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04/08/20

Well done to Ezie in Year 13 for the incredible accolade of being named among the 10 best Spanish students in the UK by the Spanish Embassy . https://t.co/F7mjgVRJn8 https://t.co/Q6DWKwhoTK

03/08/20

So wonderful to see kites being flown on the heath. Yet another reminder of our charmed location 🪁 Thanks for sharing https://t.co/K7IqsfXf58

30/07/20

'Avant la pluie, je n'avais pas besoin de porter un manteau' - read more Year 9 French poetry along the theme of 'then and now' here: https://t.co/pA7zkuqiUW https://t.co/6ZJLYo7hcN

28/07/20

For everyone missing music lessons and performances at school over the summer break, remember to check out Blackheath 's fantastic online Summer Courses. There's something for everyone - adults included: https://t.co/t3P1z31XqN

27/07/20

Over the summer we are reflecting on the past 6 months, and how much we've learned as a community and team at Blackheath High School. Who knew we would become overnight experts in virtual events? Read the write-up of our successful forum here: https://t.co/KbrqM0vj5N https://t.co/JFvOWgzVH5

25/07/20

Learn more about 3+, 11+ and 16+ admissions to Blackheath High School at our pioneering Virtual Open Day on Saturday 26 September. Register here: https://t.co/PztNcGmzCP https://t.co/pGBbeb1wK7

22/07/20

Combining our love of learning languages with our passion for food? Where do we sign up?! Learn more about how our students are getting involved with the Linguachef prize here: https://t.co/DgwH6jHNIo https://t.co/aMcChQmp1l

20/07/20

We are so proud of Beatrix who won in the Years 7, 8 and 9 category with her poem 'PHOENIX' in the Laurie Magnus poetry prize. Read it here: https://t.co/kVrw45AtTQ https://t.co/YZpgQ0PSj1

16/07/20

From the inspirational teaching team led by to the sun beaming through our iconic rainbow roof, it's easy see why our Junior School has been shortlisted for Best Prep School of the Year. Learn more at our Virtual Open Morning: https://t.co/PztNcGmzCP https://t.co/JTXnWxW6oC

14/07/20

A round of applause please for our Duke of Edinburgh students who have completed a total of 481 hours of voluntary service to our community 👏👏👏 https://t.co/G1nZpSExJ8 https://t.co/1znJKSoKPw

10/07/20

Our teachers are a talented bunch, but who knew that Mr Barnett is a former figure skater with experience in global championships? Read more here: https://t.co/Glij6v7c4t https://t.co/qrj466iE4y

07/07/20

This is lovely, thank you so much for pausing and doing something positive & thoughtful for our shared ecosystem https://t.co/sCC5rjVKI2

07/07/20

If only everyone's Tuesday could be a Disco Day. Reception have the right idea 👩‍🎤🧑‍🎤🎙️ https://t.co/sYhbrDyj5O

06/07/20

Thank you for sharing, and 😊 https://t.co/yEEb4NwMDo

06/07/20

During 2020 our entire school community has risen to new challenges & our resilient spirit has prevailed. We have also been shortlisted for both Best Girls’ School & Prep School of the Year. Register for our 26 September Virtual Open Day to find out why: https://t.co/PztNcGmzCP https://t.co/bo6bFaSjxC

03/07/20

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

A quick fire workout to get you through to the weekend https://t.co/N1QKffW4cS

02/07/20

We hope our Year 7 of 2020 are as excited to start as we are to welcome them ☺️ https://t.co/aibwb3ZWta

02/07/20

Welcome back Year 3! https://t.co/FAC2PPfWCX

02/07/20

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Blast your way through the rest of the week with this quick workout Get your heart bumping and body moving https://t.co/vf5Ctc5A8v

02/07/20

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

So nice to drop in on our and Year 5s enjoying our Senior School . Looking very mature and studious! https://t.co/M3eTlX1456

01/07/20

Quite the achievement - well done girls, and thank you for keeping us moving throughout the summer term! A real bunch of superstars 💫💫💫 https://t.co/fCYvANewMm

01/07/20

A short and snappy workout for Wednesday morning from https://t.co/7eZ5XfylZa

30/06/20

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Hydration, hydration, hydration! Something we should spend more time ensuring Try this challenge to see if you are usually hydrated! https://t.co/eUIPaYFyDs

29/06/20

🎼The countdown to the premiere of our Summer Concert has begun! Still time to check you have popcorn in stock before the music starts at 6pm tomorrow: https://t.co/rE03SFl1JJ

29/06/20

A lot to look forward to in Sixth Form. https://t.co/wlPyR25s4D

29/06/20

Creating new and healthy habits can be a real challenge - do you drink enough water? 🌊 https://t.co/6KFI3nlwL0

26/06/20

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Try this 10 minute challenge to kick start your weekend Get it done! https://t.co/D9uPqp7LKb

25/06/20

Our Taster Morning experience this Saturday is so close we are ‘virtually’ there! There’s still time to register for those interested in joining Year 7 in 2021: https://t.co/7Bm6jBxFNA https://t.co/634W4gu0ZJ

24/06/20

For anyone still needing to wake up today, this challenge is for you! https://t.co/yIVVTZQg0f

24/06/20

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Very good of to arrange such beautiful weather for me to greet our smiling girls at juniors this morning - I’m sure gate duty is like this all year round 🤣☔️ https://t.co/w8DqKV1U64

24/06/20

A wonderful example of Guided Home Learning - top work Misha. https://t.co/BWkRTqUy2R

23/06/20

We’re trying something a little bit different, join us this Saturday to see Blackheath High School through the eyes of a Senior School student. Year 5 girls and their parents can register here: https://t.co/7Bm6jBxFNA https://t.co/f8ovlUjnAq

23/06/20

A huge well-done to everyone involved in the Virtual Senior School Sports Day. It's incredible seeing the Blackheath community keeping fit and supporting each other during lockdown. https://t.co/os9Y7YiiTq

22/06/20

Push, push Tilly 💪 - a great sports day effort! https://t.co/YdwGZJNMRN

22/06/20

Great work girls! https://t.co/ulXQEMs4DI

22/06/20

Good work on the 15km, Kate, and good luck on the dismount 🚴🏅 https://t.co/l6BZ3RO9fQ

22/06/20

Bonus points for puppy compliance 👍👍 https://t.co/1k6mR7Vd1e

22/06/20

Brilliant. Good to see a family effort bright and early on this beautiful Monday ☀️ https://t.co/cRrKUD3Nna

22/06/20

Let's get a tally going! Join in with Sports Day and let's see how many kilometres can we collectively walk, run or cycle today. https://t.co/VE5kYBmlt8

20/06/20

Discover more about Blackheath High Senior School. Register today for our Virtual Taster Morning for Year 5 girls and their parents: https://t.co/7Bm6jBxFNA https://t.co/Cb70Zem8j8

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 Sports 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. Headspace have had over 16 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.