Northampton-based GDST school was delighted to mark Children’s Mental Health week

Northampton High highlighted this year’s Children’s Mental Health week theme, ‘My Voice Matters’, through a series of wellbeing activities across their Junior and Senior School
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As the county’s leading all-through girls school, Northampton High School prides itself on facilitating a nurturing environment where girls learn without limits. Committed to providing excellent pastoral care, staff ensure students are well-equipped to take care of their wellbeing, and spent this dedicated week spotlighting the importance of positive mental health.

Commencing the week, Mrs Sarah Giordano, the school’s Wellbeing Practitioner, led a Senior School assembly to introduce this year’s theme, ‘My Voice Matters’. Sharing resources supplied by Place2Be, a children and young people's mental health charity, the High School students were reminded of just how powerful and important their voices are. Listing various ways we can express ourselves and the importance of doing so, she encouraged pupils to consider how they would like to use their voices - noting dance, literacy, art and music as fantastic examples of creative expression, alongside the spoken and written word.

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Junior pupils were also treated to an assembly from ‘Mrs G’ and the School Nurse, Mrs Dunkley, who spoke on the importance of fueling our bodies correctly and the benefits this has on both our physical and mental health. The group considered how our food choices impact our mood and energy levels, and concluded that eating a ‘rainbow plate’ at meal times ensures plenty of nutrients are consumed!

Northampton High celebrated Children's Mental Health week with a series of wellbeing activitiesNorthampton High celebrated Children's Mental Health week with a series of wellbeing activities
Northampton High celebrated Children's Mental Health week with a series of wellbeing activities

During this dedicated week, the school welcomed members of staff from The Lowdown, a local mental health charity that provides free and confidential support services for 11-25 year olds. The guests distributed resources about their available services, which include counselling, wellbeing groups and information services, emphasising their meaningful strapline, ‘know us before you need us’. It was great to see students interacting with the visitors and sharing the positive habits they have created to support their own mental health.

Pupils also had the opportunity to use their voice by contributing to the ‘Wellbeing Wall of Hearts’; a whole school initiative encouraging pupils to share what matters most to them. Writing short messages on love heart post-it notes, the students noted a variety of things that give them purpose, and decorated the Wellbeing HQ with these thoughts.

Housing two dedicated wellbeing spaces - the Wellbeing HQ in Senior School and the Wellbeing Hub for Juniors - Northampton High School ensures that pastoral care is a priority at every stage in a student’s journey. Providing focussed and accessible areas, students feel empowered to relax, recharge and, when necessary, receive support from the specialist Wellbeing Team. Mrs Giordano explains “In today’s fast paced and ever changing world, our students need to feel that their voice matters and that they will be heard, non-judgmentally and with acceptance. Our most precious moments are when we hear students sharing wellbeing tips with friends as they embed these strategies into their own healthy habit formation and help to create a wider culture of personal growth and self-discovery. We believe in our girls and we aim to create the optimum, nurturing environment for them to have the confidence to believe in themselves.”

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Through their unwavering commitment to student wellbeing, staff foster well-rounded, well-equipped individuals that continue to prioritise mental health well into their adult lives and future endeavours. Reflecting on the week, the school’s Wellbeing Team expressed immense positivity and pride, and shared plans to spotlight children’s mental health through a variety of upcoming events.

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