Supporting girls at Malvern St James through these challenging times

Supporting girls at Malvern St James through these challenging times

30 March 2020

Below is a video message from the Director of Pastoral Care at Malvern St James Girls’ School. The pastoral team at Malvern St James have been working on ways to connect, share, support and track the emotional rollercoaster which we find ourselves on.

In addition to using the technological ways to support the Malvern St James community mentioned in the video, our Director of Pastoral Care has shared the following tips with girls, parents and staff members to support self-care and healthy habits throughout this unprecedented period of our educational journey.

  • Keep to a routine – set your alarm, get up and dressed as usual, use her timetable (including breaks and time for being active and creative) as a framework and agree upon a clear end to her ‘school day’. If it helps, make a timetable of how each day will look and stick it up for everyone in the family to refer to.
  • Use online tools to socialise during down times – Zoom, Facetime and Skype are just three of the ways your daughter can enjoy a sociable snack time or a chatty coffee break with friends.
  • Spend some time outside – we all know that fresh air and exercise allow us to operate more effectively and to gain some sense of perspective. Make sure that there is some outside time planned for every day, even if it is raining!
  • Ban digital devices sometimes – while we are all relying on our devices for education and communication, it may be prudent to re-evaluate your household rules for device usage. Have a time each day when you do something as a family without devices. It may be a meal together or a family walk or the completion of some household chore or playing a board game; but face-to-face communication has never been so important.
  • Eat together – it is easy for us to fall into bad eating habits when we are not in a regular routine and when we are worried. Eating as a family and minimising snacking between meals are measures which have been proven to improve wellbeing as well as being the healthiest way to eat.
  • Take some exercise – whether it is a walk, an online exercise class, bouncing on the trampoline or ten minutes throwing a tennis ball around, keeping active will ensure that your daughter’s endorphin levels remain topped up and will help her to stay positive.
  • Maintain your evening / night time rules – even though your daughter’s school day might not be quite as long at present, it is important that she still gets a good night’s sleep and most young people need around 10 hours sleep each night to achieve optimum performance.
  • Listen – your daughter may be worried, about work, about what she has seen on the news, about what she has overheard in family discussion. Take time to listen to her and to reassure her. I recommend that you put aside twenty minutes for this each day. By acknowledging each worry, it is effectively halved.

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