Ashton Under Hill First School

Shaping Bright Futures Together

Week Beginning 6th February 2023

On Monday we introduced the theme for this weeks special focus and got stuck in straight away by sharing what we found out from last week's homework, when the children made a connection with a family member or friend to find out more about them and their childhood. We shared lots of facts about a wide range of things from favourite foods, teachers, books and teachers to the names of their best friends, teddies and all about their hobbies and taste in music and film. The children all agreed that they had learnt something new about this familiar person and enjoyed finding out about them.

All week children throughout the school have had a check in partner who they wouldn't normally find each day and chat to. They had a challenge to meet up every day for a quick chat and find the answers to some questions to get to know them a bit better. Most of the Year 5 children had their buddy, but as some shared a lot made a new friend this week. it was lovely to see them enthusiastically run up to each other every day to have a chat.

On Tuesday we had some yoga and mindfulness sessions where we learnt how important our breathing in helping us to control nerves, anger and help us to relax. The children did all sorts of different exercises including Darth Vader breathing, volcano breathing and finger breathing to name but a few - hopefully techniques they can draw on in the future.

Wednesday was the day the whole school went for a walk around the village and had a play in the meadow to have some extra exercise and connect with the beautiful natural environment. We had a fabulous afternoon, one child describing as "this is heaven" and we especially enjoyed eating a rice crispy cake that the Year 5 children had made for everyone that morning. The weather, the chatter between the children as they walked and the free play in meadow were all perfect, in fact it was about as perfect afternoon a teacher could ask for. Great for the children's and our own mental health.

On Thursday we used a story called Enzo's Egg to learn all about how to cope with feeling anxious and worried. The story taught us to be patient with others who feel this way and also how to manage our own feelings too. We had a fabulous insightful discussion in which the children shared their experiences in response to a range of questions. I was very impressed by their openness and maturity to think about real life issues they may face in the future or have experienced in the past.

On Friday afternoon we welcomed those parents who could make it to come and look at what we have been learning this week. It was a really lovely to see so many of you in the classroom and the children thoroughly enjoyed showing off all the work they are proud of.

Across all the extra sessions this week, the children have been given many different  practical solutions, coping strategies and been made aware of ways to improve their wellbeing and give them good mental health. We will continue to build on all of these areas and more over the rest of the school year in our Mindful Monday and PSHE sessions.