well-being week 2019

On Monday 25 March running until Friday 29 March 2019 we held a Well-Being Week. Activities were run for pupils, staff and parents within our Early Years department, right through the school to Year 8.

Headmistress Sheina Wright describes the rationale behind the week. “The well-being of our Amesbury school community really matters to us, this includes pupils, parents and staff. As a collective group it is our job to champion and promote emotional health and well-being. Our aim – to have a positive impact and help the whole Amesbury community to thrive and be happy.”

Co-ordinated by Headmistress Sheina Wright, Head of PSHEE Carrie Munday and Pastoral Head of Year 5 Cosmo O’Reilly, an exciting programme for the whole of the Amesbury community to take part in was developed. From informative talks to interactive games – there was something for everyone.
Cosmo O’Reilly explains “This week has been a great chance for our pupils to take a pause on life, look at all the opportunities the world has to offer and enjoy being children. From Taiko drumming opening pupils’ eyes to a new culture, through to teamwork exercises giving us all the chance to trust and grow as a collective and as an individual.”

Carrie Munday reflects back on the week “It has been so satisfying to create the opportunity to connect with others; parents, children and visitors. Some teachers fed back how much they had enjoyed engaging with their classes on a different level and simply took the time to enjoy reflective well-being activities such as looking at emotional intelligence, doing artwork, circle times and creating support clouds. All these activities really promoted positive relationships across the school.”

Activities for Pupils
Our Early Years and Years 1 and 2 pupils all had the opportunity to take part in outdoor movement workshops, the art of mindfulness classes, creative and relaxing time spent in the woods and in our beautiful wig wams, plus an exciting visit to Swan Barn Farm.

Early Years and Year 1 and 2 Pupils have also contributed to our beautifully decorated Haslemere Hound ‘Buddy the Hound – Minds Best Friend’ during Well-Being Week. Buddy’s artwork was overseen by Head of Visual Arts Kerry Tristram. Mrs Tristram explains ‘I talked with the children about the importance of friendship in our lives – someone to share the good and difficult times with. Our art work focuses on hands as a symbol for friendship. It also features words that the children associate with the qualities of a good friend. Our Haslemere Hound itself represents ‘Man’s best friend’ and acknowledges that many people form strong friendship bonds with their family pets.’

Years 1 – 5 took part in a dance workshop with a focus on friendship and teamwork.

The whole school experienced exhilarating Taiko drumming sessions, a ‘movie with a well-being message’, ‘re-wilding the athlete within’ through outdoor movement workshops and the opportunity to stop, relax and think through playing board games.

The week culminated with our annual Easter Service, the whole school enjoying a ‘silent disco’ and our Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception classes taking part in a creative Easter Hunt.

Activities for Adults
Our teachers, support staff and parents are also an important part of our community and were able to experience a variety of workshops and activities throughout the week. From inspirational, wonderfully insightful and informative talks from our very own Dyslexia Specialist Sally Marshall and in-house Clinical-Psychologist Dr. Tom Smiley to pottery painting and yoga.

Amesbury is excited to be able to share more detailed plans of our Well-Being Hub, Library and new flexible teaching spaces in the very near future. These spaces further affirm our aim to create a more mindful environment to learn in and a greater sense of well-being within our community.

 

Amesbury Festival 2017: ‘Let your body, mind and spirit run’…

This was the theme for 2017’s Biennial Amesbury Festival. Children and parents can excite and broaden their souls and minds with an extravaganza of campfires and wigwams, drama, music and poetry, a circus, forensic science, particle accelerators and planetarium. The Amesbury Festival takes place over a week every 2 years. The schools’ normal timetable is suspended for a week of ambitious and extra-curricular learning that is unashamedly educational for teachers and parents as well as pupils.

 

During the festival week Year 1 and 2 had their own mini Glastonbury base complete with wigwams where they investigated and experienced a multitude of events, sometimes with Reception. The Chapel Choir gave a performance of their forthcoming Tour repertoire. We welcomed a visiting poet, a planetarium (and particle accelerator), held a slam poetry competition, involved pupils in lots of team building events – which on the final day involved the entire preparatory school being out on the fields at the same time working in collaborative harmony! We held our annual swimming gala, drama workshops – ‘A Spring Festival’ (Reception – Year 2) and ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ (Year 7), a Mock court and inter-school matches. In addition to which they investigated artificial intelligence, cyborgs and nanotechnology.

We listened to what Russell Cowburn has to say, in the knowledge that we may well be listening to a future Nobel Prize winner, and to what Peter Cochrane had to say on Artificial Intelligence etc. It did not matter that sons or daughters were in Year 3, we watched Year 7, and their Lullaby of Broadway performances anyway. We were involved and wrapped up in a bubble of learning and new experiences that stimulated and broadened our thinking.

 

Some of our guest speakers included:

  • Tom Price Associate Tutor at Oxford University talked about cyborgs, AI, and the latest predictions on transhumanism and what it will mean to be human in the not too distant future as humanity merges with machines.
  • Professor Russell Cowburn FRS Director of Research – The Cavendish Laboratory – Cambridge University occupies a unique place in Physics. Professor Cowburn is one of the world’s leading nanotechnologists, his work is like true science fiction except it’s actually happening in reality.
  • Mark Milliken Smith QC presided over a mock court with pupils between Years 6 – 8 selected prior to the proceedings to be the main protagonists and the jury selected from the audience on the night.
  • John Kingston, Harlequins’ RFC Director of Rugby is the most experienced rugby coach in the rugby premiership having been appointed a coach to Richmond RFC at the dawn of the professional era. He gave us an insight into the use of medicine and technology in the professional sporting environment.
  • Professor Peter Cochrane OBE gave a presentation on Artificial Intelligence and what it will mean for us all over the next couple of decades.

Where now?