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14/12/17

Retweeted From Andrew Gambier

https://t.co/qWczyJv9HL

14/12/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Well done to the Senior netball team for a hard fought win against Eltham College - pom Tilly. Grea… https://t.co/xI7wqij07Z

14/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

More from our fab Nativity with great helpers https://t.co/UnMDrmc3FU

14/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

We’re excellent at many things at but our selfies need some work! Break time meeting with Reception… https://t.co/l4bZgR3iDr

14/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Bye bye gappies- we’ve loved having you! https://t.co/BOAG7WaC0h

14/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

A really rather wonderful Nativity from our fab nursery team https://t.co/yMwtvb0e3d

14/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Possibly the most adorable nativity ever! https://t.co/d2cyCmp1gK

14/12/17

Our Year 8 and 9 Hockey team raised their game for the hockey weekend. Read more: https://t.co/HUOoaeHM1t https://t.co/fqjLzKDfYr

13/12/17

Retweeted From Patricia Adams

Such a wonderful and inspiring setting for our Senior and Junior Carol Concerts last night. Thank y… https://t.co/C84bfHIo9o

13/12/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHighDrama

We are delighted to announce that tickets have gone on sale for our production of “Grease”!… https://t.co/OiJcF3RYHn

13/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Lovely visit from Nursery delivering invitation to tomorrow’s Nativity. Can’t wait! https://t.co/tj0ucSF50c

13/12/17

Retweeted From Year 7 @ Blackheath

lesson we looked at what “I can” what “I am grateful that”… https://t.co/kBzxxgLKMr

13/12/17

Retweeted From Christine Pheiffer

Exciting Language Competitions from for languages students https://t.co/T7Xjc4PIOF

13/12/17

Retweeted From BHS Sixth Form

Sixth Form students benefitting from “Impact and Impressions” session as prep for interviews. Hugely valuable! Than… https://t.co/dmDn974bS5

13/12/17

Retweeted From Blackheath Science

Day 12...Snow Globe Chemistry. I know I have to shake a snow globe whenever I see one! https://t.co/9mtNXozouu

13/12/17

A big well done to our Peer Mentors who ran a poster competition to help raise awareness of anti-bullying week and… https://t.co/5yc7UHbDhu

13/12/17

Retweeted From Catherine Maddison

absolutely amazing Carol Concert 💕💕💕 https://t.co/d8CJkFsfln

13/12/17

Retweeted From Judith Beenders

So proud to be part of where pupils, teachers & assistants all work hard together to achieve such a… https://t.co/FbYe1gGLUl

12/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

A rather stunning Senior Carol concert . Well done everyone, community choir included!… https://t.co/UYws6GAFyV

12/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

concert over.#ChristmasIsComing https://t.co/evFnYblKqU

12/12/17

Retweeted From Year 7 @ Blackheath

Choir sang beautifully tonight at the - put us all in a https://t.co/ZcFzw1nre3

12/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Wonderful Junior Carol Service this evening https://t.co/upeCoyYUop

12/12/17

Retweeted From Craig Polley

That's an ! girls 👏🙋❄⛄👍#merrychristmas https://t.co/ylUgdJIuK0

12/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Just some of our girls. Wonderful singing https://t.co/BWwZHcaTZO

12/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

would have been proud https://t.co/IM6mQ3qwgt

12/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

students: great opportunity! https://t.co/w1SXWPOkUI

12/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Absolutely loving our Junior School brass section setting the festive mood for our Carol Service https://t.co/FjiftaGgia

12/12/17

Retweeted From Christine Pheiffer

Alumnae contribute to event https://t.co/K0FFusMBR2

12/12/17

Retweeted From Craig Polley

the Yr6 + KS2 with plenty of https://t.co/Bs7CTtv8F6

12/12/17

Retweeted From GRΔCΣ

✨Glorious fresh walk 2 via this bright & beautiful morning with 🌟 good luck all 4 u… https://t.co/KPKnK4pg90

12/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Most exciting invitation of the week! Nursery Nativity! Cannot wait! https://t.co/vj7aVQokPL

12/12/17

Girls to the front! Find out what happened when our Feminism Society proudly led discussions on feminism in schools: https://t.co/IJG2sTtDVA

11/12/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

A beautiful group performance but the girls! So proud! https://t.co/KLhc2Mc9Hb

11/12/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

GDST girls ready to do their performances https://t.co/JLnAUGxJbC

11/12/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Well done to Julia for being awarded the Ballet Performer of the Day https://t.co/QlU8LV5OJV

11/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Good luck to the girls at interviews this week - https://t.co/6SYMxWctkf

11/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Very proud of Mimo selected to rep in film . Here she is practising her dance moves! https://t.co/FHbnfGQWyz

11/12/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Great meeting prefects this morning. Get planning your assembly for Jan 18! https://t.co/kxE0xpNIJM

11/12/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Street Jazz underway at https://t.co/upRi0K0ITy

Mental wellbeing

Promoting good physical health should be straightforward; we know that we need to eat well, take exercise regularly and drink plenty of water. When it comes to mental health, however, we tend not to think about it until a problem develops. According to a recent article in The Guardian, this is a strategy that has been disastrous for an entire generation of British people (and in particular those under the age of 25).

A person’s mental health cannot be seen and there is still a significant stigma attached to discussing mental health problems; this is something that we are working hard to change in school.

Statistics tell us that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental illness each year. Yet we all have a brain and, therefore, a mental health. Surely, all of us should give consideration to how we might make lifestyle choices, and create an environment and society which is conducive to good mental health for everyone?

The mind: a school/home approach

We use PSHE in school to discuss a range of issues including body image, bullying, friendship - and a range of wellbeing issues that encourage our students to develop coping strategies that will stand them in good stead as they get older.

PSHE is only one part of the toolkit that we have to promote positive mental health. A really important approach that teachers and parents can take is to drop into casual conversations is that it is OK not to be OK. In Biology lessons, we can discuss mental health when we learn about how the brain functions, in English we can touch upon an author’s mental state, in PSHE we can discuss the treatment of people with mental illness within the legal system.

Over dinner with our children we can talk about how we are coping with life’s difficulties. By consistently and casually mentioning a topic, we take away some of the scariness and more importantly some of the stigma that stops students from asking for help when they are struggling.

The body: incorporate more physical activity

Young people need to move regularly in order to think clearly. They simply aren’t designed to be trapped in a small room with a smart phone for hours on end having information thrown at them all day. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle is terrible for our mental health, since the body and the brain work in tandem.

Encourage your daughter to get out at the weekend. Put the phone away for a couple of hours and go for a walk together. At school we encourage students to get involved with the co-curricular programme - from Netball to Spanish dancing there are lots of opportunities for the girls to throw themselves into physical activity.

The soul: encourage open communication

Technological advances mean there is the biggest gap in cultural understanding between adults (parents and teachers) and children since the 1960s. We must try to bridge the 'us and them' divide because communication is key to good mental health. For parents and teachers to have an open and honest dialogue with our children, we must understand their world and what is important to them.

Help young people find their passion and give them a healthy way to express themselves. Everyone needs a creative outlet, something which lets them release difficult feelings, perhaps through sport, art, music or drama. If we have this, we’re far less likely to express ourselves in more harmful ways.

We really try to encourage this at school through form time activities and through lessons. Blackheath High students are very socially aware and when they get involved with Community Projects and Charity Work they tend to be far less introspective – just look at the enthusiasm for collecting food for the local Salvation Army Food Bank recently.

A study by Professor Rachel Thompson in 2013 found young people see social media as more “real” than their three dimensional existences at home and at school. By immersing ourselves in their world, we give ourselves the tools to help them combat the worst aspects of the web and embrace the best. Most importantly, we can show them that not everything on the internet is real, and that there is a very real world at their fingertips.

The evidence shows that our daily habits have the most effect on our wellbeing; a little and often approach is what works best. Lots of conversations with the girls; allowing them to solve minor problems on their own gives them the strength to deal with big challenges as they get older; incorporating simple changes into the day, where we talk about mental health in the same way that we talk about physical health, not only impacts students, it can also have a profound positive impact on all of us – teachers and parents - too.

Useful Apps

Headspace


Headspace is a digital service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. Its content can be accessed online, or via their mobile apps. In April 2016, Headspace claimed to have over 6 million people using the app.

BellyBio

Free app that teaches a deep breathing technique useful in fighting anxiety and stress. A simple interface uses biofeedback to monitor your breathing. Sounds cascade with the movements of your belly, in rhythms reminiscent of waves on a beach. Charts also let you know how you’re doing. A great tool when you need to slow down and breathe.

eCBT Calm

Provides a set of tools to help you evaluate personal stress and anxiety, challenge distorted thoughts, and learn relaxation skills that have been scientifically validated in research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Lots of background and useful information along with step-by-step guides.

Optimism  

Track your moods, keep a journal, and chart your recovery progress with this comprehensive tool for anxiety. One of the most popular mood tracking apps available, with plenty of features.

iSleepEasy

A calm female voice helps you quell anxieties and take the time to relax and sleep, in an array of guided meditations. Separately controlled voice and music tracks, flexible lengths, and an alarm. Includes a special wee hours rescue track, and tips for falling asleep.

Magic Window

Living Pictures - Not technically a mental health app, it makes no miraculous claims about curbing anxiety. However, there is independent research indicating that taking breaks and getting exposure to nature, even in videos, can reduce stress. This app offers an assortment of peaceful, ambient nature scenes from beautiful spots around the world.

Relax Melodies

A popular free relaxation sound and music app. Mix and match nature sounds with new age music; it’s lovely to listen to birds in the rain while a piano softly plays.

The Positive Schools Programme

We believe staff and students are best able to flourish when they are mentally and physically healthy. Blackheath High is leading the way in the pioneering Positive Schools Programme (PSP) within the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST). Drawing from neuroscience and psychology, PSP teaches us to better understand our behaviour, moods and feelings. The digital toolkit helps develop emotional resilience and provides the tools and techniques to manage stress, change and pressure. This includes the ‘emotional barometer’ which is used to manage feelings. 

All 26 schools belonging to the GDST have signed up to the programme including Putney High School

To find out more about PSP, please visit the Positive website.