If you were to ask any parent what they want first and foremost for their child as they grow up, I believe the huge majority would say “to be happy”. Academic success would feature highly for some, financial security would be there too, I’m sure; and, for others, social characteristics would be listed more highly: being responsible, respectful, well rounded and having a strong moral compass or belief system. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no-one is watching. (One of my favourite sayings from C S Lewis.)
Every parents list would differ slightly depending on their own values, but happy and healthy are key. More and more in modern society we are seeing children struggle at a younger and younger age with stress, anxiety, pressure and other mental health related issues. Keeping your body healthy and active have been proven two of the most effective ways to combat mental health issues. They are therefore two things that staff at Thomas Russell Junior School are passionate about: supporting parents to achieve for their children.
Read on to see how you can help...
Did you know?
Children of junior school age should be drinking 5-8 cups of water a day? This is why all children are encouraged to have a water bottle in school every day, to drink regularly and are allowed to use the toilet at break times and during lessons, if required.
Do you at home monitor the amount of water your child drinks?
Children should be encouraged to eat a minimum of 5 portions of fruit and veg each day? We encourage this through various avenues: requesting a ‘healthy option’ morning snack, Science and cookery curriculum learning and working with Mellors to allow the children to make informed choices about the food they are eating.
Do you at home notice the food choices your child makes or does s/he need guidance to make ‘good’ choices?
Children should take part in at least 30 minutes intense physical activity PER DAY! We are really proud that we provide access to far more than this throughout the week with one hour of PE, one hour of Games, one hour of Swimming, plus the Friday Cooper Run and numerous break and lunchtime free choice active play opportunities.
Do you at home plan family time that involves active physical fun? Do you model physical activity as a positive lifestyle choice?
Children of junior age should get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night. I know there can be a big difference between children going to bed and falling asleep, but a bedtime story can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience even for older children. There are also some excellent children’s meditations available via a quick internet search which you might find helpful to give a moment of quiet to relax in this very busy world. I
It is sad with so many technological advances and better medical awareness than ever before that reports of children’s mental wellbeing are of increasing concern but hopefully we can work together to keep mental health and wellbeing top of our priority list both in school and at home.