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January 24th 2019

Head Girl Team Blog: where support can be found at Blackheath High School

The passage through adolescence and the transition between child and adulthood (in age, at least) that takes place in Senior School between Years 7 and 13, is not plain sailing for anyone. As the end of our school years are fast approaching, and many of the Year 13s marking the milestone of their 18th birthdays, we have reminisced about our experiences of school and how they have been influential in the people we have become.

As a teenager, having a strong sense of support and community is essential. I have sourced huge strength from the spirit of friendship and solidarity among my peers. At Blackheath High School, support can be found through multiple channels: whether this be in the form of having a chat with your friends, family members, or talking to teachers. Alternatively, the Peer Mentors are available to speak to, and as older students, they are likely to understand the experiences of younger students with closer proximity than parents or teachers but greater objectivity than friends of the same age. The sense of friendship, community and support that pervades the Blackheath High community hugely contributes to the students’ sense of wellbeing. The passage through adolescence can be difficult but it is eased by the help of friends and teachers, and the assurance of always having people to turn to.

Existing outside of the realm of past papers and textbooks is extremely important for mental and physical health and makes time spent studying more effective. I find that participating in musical ensembles such as orchestra and choirs before school as well as enjoying sport, is not only good for my physical health, but also uplifting and provides a break from school work. Some studies have suggested that choral singing improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety. This has been attributed to the deeper breathing associated with singing, which is also used in some forms of meditation. The promotion and wide availability of extra curricular activities at Blackheath High School is essential for the well being and health of students. However, relaxing and enjoying time with friends and loved ones can be equally beneficial. I am guilty of falling into the trap of conversing over social media, but it cannot replace real human interaction. While my younger sister and I were both revising for exams last summer, we enjoyed trips to the park, where we would go and test each other on the topics we had been revising, (despite her lack of knowledge about A-Level politics and the surprising speed at which you forget everything you knew about physics).

The provision of activities outside of the curriculum and the spirit of friendship and community at Blackheath High School have enhanced my sense of wellbeing. My experience of school since Year 7 has culminated in exams, yet I have also been able to thoroughly enjoy myself along the way, thanks to the support and great company I have had.

Written by Emerald, Year 13


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