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22/01/19

Thank you to our talented music scholars for the blissful Mindful Music concert! We were delighted to have so many people - of all ages - from the Blackheath Community join us to celebrate https://t.co/jFSrVLPsPe

22/01/19

Shake off those winter blues at our lunchtime Mindful Music concert TODAY at 1pm in All Saints Church, Blackheath. Admission is free, babies and toddlers welcome https://t.co/ysZtHI8Z5v

21/01/19

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Thoughtful wellbeing advice on diet, balance, exercise and screentime from , Ellie from and Mrs Beecham at tonight’s wellbeing symposium - thanks for all the great questions parents and thank you wonderful panellists ! https://t.co/QTDQZwvwL6

21/01/19

This lunchtime came to school on the and shone a light on the benefits of reading for enjoyment at the start of . Thank you for the inspiring talk and for being such fierce champions of women's fiction. https://t.co/KkA6PGoIfH

21/01/19

Did you see this brilliant article about 's pioneering book "Inferior" in Sunday's ? We can't wait to welcome her this February as a guest lecturer in our Wollstonecraft Speaker Series https://t.co/uNHdkwPIoc

21/01/19

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Great assembly to start week from - the Power of saying no and why we CAN’T have it all! https://t.co/e8aSdjYHoa

21/01/19

Our is off to a running, rowing and jumping start! https://t.co/adOnAtoYq7

18/01/19

Not long now until Blackheath High School's Mindful Music concert at All Saints Church in Blackheath. Join us there on Tuesday 22 Jan at 1pm. Babies and toddlers are most welcome! https://t.co/pJ4hnOXkvm

18/01/19

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Year 1 time for a quick disco.... https://t.co/zQBFJ4dewG

18/01/19

Very impressive! https://t.co/5UKk5ZTWHC

17/01/19

Next week is our annual Wellbeing Week! Highlights include an evening symposium for parents focusing on mental health and a Mindful Music concert for all in . Read more about our integrated approach to wellbeing here: https://t.co/RuUCmsvIlU

17/01/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

What a champ Jasmine, showing us all how it should be done! https://t.co/xZbDnD5fUG

16/01/19

Retweeted From Year 7 @ Blackheath

on our annual Welly Walk through historic Park https://t.co/yNjMUzn82H

15/01/19

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Great first hockey match of the term for the U12s against Colfes. POMs Valerie and Renee. Well done! So much progress being made the more they play 👏🏻 https://t.co/QE73aBF3uq

15/01/19

Congratulations to our brilliant violinist, Anna, on securing a place in the National Children’s Orchestra https://t.co/ySYX5k3HD9

14/01/19

We are starting the first full school week of 2019 by celebrating our 139th birthday. In assembly Mrs Chandler-Thompson observed our rebellious and pioneering roots, reminding the girls to “keep changing the world, one small rebellion at a time”. Oh, and there’s cake, too! https://t.co/WgE4CfbQGm

11/01/19

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

See what our schools and its girls have been doing to enter 2019 in style... https://t.co/L4bvVwOe0X https://t.co/PhkqcX4QSb

10/01/19

Retweeted From Blackheath High School Association

Only 9 tables left for the Quiz Night on Friday 1st Feb in junior school gym, so go to https://t.co/v1vgr90Niu & bag one now! Just £48 for a team of 8 (max), you can bring food for 7, quiz starts at 8. Bar will be selling beer, wine, prosecco & soft drinks 👍

10/01/19

Relax, unwind and take part in Blackheath High School's by joining us for our complimentary Mindful Music concert at All Saints Church, Blackheath on Tuesday 22 Jan at 1pm. Babies and toddlers are most welcome! https://t.co/QykWpIH6Ie

02/01/19

Our Head of Science talks to us about Chemistry and what the benefits of studying the subject are: https://t.co/CThJvq3tDg https://t.co/orfmzBG5S1

30/12/18

Our Deputy (Academic) Head Mr Henderson talks about endurance in education and setting your own pace: https://t.co/f9uUvZFNTC https://t.co/Y82INsJvMV

28/12/18

Earlier this month, Blackheath High School participated in the Global Hour of Code, which included fun and engaging activities like Minecraft, Star Wars and Wonder Woman. https://t.co/j3DeCAJkc0 https://t.co/bPyHB0cmMt

25/12/18

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! https://t.co/ye2MDYARyW

21/12/18

We're put together a collection of our best photographs from our Christmas Carol concert on 11 December 2018 https://t.co/3h7kwEjUFp https://t.co/1zFrkvD8vw

20/12/18

Retweeted From Christine Pheiffer

Looking forward to the New Year with & her work on Wollstonecraft https://t.co/jiCjjuCejE

19/12/18

Thank you all for an amazing term, and happy holidays! https://t.co/9pG1282OsG

19/12/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Merry Christmas from 🎄 https://t.co/25MIJJZynC

19/12/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Thank you for the lovely gifts, cards and kind words from our wonderful community. A very merry Christmas to you all. Woof woof! https://t.co/fPBwzyaWih

19/12/18

Santa Claus is coming to town at Blackheath High School! https://t.co/MmYX1gy7HA

19/12/18

Retweeted From Year 7 @ Blackheath

lead Christmas Carols in our gorgeous new reception https://t.co/hAtqIxkxRg

19/12/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Panto time https://t.co/RvDXS7e82Y

18/12/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Christmas lunch! 🎄 https://t.co/J6Ew6KepKW

18/12/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

We do love a even Flo 🎅🎄🐶 https://t.co/Spznc3acUU

17/12/18

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

A fun Christmassy morning of netball for our 6th form. An extra spring in their step after being inspired by 's success at ! https://t.co/a955COULUW

17/12/18

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Stunning performance of Sleeping Beauty from , great to see girls on stage too! 👏🏽 https://t.co/EfUQ8ohf7r

16/12/18

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the first time women voted in the UK, our Head teacher, Mrs Carol Chandler-Thompson, says we must encourage young women to become active participants in politics… read full article here Magazine https://t.co/keOY5k9shP

14/12/18

Good luck to all of our students performing in the production of Sleeping Beauty tomorrow!

13/12/18

"How did we do it? I'll tell you now, we didn't give up, we didn't know how". Everyone must read this incredible and empowering poem from one of our Year 3 pupils. https://t.co/3yCnJw94vO

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.