Headmaster’s Headlines – 10.02.23

Senior School
10 Feb 23

The focus of this week has been Wellbeing for all our students, staff and parents. I know many of you have been involved in numerous activities and you can see plenty of them documented on our @SVS_News Instagram account. Wellbeing and Mental Health have been a significant priority for the School this year and I am glad that we are making such good progress in this sphere in a number of ways. In both the Junior and Headmaster’s Assemblies today, student Wellbeing Ambassadors shared their thoughts, including these reflections on the week:

During the week, we encouraged you to do many things, including writing a note on the Tree of Gratitude, participating in a boxercise class, baking or donating a cake to a good cause, eating a mood-boosting menu and looking at ways to boost the wellbeing of yourselves and others. Additionally, we offered inspiring lectures by renowned experts in their respective fields. These activities aimed to promote the importance of intentional steps towards improving one’s mental health. It was great that teaching and support staff, as well as some parents, got involved too.

As we wrap up Wellbeing Week, we hope you had the opportunity to participate in various activities that encouraged you to incorporate the Five Ways to Wellbeing into your daily life. In our role as Wellbeing Ambassadors we feel it is important to mention that, whilst we have just celebrated a Wellbeing Week, fostering a culture of wellbeing should be a daily practice, not just restricted to a special week. Improving our mental health requires a deliberate approach, like how we maintain our physical health by exercising and consuming nutritious food. Just like physical health, mental health deserves equal attention and consideration.

We started the week by focusing on the theme of ‘connect’ and ended it on the theme of ‘give’, highlighting the full circle of how giving to others can strengthen our connections with them. The theme of giving to others and the importance of connections are closely related as they both reflect a fundamental aspect of human nature, which is the desire to connect and make a positive impact on the lives of others. When we give to others, whether it’s our time, resources, or just a listening ear, we not only help to improve their lives but also create meaningful connections that strengthen our relationships with them. These connections bring us joy, fulfilment, and a sense of purpose. Moreover, research shows that giving to others and forming social connections can boost our own mental and physical health, as it releases feel-good hormones and reduces stress levels. So, not only do we bring happiness to others, but we also enrich our own lives by giving and making meaningful connections.

We hope that some of the practices and habits formed during this week will continue to positively impact your wellbeing. We thank you for making this Wellbeing Week a success and for helping to make mental health and wellbeing a permanent part of our school culture.

Earlier this week there were some constructive and robust conversations at the Upper Sixth Parents’ Evening, reflecting on mock results and we had a good crowd of family members and friends watch the U16 girls’ Hockey team win their National Semi-Final! The Student Council, as ever, passed on some helpful and reflective feedback and suggestions to me, Mr Sansom and Mrs Trachonitis and the many busy weekly events and learning continued at a pace as we approached a well-earned break.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Half Term and can recharge some batteries. I look forward to hearing great reports from the Cricket Tour to South Africa and STEM Trip to Iceland especially.