Baden-Powell and St Peter’s Church of England Junior School held ‘Wellbeing Day’ for all pupils on Friday, in an attempt to promote general health and happiness.
The children took part in a series of unique activities led by teachers and volunteers from the community, which included a sport workshop, laughing yoga and anxiety management.
The sessions gave pupils a chance to take a step back from everyday lessons and focus on their physical, emotional and general wellbeing, whilst also having fun in the process.
Ms Jude Evans, Acting Deputy Head of Baden-Powell and St Peter’s, explained to the Daily Echo why she organised wellbeing day, which was the first of its kind held by the school.
She said: “The teachers, children and probably the parents feel that that we spend an awful lot of time on reading, writing, maths and all the core subjects, which of course are really important these days.
“We are under a lot of pressure in the classroom and we just wanted to make sure the children have the skills to cope with those subjects. If they are happy and their self-esteem is high, then they are going to do better.”
Some of the volunteers from the community included members of AFC Bournemouth and dual Olympian Liz Yelling, who won a bronze medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon.
Liz led a running session with her husband Martin Yelling, who has also represented Team GB in European and World Championships in the steeplechase.
The activity was aimed at encouraging the pupils to run more without realising they are running, by making them collect letters to put together words related to health. Martin believes activities such as wellbeing day should be a part of the children’s curriculum, as it proves very beneficial to their education.
He said: “Healthy children are a foundation of effective learning. If you can do something like this, it switches children’s brains on and sets up their academic day. It helps them with their learning and helps them understand why being active and healthy is good for them.”
Baden-Powell and St Peter’s is a large junior school, currently teaching 727 pupils across four year-groups, all of whom were involved in yesterday’s activities.
Some of the children took some time out of their sessions to tell us how they were finding their day. Charlie Long, 11, said: “It’s been really well done and I’ve been happy about how it’s gone. I have enjoyed the relaxation because we let all of our stress out and it’s a really nice break to get away from English, maths and other lessons.”
Madison Brewer, 11, added: “I like it because we get to do more fun things than just being in lessons and writing”.
Charlotte Killen, 10, was enjoying the day, but was also happy for another reason. When asked what she prefers about wellbeing day to regular curriculum activities, she replied: “If our homework is due in today we don’t have to give it in!”