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25/05/18

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

What's the future of school sports? , Head talks to about alternative spo… https://t.co/MM9MEshuhL

25/05/18

Retweeted From BHS Junior English

Excellent creativity by Year 5 for the innovation challenge. Good luck girls! https://t.co/PzM5fj1baX

25/05/18

Retweeted From BHS Junior English

Excellent creativity by Year 5 for the innovation challenge. Good luck girls! https://t.co/XMAQjA8osK

25/05/18

Retweeted From Year 6 BHS

The international prefects selling mittens for the Malawi schools project https://t.co/ns4YBJUPJq

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Hey ! We’ve made a start Juniors. First pic of for your… https://t.co/59vZCsa76g

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Reception gave us a joyful assembly today . Only 4 and 5 years old but so https://t.co/kQhoMubOxX

25/05/18

Retweeted From Natalie Argile

Glad to see the message has got through https://t.co/E74gHnl9f8

25/05/18

An inspiration talk and a special thank you from Dame following the efforts of our amazing J… https://t.co/mCItTuq3WR

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

KS2 choir practising at 8am mesmerising our younger girls- zoom in on those faces! https://t.co/XS4on7QGps

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

And two of our gymnasts.... https://t.co/IFuwHH9ZmL

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Some of our fab 💃 https://t.co/j82uw1J9If

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

And the winners are..... https://t.co/iBFEwK50GP

25/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

https://t.co/KNBYiKXyPZ

24/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Who needs strictly come dancing when you have the BHS gym and dance festival? https://t.co/cMl8TvgRU7

24/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

gym and dance festival- brilliant to have our “old” Junior girls back! https://t.co/2efFV1afLn

24/05/18

Retweeted From IE Today

TOP BLOG: Carol Chandler-Thompson discusses introducing new sports https://t.co/Ef3WqedOWs https://t.co/OrsdgmOTkw

24/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

A fascinating assembly from Dame Esther Rantzen this morning thanking us for the money raised for the NSPCC.… https://t.co/cGwSMokpFf

24/05/18

Retweeted From BHHS Sport

Great day at the DIrectors of Sport conference today. Thank you to for your hospitality and… https://t.co/jz93Tx5BPj

24/05/18

Introducing our Year 2 ! Our girls loved sharing ideas and learning what it was like to be a Victor… https://t.co/06ryYrIgrG

23/05/18

Retweeted From Oxford High Sport

Fantastic GDST Sport conference today... lots of fresh ideas coming to OHS. Thanks to for hosting

23/05/18

Retweeted From Norwich High Sport

Thank you for an informative and enjoyable day at the GDST PE conference today 🏏🎾🏐🏑 https://t.co/GzLzEZHX9o

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

So enjoyed the first Junior Science Conference . Look out for Matilda taking about… https://t.co/pOSMlBBt7x

23/05/18

Retweeted From Squadkit

Today at Sports Conference - Lucy talks about the importance of helping girls stay active & Squadkit's missio… https://t.co/cS9CV1BJoo

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Can you spot dog Florence sunbathing in beautiful ? (Authorised absence- been to th… https://t.co/81MvmTuDGI

23/05/18

Former England captain and PE teacher Amanda Newton puts our staff through their paces a… https://t.co/8uJKDRSYQ3

23/05/18

Top tips for our staff at this afternoon's cricket session with . Looking forward to shari… https://t.co/YBtPp42K9b

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

How many PE teachers can you fit in a hall for lunch? Lots! https://t.co/5dVZN1lKAj

23/05/18

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Top coaching sessions with Amanda Newton 🏐and from at the https://t.co/9HxlMiqTpv

23/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

A very informative assembly on Malawi this morning. Our enterprising charity prefects are selling mittens this Frid… https://t.co/6uQtWcqwqZ

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Proud to be hosting the conference https://t.co/bsAbPw1vk1

23/05/18

Retweeted From Newcastle High Sport

An exciting morning at the Sports Conference and is leading an… https://t.co/pTSIqG7hsJ

23/05/18

Getting stuck into learning fun, new ideas for teaching EYFS & KS1 dance! https://t.co/RIOg6iQi5A

23/05/18

A warm welcome to the family from our Head . https://t.co/E0OwbX8jdQ

23/05/18

The stage is set for today's Sports conference... let's put the spotlight on PE & how we can share our love o… https://t.co/6QVK157SLJ

23/05/18

to us . Looking forward to sharing ideas & expertise with GDST Directors of Sport at today’s… https://t.co/xMZWVqrF18

23/05/18

Retweeted From Year 7 @ Blackheath

A wonderful sunny start to my Primary School visits. I have received warm welcomes and met some outstanding new stu… https://t.co/7hdsYyokWU

23/05/18

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

The Positive Schools Programme at schools aims to promote a positive mental health culture among staff & stud… https://t.co/eNOk5jiJ3f

23/05/18

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Starting our week right, Monday morning rowing! https://t.co/RoxtAwJAcR

23/05/18

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Directors of Sport, we are ready to welcome you https://t.co/5ROyObKQI0

23/05/18

Temperatures may have soared but our resilient girls were fully prepared as they explored High Elms Environmental C… https://t.co/2znsCKAak3

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. 

All 26 schools belonging to the GDST have signed up to the programme including Putney High School

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