Our virtual school is now well underway, demonstrating our Gateway commitment to ensuring learning and opportunity for our students. A large part of our focus has been on providing the best education that we can alongside our desire to support the wellbeing of all our pupils.
I read an article in the paper at the weekend titled ‘32 things to do during lockdown’. I mentally ticked off the list all the things we had managed to do as a family during our periods of lockdown at home. One of our favourites was a ‘Bob Ross painting evening’, additionally, we have been doing a 30 day yoga challenge and planting a bulb was another one we had achieved, when my sister sent me a bag of tulip bulbs for my birthday. My club for next week will involve planting a bulb with the Reception children which is a feelgood activity with lots of scope for learning. Although our clubs’ provision is now remote and involves additional screen time, we are balancing this with planning practical and physical activities to support the children’s wellbeing where possible.
In order to balance the necessary screen time required for learning and to support good mental health, we need to encourage children to choose non-screen hobbies after school, such as; reading, playing family games and getting outdoors whenever possible. We know that access to nature is crucial to our mental health and wellbeing.
"Maintaining a predictable and consistent daily routine for children offers a sense of safety during these uncertain times. The use of online learning and social connection is important. However, making time to spend with your children away from screens is crucial for their emotional well being. Take a break together and have some fun, play a game or go for a walk. Create daily opportunities for your children to feel connected with you and as a family. These moments will enable children to have the uninterrupted space to share their thoughts and feelings." Julie Evans, Counsellor.
Should you feel that your child is struggling during lockdown and needs individual support, we have our school counsellor, Julie Evans, available to provide professional support online. Please find further details here.
In school we often use our mindfulness app ‘Headspace’ to create a calm start to lessons, and have continued to use it during our online learning. Headspace is offering a free trial for parents who would like to try this app out at home. Additionally, Mrs Grosse continues to teach Mindfulness and is providing a daily drop in meet at 3.30pm for all Year 5 and 6 pupils. This provides them with an opportunity to talk and to be part of a supported mindfulness session.
One final suggestion is, you might like to take part in this week’s Bellevue Family Challenge and replicate a famous painting - this is a sure fire way to have fun as a family. Should you do this, please don’t forget to share the results with us on Instagram or twitter, don’t forget to tag us @gatewayschoolgreatmissenden or @Gateway_School and use the hashtag #BVFamilyChallenge