MENTAL HEALTH WEEK
We kicked started Mental Health week at Kyson with a whole school assembly, the slides can be found here.
As this week is National Children’s Mental Health Week, we have put together a number of videos to share with our Kyson family. Our Mental Health Ambassadors have worked hard to film mindfulness breathing and grounding activities to share; information we have found useful regulating our emotions and an insight into what maintaining positive mental health looks like at Kyson. We talked about how just as it is important to look after our physical health, our mental health - our emotions and thoughts - need caring for too.
First up, we have Eden demonstrating a relaxing mindfulness technique called ‘5 Finger Breathing’.
In this video, Mental Health Ambassador, Lily brilliantly explains what the Zones of Regulation are. Simply put, our emotions can be sorted into four categories, or ‘zones’, making it easier to identify how we are feeling, how others may be feeling and also, if need be, what we can do to move from one zone to another. If we are feeling panicked and in our ‘yellow zone’, it is very useful to know what activities or exercises we can do to help us feel calmer or in our ‘green zone’.
These techniques don't have to be complicated, they can be as simple as counting to ten, seeking out a hug, sharing a worry or even one of the new ones they may learn this week. Studies show that explaining emotions to children, in terms they can understand, empowers them and gives them the confidence to help others too!
Today, Mental Health Ambassadors, Freddie and Ted are here to show us a Kyson-favourite, Brain Buddy technique called ‘Hot Chocolate Breathing’!
Sensory Circuits are used in school to help us be ready for lessons. They include three different types of movement activities: alerting, organising and calming. Here are some photos of one of our circuits and some quotes from some of our pupils. Why don’t you try making your own at home?
Margot had great fun filming this mindful breathing strategy called ‘Lazy 8 Breathing’. It is the perfect exercise for calming worrying minds.
The staff at Kyson have been learning about PACE - helping children who have big feelings through the use of … Playfulness, Empathy, Curiosity and Empathy. They have found it really useful! In this video Lily and George demonstrate what a conversation using this strategy could look like.
Click here to find out even more about this approach.
Jess reads an example of a ‘Body Scan’ in our next video, while Norah and Phoebe demonstrate how they focus on each different part of their bodies as their attention is drawn to it. This technique is a good way of becoming more aware of the sensations of the body and how these may or may not be linked to the emotions currently being felt. It is also a great way to unwind before bed time!
Here is a link to another great example of a body scan video.
Sensory baskets can be found in each Kyson classroom, they provide resources to help children regulate themselves, allowing them return to lessons in a calm manner.
For our final mindful exercise, we have a great video of the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise being beautifully explained by Mental Health Ambassadors, Kit, Eden and Margot. A ‘grounding exercise’ draws your attention to the here and now, making it a great way to combat panic and anxiety.
Finally, I-statements are great ways of communicating feelings, without being confrontational and causing upset. They are also simple enough that they avoid any misunderstandings that can occur. We hope you have enjoyed learning more about what positive mental health looks like at Kyson.