. Despite a few nervous beginnings, the students were very excited to be back in their classrooms and the teachers were matching this energy too! Schools are very strange places without children in them.
As learning on campus resumes our staff have spent a lot of time planning for this time, planning not only for our learning experiences as we always do, but preparing for developing positive well-being support as a key priority.
Popular parenting expert, Maggie Dent, explains that “We need to focus on what truly matters in education – the people and our relationships with them. When schools prioritise connection, calmness, and cohesion they can seriously improve student wellbeing, especially mentally and emotionally. The sooner students feel safe, in a predictable environment, with positive relationships with their teachers and staff, their brains can begin to function more calmly so they can learn more effectively: Maggie Dent – Schools Key to our kids’ recovery.
As our students get used to being on campus again, we will ensure there are regular opportunities for mindfulness practices, relationship building exercises, and rebuilding familiar routines in the classrooms. Maggie Dent offers the following 10 Calm School Habits which Girls’ Junior School Staff have been reflecting upon to incorporate into our classrooms.
1. Strong human connectedness and belonging
2. One-minute silence at the beginning and end of the day with some soothing music or a sound bath
3. Regular moments of relaxation and stillness – 30 seconds-1 min
4. Deep slow breathing/sighing
5. Thinking pauses, brain breaks, and brain rests
6. Mindfulness moments – including closed eye exercises
7. Time in nature with veggie gardens, nature play, and even more outdoor learning opportunities
8. Gratitude reflections often
9. Laugher and lightness windows – fun releases the stress hormone cortisol
10. Movement and music – triggers positive neurochemicals.