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Priory School took the significant decision to fully engage in national Mental Health Awareness Week this week.

A programme of daily events was planned for the entire week, beginning with a whole school assembly on Monday on the topic of masking. This was the third in a series of weekly assemblies on mental health issues.

On Tuesday, the school was fortunate to have an external speaker, Maureen Sullivan, leading workshops on the impact of social media and electronic devices (phones) on the child and teenage brain. Mrs Sullivan was very complimentary about the pupils’ engagement and hopes to return to deliver follow-up sessions on effective strategies for good mental health.

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The sun shone on Wednesday and pupils and staff enjoyed wellbeing walks in the countryside around the school. Boys and girls were encouraged to practise mindfulness and to appreciate the natural beauty around them.

On Thursday the school community participated in the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Wear it Green Day’ and held break and lunchtime cake sales to raise money for this charity.

To round off the week on Friday, pupils enjoyed Singing for Wellbeing sessions with music teacher, Mr Lynch, emphasising the therapeutic benefits of working with one’s peers to create and enjoy choral music. On this musical theme, pupils and staff collaborated in a hugely enjoyable and rewarding project singing and dancing to the song ‘Happy’ by American producer and singer-songwriter, Pharrell Williams. Everyone had such fun making and watching this video, which now appears on the school’s Facebook and YouTube sites.

Principal, Mr DEJJ Lloyd, said:

“We cannot underestimate the pressures facing young people and the importance of good mental health and resilience in overcoming the challenges presented by the 21st century.

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“While social media and mobile phone technology afford huge benefits, they also carry great risk and we must educate young people in responsible and kind use of these new ways of communicating and learning.”

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