Put a smile on everyone’s face – that was the task that children at Newington Community Primary in Ramsgate undertook for Hello Yellow Day.
All age groups enthusiastically took up the happiness challenge by telling jokes and getting into the spirit of the occasion through a range of activities.
The laughter sessions were part of the school’s celebration of the Hello Yellow Day organised by the Young Minds charity to raise awareness of mental health issues – and the pupils believe that jokes and smiles certainly help when you are feeling low.
James Bennett, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education lead (PSHE), organised the events. He explained: “The focus on mental wellbeing is embedded across Newington within the PSHE curriculum and also through the day to day interactions within classes. Teachers all have their own tools in class including calm corners, calm bottles and positive messages.”
To reinforce the school’s caring ethos, eight staff members from across the school took part in the gold standard ‘Mental Health First Aid’ course, which is a great addition to the provision already offered to ensure each child gets the right support at the right time.
Children and staff were striking to see with yellow outfits replacing the pupils’ normal smart blue uniforms for the day as they set about on their smile-athon learning programme that also included making bright yellow wall banners with smiley faces created from pupil handprints to make the school community feel cheerful.
Assistant Head Teacher Taralee Kennedy added: “Children enjoyed activities to encourage them to focus on what makes them happy and how they can use that to help them if they have a low mood.
“Children’s wellbeing underpins all that we do – and we know that the best way for them to feel good about themselves is to allow them to experience success – in all its varying forms.
“We want children to know that it’s normal to have a bad day and that is okay, but also to understand they need to talk to someone if they feel sad or worried and that feeling continues.
“Strong relationships with children form the basis of classroom practice and the wider school, which is a great starting point for giving girls and boys the opportunity to share their worries with a trusted adult.”
The non-uniform day donations raised £300 that will be split equally between the Young Minds charity and wellbeing resources for the school.