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18/05/19

"It was an evening which celebrated the success of a development project and hailed a promising future for the school as a whole, but, for me in person, the event also marked my first occasion speaking as Head Girl" https://t.co/0gsqsAJadZ https://t.co/7wZSEH8dam

17/05/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

An awesome day of athletics for the Yr3&4 students today! Some fantastic performances and lots of fun 🎽🏃🏽‍♀️ https://t.co/xpjVIj1o7D

16/05/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Year 1 dress design Florence dog approves ❤️👏👏 https://t.co/1paRPxnfHD

16/05/19

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

This month, opened the doors of a multi-million redevelopment. This included a brand-new library, wellbeing sedum roof garden & ‘The Pod’, a contemplation space for meditation and idea generation. https://t.co/uEbEYE77Q2

14/05/19

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Terrific artwork from Nursery to Year 6 at our art exhibition! https://t.co/TFhkyY7zi9

14/05/19

Retweeted From Natalie Argile

From the Junior Art Exhibition, straight into the Senior Tea Time Concert. An afternoon brimming with creativity 🖼 🎨 🎶 🎷 https://t.co/NkkCB98Cyt

14/05/19

A lot of excitement and learning at the Senior School this morning as Year 4 join us for a morning of lessons and experience English, Geography and Drama classes https://t.co/WYcE5v3afP

13/05/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

An amazing day, with strong performances from both our U13+U15 netball teams but it just wasn’t enough to get the win. Both teams have come away as runners up of the Greenwich Schools League. Well done girls you should be very proud! POM: Alice and Sasha. https://t.co/5T2th74228

13/05/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Our U13+U14 netball teams are raring to go at the Finals, here at the . What an incredible experience. Let’s go !! 💪 https://t.co/WriSipQ4Mq

13/05/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

So lucky to have this event on ‘s doorstep 👏👏 https://t.co/BKRhFdNOvT

09/05/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHighDrama

Wonderful performances tonight from Year 10 bringing the world of their set text The Crucible alive 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 https://t.co/DUtUrurQd3

08/05/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

we’re delighted to welcome so many local EYFS practitioners, staff and parents to our talk on speech and language development and how to support it. https://t.co/hXGRuysoi3

07/05/19

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

A stunning image of 's atrium at night. As part of last week's grand opening of the . https://t.co/AqDSgOrv3M

07/05/19

Emmeline Pankhurst, Anne Boleyn, Romeo and Juliet… certainly put on incredible immersive performances at the Grand Opening. We are so proud of our brilliant students for always being keen to take centre stage. https://t.co/VgDlyOQUiv

07/05/19

A huge thank-you to our talented musicians and for taking part in the Grand Opening festivities! Highlights included the ‘Datchelor Fanfare’ (composed by students and Ms Leo), ‘Beat It’ band, String Quartet, Music Scholars’, and our very own Rock Band. https://t.co/Wb6dVNWXKF

07/05/19

...and of the Take Flight Installation & What's in a Building exhibit https://t.co/TnGLoq5VzF

07/05/19

We were dazzled by the creativity of 's Fashion Show, ‘What’s in a Building’ temporary exhibit and iconic ‘Take Flight’ installation which marked the Grand Opening of our all-new Senior School on Thursday. Some highlights of the Fashion Show... https://t.co/niERdq1LYE

04/05/19

Excellent performance, Lauren! https://t.co/M7lc5EF2aq

03/05/19

Thank you to all our guests for making last night such a special evening celebrating the https://t.co/p9L9szJdfk

03/05/19

Thank you so much to all our talented students who made last night a night to remember https://t.co/nvZrjLI2qr

02/05/19

A culinary tour of the world tonight at the Mexican, Middle Eastern and Caribbean! https://t.co/kWTFkBPDmM

02/05/19

The closing remarks on a series of wonderful speeches from https://t.co/VR7goyiB7j

02/05/19

Final words from the brilliant https://t.co/F5ubGHGefT

02/05/19

“I hope the spaces we’re opening today give the room for girls to flourish for generations to come” says https://t.co/Np8Tj9xtQy

02/05/19

A ‘Wollstonecraft Speaker Series Special’ with the inspirational https://t.co/vRcLgJbIC7

02/05/19

[De]Construct Fashion Show https://t.co/ewQwuPhT5e

02/05/19

A string quartet providing the perfect start to the evening https://t.co/6HHkgKDAjz

02/05/19

Emmeline Pankhurst greets our guests on arrival https://t.co/p6tHxfmZ47

02/05/19

Florence, our school dog, is pawsitively thrilled Poppy will be joining us this evening with https://t.co/N8gU93HsMn

02/05/19

We're all so excited to welcome our guests for this evening's Grand Opening ceremony with special guest speakers https://t.co/dOLDzLZMJ3

02/05/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

girls from Yr 3 to Yr6 leading IT! It is a yes girls! ❤️it. https://t.co/cENvHZAFdc

01/05/19

The sun has been really shining here in Blackheath, so the Hamster Club decided to take the hamsters out for a little walk! https://t.co/KwQIKgsZZW

01/05/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Great fun in the sun at 5K Park Run club! Come and join us next week! ☀️🏃🏽‍♀️🙌🏼 https://t.co/nHN4yDlOSv

30/04/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

and the winning house at the mini marathon was Meridian 👋👋 https://t.co/mmrcQKSo3o

30/04/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

mini marathon on . Great support from our families as ever - best ever turn-out of dogs!🐶 🏃‍♂️ 🏃‍♀️ https://t.co/4XcX11Hwmo

30/04/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Great afternoon for our U13 A&B cricket teams at their tournament this afternoon. Full of confidence and eager to always progress. A’s won all their matches except one (by only two runs) and B’s got two strong wins under their belts. Great start to the season! 💪 https://t.co/R2f7GuWZzb

29/04/19

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Really great to see alumna in this baby friendly performance of Emilia! Brilliant initiative! BBC News - Baby-friendly theatre performance of Emilia https://t.co/SYVEvWPpRX

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. 

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