There are a lot of things that can interfere with students’ learning. We do our best to help them with these things so that they can enjoy their school experience and learn to their full potential! We provide counselling support for kids to help them to get through tough times, we provide food for kids who are hungry, we even provide places for kids to nap when they come to school exhausted or when they feel sick. These things tend to be isolated occurrences.
Helping students to look after their health and wellness is an ongoing part of what we do at Centennial School because, when kids know how to look after their own wellness and learning needs, they become more independent and more confident. Demonstrating that shows we care about ourselves, others, and the world is also one of our school goals.
To this end, we offer Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs after school to provide a structured social outlet for kids. We have Friendship groups operating at lunch times to help kids navigate social relationships. We invited Maxine , from Movement Matters with Maxine, in to conduct regular mindfulness yoga sessions to help kids to learn strategies for calming their minds and focusing their attention. We trained student Peace Makers and Green Playmates, who help kids to mediate conflict on the playground and who are there to play with kids who are looking for a friend. Our Guidance Counsellor, Mrs. McCoy, conducts whole-class counselling sessions to teach kids about a variety of wellness topics, including bullying, self-regulation, friendship, active listening, and anxiety. And, we recently held a Health and Wellness Week.
Teachers, Ms. Maxwell and Mrs. McCoy, along with Divisional Social Worker, Mrs. Wiebe, organized and facilitated the week. May 7th, 2019 was National Child and Youth Mental Health Day, so the week of May 6th – 10th was designated as our Health and Wellness Week. Each day of the week, classrooms signed up for an activity that had a health and wellness component. Monday was focused on healthy eating, with students learning about the importance of breakfast and then making and eating fruit kabobs and granola/yogurt/fruit parfaits. Tuesday was about physical health, and PE teacher, Mr. Stepanik, led the kids through some cardiovascular activities followed by some stretching exercises. Wednesday was a day to learn about the brain. Mrs. Wiebe led the students in this learning and provided them with strategies for being aware of and handling emotions. On Thursday, our divisional Occupational Therapist, Ms. Champagne, was in to teach kids about self-regulation and to let them try out a variety of self-regulation tools. The week ended off with an outdoors activity designed to help kids be mindful, allowing them to focus on the positive around them as they were given iPads and sent to take a couple of pictures of things they found that they thought were beautiful or that made them happy.
Learning about health and wellness is both good learning itself and helps with the other learning that we do in school!