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26/03/19

Yesterday, The French Department took two students (Valerie and Zoë) to the regional final of the MFL Spelling Bee. They did fantastically well and performed brilliantly under pressure. Congratulations girls! https://t.co/3VzOkQvqYN

25/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Junior School Council made the Florence lunchtime walking rota happen. Top work Ceri- risk assessment and rota in place! And a squirrel did appear... 🐿 https://t.co/1VAdFFzc6R

25/03/19

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

Watch girls from around the UK & Wales performing at for our Young Choir of the Year 2019. https://t.co/Bpes5UNras

25/03/19

Retweeted From Judy Mitchem

Watch out for Blackheath High ⁦⁩ ⁦ https://t.co/llnbcEejLv

22/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Could not be more proud of these girls 👏👏👏 https://t.co/1VQwOs4bKA

20/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Only https://t.co/E7py150P2l

20/03/19

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Loved watching year 10 at work in our beautiful art studios yesterday https://t.co/eAFGC2PyYZ

19/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

girls here https://t.co/p7BwGxeI1R

18/03/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

The U14 netballers performed brilliantly to come 2nd in the Greenwich Schools tournament this afternoon. Misa was awarded Player if the Tournament out of the players there which is a fantastic accomplishment 👏🏻🙌🏻👍🏻💪🏻 https://t.co/Bkz4zLhGyv

18/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

popped in for lunch with Reception today. Guesses on our Head’s age ranged from 17 to 88. And they all liked her necklace 🤣🤣 https://t.co/JDMzIQFDp2

18/03/19

Retweeted From BHS Junior English

enjoying the conference https://t.co/40AG3xdfCW

18/03/19

Enjoy the conference girls - such a wonderful opportunity. https://t.co/5TDA9ooxXC

15/03/19

To mark the end of a successful , Freya in yr 13 writes brilliantly about how Science and Art complement each other, and how they can be empowering. https://t.co/OumUzj5uws https://t.co/lr1V6diAV9

15/03/19

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Happy Red Nose Day from https://t.co/0dl6ar7k1p

14/03/19

Retweeted From Blackheath Science

Lots of exciting and explosive science action here for Blackheath High School's STEAM Week 2019 and British Science Week - here's some elephant's toothpaste. The ceiling is safe (this time!) https://t.co/9rtzn2b23F

14/03/19

Retweeted From Blackheath Science

Great teamwork as our Year 11 forensic scientists investigate the clues. Who stole the mock exam papers and exactly what happened here? https://t.co/fAxoSbiKrI

13/03/19

To show that our girls are still in awe of their new school, a bunch of our Yr 9s used their creativity to take these incredible photographs. https://t.co/WgsqNXjM1w https://t.co/EL4t3lD3VF

12/03/19

Tasty Science! Our British Science Week Science Club kicked off by making vanilla and strawberry ice cream. https://t.co/tOMI385vRr

12/03/19

Retweeted From Steven Henderson

A fabulous second half featured Phantom of the Opera read in original French & sung to Lloyd-Webber's music, talks & performances from Wuthering Heights, galvinism, Frankenstein & Dracula and a wonderful animated film. https://t.co/RwL8cwVoJR

12/03/19

"Two things are for certain: education does not exist in a vacuum and social media is here to stay." https://t.co/O9NGQT9Fq5 Mrs Carol Chandler-Thompson, head at , writing for the .

12/03/19

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

"Two things are for certain: education does not exist in a vacuum and social media is here to stay." https://t.co/LxqExNtkAa Mrs Carol Chandler-Thompson, head at , writing for the .

12/03/19

Retweeted From DominiqueUnsworthBEM

Am excited to be on the panel for tomorrow - and I just spotted this ad for my old school... I was REALLY lucky to attend an school and this advert tells you a lot about why I grew into the woman I am. https://t.co/ruwv3pJWOX

12/03/19

❤️ Thank you for sharing

12/03/19

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Curiosities and mysteries abound so far at Gothic Evening tonight https://t.co/26zZwabZSQ

11/03/19

This week is and to celebrate technology our Head, talks to about her vision to teach online safety, prepare students for the future & harness social media as a tool to make the world a better place https://t.co/arVRNKFqmO

08/03/19

Retweeted From The Feminist Library

We were very excited to be invited to do a talk today to girls & to receive a very warm welcome & to find that there was loads more going on 4 as well as on more generally 😍😍 https://t.co/60rP97RM0a

08/03/19

To celebrate , we held a selection of events throughout the week that included a screening of 'He named me Malala', a talk about The Feminist Library and a lecture by Magda Oldziejewska. https://t.co/4GyjXG4WPW

08/03/19

Looking forward to hosting and for a talk and guest exhibition on the life and work of Mary https://t.co/TGVitGtpzc

08/03/19

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

Where girls learn without limits. Lois, received an Olivier Award for a West End production of School of Rock, student of https://t.co/g1H7hJnRt0 https://t.co/VUlzFeDJUz

07/03/19

Today we welcomed a plethora of special guests from Millicent Fawcett & Emmeline Pankhurst, to Margaret Atwood's Offred. Even Cruella de Vil and her 101 Dalmatians couldn't keep away Happy everyone! https://t.co/sJYZkMuUTJ

07/03/19

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Great standard of play at the rally today - doing an awesome job on the table! https://t.co/kWHvwMni37

07/03/19

Looking and full of Blackheath High Magic 🧙‍♀️ https://t.co/OHvUX5WwS1

07/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

https://t.co/hAZIVyJcXB

07/03/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Great to see one of our students in the today https://t.co/TIq0nBWom3

06/03/19

Retweeted From Steven Henderson

It's a great here tonight. What variety! What quality! https://t.co/0cBXUwgFlf

06/03/19

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Y6 finished their biology topic ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ today by constructing the helical structure of DNA using edible substances. I wish my Science lessons had been like this! https://t.co/bZcVJAmZAJ

06/03/19

Thank you both so much for your time!

06/03/19

We are feeling positively inspired after our Women in Leadership conference yesterday, thank you to , , , (to name a few) for spending the day sharing your experience with us https://t.co/Z3mfJJLTpG

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.