On Tuesday 30th January we held our second PSHE day of the academic year! PHSE stands for Personal, Social and Health Education and we hold termly PSHE days which forms part of the students’ curriculum.

The focus of this term’s PSHE Day was to help students develop new skills in managing their own mental health. By running a variety of facilitatied workshops the aim was to give them real life strategies for keeping positive and productive, and managing negative emotions.

Our PSHE Day started with a special assembly then five workshops:

  1. The Power of Laughter – This workshop taught us how laughter helps change the atmosphere around us and the techniques for positive thinking. We played a ‘Glad Game’, and former student and deaf stand up comedienne, Kristy Cooper performed for us and had everybody laughing out loud! Kristy is a Deaf Advocate/Deaf Campaigning Officer for Living Options, as well as a very talented comedian who performs stand up comedy in hearing pubs. She is a fantastic role model and we look forward to Kristy visiting us again.

  2. What Makes Me Happy – This hour was spent using the concept of the Green Lalamand Scale that is used for changing behaviours, and we identified what makes us truly relaxed and postive and students shared what made them happy.

In morning breaktime, our Catering Staff had done a brilliant job of decorating our dining hall to carry through the theme for positivity. (Thank you to Tina and the team!). We enjoyed healthy juice and snacks and students were invited to take part in a task to promote positive minds by teaching 5 new signs to staff before the end of breaktime! The marketing team were pleased to learn the signs for social media. We were taught how to sign: “Facebook”, “Instagram”, “Share”, “Hashtag” and “Google”. (Thank you to the students for spending their breaktime teaching us new BSL skills!)

  1. Nick Mussel from Tanglewood then led a sensory workshop called ‘Finding That Safe and Happy Place’. Nick had created a positive space in the school hall with bunting and the room smelled of lavender. Time was spent finding a physical or mental space of safety using meditation. Everybody closed their eyes holding on to a piece of string which connected us and a little tug on the string told us when to open our eyes again. One member of staff said ‘The sense of smell when we walked into the hall opened everybody up to feel joy and happiness’.

  2. Beautiful Things – this workshop explored how it feels to create something beautiful and appreciate beauty. Students and staff made individual pieces of art that will be blended together into one collaberative artwork and put on display. Staff noticed the there was a great calming atmosphere and a student said “I was so focused, my problems disappeared”. Students were taught how art can be used to change how we feel, manage our emotions, and for relaxation and reflection.

Over lunch, everyone sat and ate together. We had fish for lunch (a good ‘brain food’). There were team games were played and a “No thing too small” area was set up in a quiet space in the library where students could go and either talk 1:1 or video any problems or concerns.

  1. The last workshop of the day focussed on ‘Active Body, Active Mind’ – we learnt about how exercise improves our mental wellbeing and how we feel after a burst of energy and all the positive beneifits of sport

At the end of our PSHE Day, the feedback from students and staff alike was fantastic, with everybody feeling as though they had learned something new! Everyone was so relaxed, some of us even fell asleep!