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 Health & Wellbeing

At St. Helen’s we recognise the importance of healthy lifestyles, and use a variety of strategies to promote this to our school community. This includes ensuring that only healthy foods are served and brought into school to support a balanced and nutritious diet, regular access to the outdoor environment and fresh air both break-times and during the curriculum, high-quality P.E. lessons, a varied offer of extra-curricular sports clubs and free access to fresh water during learning time. We further embed this into our school culture through the ‘Peer Leader’ scheme, which provides leadership opportunities to some of our Year 6 pupils to become Peer Educators in this field.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

We pride ourselves on being a Christian, nurturing school and are looking at ways to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

Our current focus is developing positive Mental Health in all our pupils.

Positive mental health is the foundation on which we, as individuals, can live healthier lives. With positive mental health we are more likely to be motivated and engaged in our learning, realise and achieve our potential, choose healthier lifestyles, and engage in all the world has to offer.

Family Mental Health Tip 1

Let’s Read More Together!

If you love reading, you won’t need us to tell you how beneficial curling up with a book can be, but studies have shown that picking up a novel has health effects that extend beyond the immediate de-stressing and pleasure it brings.

Reading to children has long been known to be beneficial, ramping up language skills and generally boosting brain development. 

If you’re stressed, reading is one of the most effective, enjoyable ways of making yourself feel better. Part of this is common sense; getting lost in a book will take you away from your worries for a while, giving you new perspective when you return. However, research has found that reading lowers stress faster than other activities such as walking or listening to music. Research from the University of Sussex found that subjects only needed to read for six minutes to slow down their heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.

If a child reads for 20 minutes every day, they are exposed to about 1.8 million words of text every year. That is 137 new words per minute!

If families read together for 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, they get more than 121 hours of bonding time every year!

 

Family Mental Health Tip 2

Develop Good Sleep Routines

Several studies have shown that healthy sleep habits are linked to better cognition, alertness, and emotional well-being. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good sleep hygiene.

Children who get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to behavioural problems and moodiness. Between the ages of five and 11, your child will need 10-12 hours of sleep a night.

Research has found 89% of kids play with a tablet or screen near bedtime, despite research finding the blue light emitted from TV screens and electronic devices can disrupt their sleep. Try to restrict the use of electronics just before bedtimes to aid a restful sleep.