January 22

Wellbeing week 2019 and the power of saying no

January can be a challenging month in schools: mock GCSEs, A Levels, 11+ exams, UCAS applications for Sixth Form, shorter days and darker evenings. It is for this reason that we take a week specifically to focus on wellbeing in our school community, although of course it remains a key priority the whole year through. In this edition of Highlife, you can read an excellent piece by Mrs Skevington, our Junior Head, on sleep. We have also enjoyed several awareness-raising events this week from the excellent parent symposium on Monday evening to the Mindful Music concert by our music scholars and a ‘healthy start’ session with our PE department in the fitness suite. There are certainly a whole range of opportunities girls can take to look after their minds and bodies so they are fighting fit for the year ahead.

Alongside this, the strong message to the girls this week has also been about the ‘power of saying no’. We can all put ourselves under a good deal of pressure to overachieve in every area of life. Whether that’s having a non-stop, exciting social life, achieving academic or career goals, finding our perfect life partner or having a perfect body and immaculate hair. Above all, girls often they feel they should feel ‘happy’ 100% of the time. Any shortcomings in some of these areas affect self-esteem and feeds negative internal voices that everyone else is brighter, more popular, more beautiful. Our strong message for the week is that focusing on one area of our lives may mean other areas cannot have our full attention and that is OK! As adults of course, you will already have had to make many of these choices yourselves and any way in which you can role model this idea for your daughters by talking about it at home, will support what we are trying to achieve at school.

There has also been a great start to the term for both music departments. Mrs Coles and the Junior Choir heard the exciting news that they have again reached the finals of the GDST Junior Choir of the Year on 21 March at Cadogan Hall. We were privileged to win the last competition in 2017 and know the girls will do us proud this year too. We also enjoyed a wonderful Music Scholars’ concert on Wednesday at All Saints Church from our senior girls; a very welcome new addition to our music calendar.

I understand the Quiz tables for our BHSA quiz on 1 February sold out in record time this year, so I look forward to seeing many of you there for a great evening.


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