Pupils at Cordwalles Junior School in Camberley were positively encouraged not to stay in their seats and pay attention recently, as the school opened its doors to children and young people’s mental health charity CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) for its Feeling Good Week.
The motto of the week’s events was ‘Get up and Have a Go’, which was precisely what pupils did, leaving behind their schoolbooks to get involved in activities such as digging the school gardens and flower beds, extra PE and dance sessions, and a sponsored walk around the school perimeter to raise funds for – appropriately enough – playground fitness equipment.
With the women’s World Cup in mind, football coach Vicky Elcome also dropped by to give children the benefit of her 15 years of playing the game at a high level and her coaching experience with the FA, and to teach them the importance of starting early in pursuit of your passions.
In addition to the body, the mind was also catered for by the feel-good visit of author Ed Wicke, author of the Wicked Tales books. His reading of Mouldysocks and the Three Humans was a particular highlight, bringing much hilarity to his audience and ensuring a long queue for book signing at the end of the day.
The week ended with a Macmillan Dress Up and Dance Day, with all year groups performing fundraising dance routines to a school hall packed with friends and family to ensure a productive end to a light-hearted week.
“This week was all about trying new things, and a change being as good as a rest, to give the children a break from the norm and to stir up their spirits a bit with something that bit different,” said teacher Sam Alley-Mohindra, who organised the events.
“I certainly think we achieved that goal. It’s very easy for school to become too routine, which can be a real turn-off in terms of learning and enthusiasm, so the opportunity to be snapped out of what they usually do and experience different activities – mental and physical - will really have done them some good. The sponsored walk is a particular example – I’ve seen a few of the children using pedometers since then!
“Ending it the way we did, with a fundraising event, was particularly appropriate too, as it meant the activities weren’t just about making ourselves feel better, but helping others too. And if they take away the message that helping others feel good is a way of helping yourself feel good, then that’s a particularly important lesson that has been learnt.”
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