Upton Junior School pupils celebrate a message of kindness

Wellbeing project at Upton Junior School

Kindness in its many and varied forms is being celebrated and highlighted by children at Upton Junior School in Broadstairs.

It is a strong part of the school’s ongoing emotional wellbeing programme – and it has become the special focus for creative work and thoughts following the recent nationwide Mental Health Awareness Week.

As part of their home learning, pupils shared in a virtual assembly streamed to them online during the pandemic lockdown.

It was led by teacher Isobel Reed who said the assembly made a big impact and fired their imaginations.

She added: “During the following weeks since the campaign our children have been sharing virtual messages, artwork and videos that demonstrate what kindness means to them, via our home learning platform.

“At this time, more than ever, mental health plays such a vital role in sustaining the positive wellbeing of our children and it has been wonderful seeing them explore the value of kindness.”

Among the messages shared by pupils are giving others a helping hand, showing respect, do not be selfish, embrace sharing and honesty, be warm to each other and laugh with your friends.

Head of School Darci Arthur said: “The breadth of thought and the creativity our boys and girls are showing is impressive.

“Kindness is more than a concept, it is a way of life. Our children embrace it – it is something that we all must practice and something that we all need to receive. Kindness costs nothing.

“In these difficult times it is important for our boys and girls and their families to focus on the positivity of life and our kindness awareness has been further heightened by our response to mental Health Awareness Week. It is something that will continue as an underlying theme of daily life at Upton and will continue to be featured on our home learning platform.

“One of the simple messages on a piece of artwork I saw really said it all – kindness is caring, kindness is sharing.”

Earlier this year children at Upton began learning techniques to help them experience soothing and calm through guided mindfulness sessions to help manage their emotional literacy skills and feelings as part of the school’s wrap-around care.

Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, explained why kindness was the ongoing theme from Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 in mid-May.

He said: “Our own research shows that protecting our mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic – with the psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus.

“We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.”

For more information go online to www.mentalhealth.org.uk.

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