6 May 2021
A wide range of nature themed activities, a programme of visiting speakers and the launch of their own mindfulness film, ‘Nature of Burgess Hill Girls’ are all planned.
May 10th to May 16th is National Mental Health Awareness Week. The wellbeing of pupils, staff and the wider community is a key priority for Burgess Hill Girls, so they have decided to recognise this important week with a mind-boggling number of activities.
In the Nursery, children will take part in outside yoga, sensory walks, smoothie making, building bird feeders and binoculars for bird watching. They will also create hanging mobiles, using objects from nature, and have been growing sunflowers to gift to their families.
Children in the Nursery and Pre-Prep will be visited by the St Francis Animal Welfare Hedgehog Rescue Centre, giving them the opportunity to meet a Hedgehog as well as learn more about this popular, but sadly endangered, British mammal.
There are number of nature activities planned in the Pre-Prep and Prep School, including building bug hotels and dens, reading outside, mindful tai chi, nature trails and nature sketching, and collaborating to create a giant outside artwork using natural materials. Children will have a session with School Nurse, Liz Hall to explore how to manage their worries. Catering Manager Alan Pierce will be providing fruit and vegetable tasting sessions and there will be an opportunity for the girls to make their own healthy drinks using a self-powered smoothie bike.
In the Senior School and Sixth Form, staff and students will be taking a subject led approach to Mental Health Awareness Week. In Psychology, they will explore nature themed therapies for common mental health conditions such as OCD. In Music and Drama there will be outside Samba band performances and outside readings of Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Language departments have created a vocabulary-based scavenger hunt and in Science they will study sleep.
Led by students in the Sixth Form, there will be digital detox day on Wednesday 12th May, students will leave their phones at home, stay off social media and engage in lots of good old-fashioned conversation.
The Senior School and Sixth Form students will also benefit from a range of visiting speakers including Nutritionist Karen Newby, Sexual Health expert Robbie Currie, Yoga and Mindfulness teacher Emily Gilchrist, the Schools Consent Project, and Ruth Summers, who will give students a chance to experience the relaxing benefits of her Sound Bath.
For teachers and staff there will be Zumba, Pilates, and meditation sessions on offer. They can also sign-up to the ‘Secret Buddy’ programme, enabling them to give and receive secret supportive messages and gifts throughout the week. St. Andrew’s Church in Burgess Hill, a long-standing community partner of the school, will be offering a quiet space for staff to visit at lunch time for some reflection and meditation.
Finally, the week commencing 10th May is also Burgess Hill Girls’ Open Week. Building on the National Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme of nature, the school has created a 5-minute mindfulness film celebrating the nature of Burgess Hill Girls. They are encouraging all visitors to watch the film as well as promising to take in aspects of the nature of Burgess Hill Girls on visitor tours during the Open Week.
Assistant Head Pastoral and Boarding Nikki Donson is the mastermind behind the schools’ week of activities.
“As so many young people’s mental, emotional health and resilience has been affected over the past year, it is vital for Burgess Hill Girls as a school to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week. We know that young people do better in all aspects of life if they are happy and healthy, so it is a no-brainer to do everything we can to promote good mental health.”