Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
In this new academic year, Kestrel House has put a major focus on the mental health of our staff and learners. We have a newly appointed and trained Mental Health First Aid team who focus on the school community and providing that space for everyone to feel confident in discussing their mental health. We therefore wanted Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week to be a big celebration this year. The MHFA Team alongside the SMSC lead created a weeks’ worth of activities, which you can see below!
Monday 6th February 2023
We started the week with our first ever Happy Brain Sing-A-Long with Music Therapist Catherine. The hall was filled with instruments for the learners and the staff had been trained in numerous songs that we sang with our children. These were accompanied with Makaton and lyrics on the screen for the learners.
Tuesday 7th February 2023
Immersive Experiences made their first ever visit to Kestrel House School this day. A huge dome was inflated in the school hall, with classes having dedicated time slots to experience what it had to offer. We had organised for numerous sensory light and sound shows to be played inside the dome, which provided a calming environment for our learners to regulate themselves and relax.
Wednesday 8th February 2023
Wednesday was a day for the class teams to decide exactly what they
wanted to do with their learners. Classes were encouraged to go on
community walks, complete arts and crafts, create kindness post
cards or whatever they felt suited their learners best!
Thursday 9th February 2023
This day saw the return of Performing Pets. We had such a great experience with them in 2022 that we had to bring them back this year. The team bought various farmyard animals to the Kestrel playground for our learners to play with and interact with. The various textures and noises made for an exciting time for the classes and the Performing Pets team were using Makaton with our learners as well as promoting them to use their symbols to request the animals.
Friday 10th February 2023
Friday saw the MHFA Team and SMSC Lead host a Lets Connect Hub. The school hall was filled with sensory lighting and sensory circuits alongside a glitter station, a painting station and a calm time area. Following on from this we guided the learners over the healthy snack station where they could request 3 of the snacks of choice as well as a fruit filled smoothie. Our OT then gathered the learners around a calming Tibetan Bowl with fake candles so the learners could reach a relaxed state before heading out the playground. We will definitely be holding parties like this going forward.