As reported widely on the news around the country ‘joy and relief’ was seen at drop off on the first day by parents with a little trepidation by some of the children and a larger dose of excitement by most. The children now appear to be settling remarkably quickly and while it is natural to have feelings of helplessness and uncertainty at times it is important for children to feel that what they say and do matters and that their actions can make a difference. Self-efficacy is the belief that we can make a difference and have strengths we can draw on in times of challenge. It’s also a core belief underpinning motivation, and emotional wellbeing. Research also indicates that hope significantly and positively correlates with psychological well-being and coping in the face of adversity. Higher hope is related to better overall adjustment, while hope has also been described as “a personal rainbow of the mind”, with the rainbow being used as a symbol of hope by many during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last couple of weeks tutors have helped the children’s resilience and recovery with planning suitable activities and with the exception of the questionnaires that asked direct questions about feelings, these themes have often been discretely wrapped up in another topic. In Form 3, for example, the children have designed kites, choosing colour and pictures that make them feel happy. On the tail they have also written three things that they do that make them feel happy.
Form 4 have read a book ‘Felix after the rain’, where Felix carries around a suitcase full of his worries. In maths they then made a net suitcase and filled it with their own worries. Then, just like Felix, they opened their suitcase and discussed their worries and let them fly away.
In Form 5 and above activities have included making ‘I can’ chains, written stories on ‘Hope’ and also a letter to their future self.
It is wonderful to have all the children back in school together and seeing and hearing them enjoying themselves.
Ian Stazicker – Deputy Head (Pastoral)