Wellbeing week at Scartleigh National School a great success.

By Alan Sheehan

Students of Scartleigh National School partake in activities as part of the school’s recent Health and Wellbeing Week.

Scartleigh National School in Saleen recently held a very successful Wellbeing, from last Monday, 15 through Friday, 19 May.
The Health and Wellbeing week included a series of activities, both physical and psychological, such as mindfulness exercises, reading whilst out in the sun on Monday morning, participation in basketball, yoga and dance classes, swimming for PE, reduced written homework and SPHE activities.
“We organised a health week as part of our being a health promotion school,” said Claire O'Neill, Health Promotion Co-Ordinator for Scartleigh NS. “We focused on positive mental health strategies and wellbeing. On the first day the whole school met in Saleen Village and walked to school, During the week we had talks on mindfulness and mental health and Ruth Reidy, a parent at the school and a nutritionist, came in and gave a workshop on nutrition and healthy eating. We also discussed Martin Seligman’s positive psychology such as random acts of kindness.”
Other activities included students making an attitude of gratitude tree, where each pupil wrote something for which they are thankful on a leaf and displayed it on a tree, a mindfulness long of the five sense and a continuous effort to keep their work areas clean and organised. The students also partook in a non-uniform day to raise money for the Time for Tilara trust, which aims to raise the costs of a serious spinal surgery for Midleton six year old Tilara Costa-Holmes.
“We always keep parents in the loop so they can see what we are doing,” said Ms O’Neill. “Beforehand we held focus groups and sent home questioners for parents to give their thoughts on what a week of mindfulness should include. We held initiatives like Fruity Friday just encouraging the kids to eat more fruit on a Friday. It is a more concerted effort on the week for wellbeing.”
The Wellbeing Week was considered a resounding success, earning the praises of staff, students and parents.
“The kids loved it,” said Ms O’Neill. “We received really good feedback. We have even seen the kids go off in groups doing yoga off their own backs. We also received lots of positive feedback from parents. The overwhelming response was that parents would like more mindfulness in school. I appreciate how much the people came together. The walk from the village on the first day included students, teachers and as supported by parents so it was involving the whole school community. The pupils were fantastic and the parents helped out a lot. It was great to see the whole school community come together. My advice to any other schools who are looking at doing a mindfulness week is to just go for it.”