The girls have again kept themselves busy and productive during the last lockdown weekend of this half term. There has been lots of cooking, baking, games, Just Dance, walks, and of course laughter. I was thrilled to hear Evie say that she hadn’t laughed so much in a long time…
This week has been “Children’s Mental Health Week” and there have been many activities and sessions during the remote learning school day – some of which you will have already heard about – and here in the boarding house we also focused on mental health and wellbeing; laughter being just one of those that triggers healthy physical and emotional responses.
On Wednesday night, we were invited to a boarders’ chapel service with the Rev. He talked about hope and new beginnings especially relevant with Chinese New Year and Spring on the way, here in Cornwall at least.
On Thursday it was ‘Time to Talk day’ and this year the focus was on small conversations about mental health which have the power to make a big difference. I asked the girls to ask a friend how they were and if they said, “I’m fine”, to ask them again. We often say “I’m fine” when really, we aren’t. Looking out for each other’s mental health and wellbeing is an important part of a community such as ours.
Friday arrived and after screen-free Friday afternoon remote learning the girls headed out for a walk to get some fresh air and to enjoy the afternoon sun.
After supper and prep the girls and I piled into the office with our iPad/phones/MacBook to take part in this weeks’ “Lockdown House Competition”. Activities this week were a “Guess the Teacher” from their baby photo quiz, tell your best joke and do a chore. Photo evidence required. The girls and I had great fun guessing the teachers and I have to say some of them were really hard, however we are certain that we spotted our very own Mrs Mulready! The jokes were flying around the room, but each girl managed to submit their favourite. The chore challenge was a little more difficult for us. Our girls already do a fantastic job doing
their own laundry, washing up and plumping cushions, however we took a few photos and will hopefully earn some points for our houses.
As if that wasn’t enough fun for one evening, we broke out the board games. Hattie, Jess and I grabbed out the Scrabble (and yes, Hattie and Jess beat me again) then Evie, Leora, Angie and I played Qwirkle and Who Dunnit? – one of the new games Mr Johnson bought us last weekend. And that, as they say, was Friday night.
Saturday morning arrived with a bit of a lie in, our usual brunch and a quick trip to Tesco for me. Not because I had forgotten milk and bread, but because Mr Copeland (our Head of Boarding) had set a challenge to the boarders, and the whole school community, to come together wherever they were on Saturday night and
share a curry. The girls were very enthused and sent me with the list to buy the ingredients for a chickpea curry, aubergine and lentil dahl, onion bhajis and naan bread. Everything we made from scratch, all vegan and all tasted absolutely gorgeous. We had such fun making everything and as you can see from the photos,
Evie was our chief onion bhaji maker; bless her she was covered in orange onion goo for at least 45 minutes.
Sunday has been a more sedate day with a calmer air around the house. The girls have again been out, made cakes, snacks, worked on the extremely difficult jigsaw from Nurse Trevail and completed the usual routine of prep, laundry, bed changing and preparing for the week ahead.
Our final wellbeing activity was completed this evening and was a 10 minute “stress and scan” video session which one of our new teachers, Miss Hill, had shared with me. She talked about our physiological stress responses, our fight/flight/freeze response and we took part in a very short mindfulness session which we
all found very relaxing. So much so, that no one wanted to move afterwards!
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well, and on behalf of Mrs Mulready and myself we wish the girls a very happy and relaxing half term break.
Mrs Joanna Wood – Resident Tutor – Malvern