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Pupils ‘thrive’ on workshop
  A Yorkshire prep school has seen its Year 5 and 6 pupils “thrive” thanks to their participation in a unique wellbeing workshop.
The taster session at Ashville Prep School saw the children participate in a fun and interactive session to boost self-esteem, reduce social anxiety and give them greater self- awareness, led by teacher Esther Jones.
The Thrive Programme, of which Mrs Jones is a consultant, is a fun and interactive programme which gives children, teens and adults alike the skills to gain a sense of power and control over their lives.
Ashville is the  rst junior school in the country that the organisation has worked with, and the plan is that the boys’ and girls’ experience will help shape a full school programme currently being written by Mrs Jones.
Mother of four Mrs Jones said: “The Thrive Programme is all
about teaching people to create good mental health, and it was marvellous being able to deliver this session here at Ashville Prep School.
“The programme can be used to overcome many different issues, including exam stress, lack of con dence, phobias and anxieties.”
“It is also highly bene cial for any children or teenagers who are struggling to cope with a new diagnosis or manage a chronic or life limiting condition. It’s about getting people  ourishing and enjoying life.”
Ashville Prep School Headteacher Simon Bailey said: “The wellbeing of pupils is extremely important to us and this session was extremely bene cial to all those Year 5 and 6s who took part.”
Rugby’s Nigel Owens speaks
Pupils embrace wellbeing day
Dauntsey’s School, Wiltshire,
pupils and members of the local community enjoyed a fascinating talk from Welsh international
rugby union referee, Nigel Owens MBE. Nigel gave an enthralling and inspiring talk about his proli c refereeing career and then spoke frankly about his life, his struggle with mental health issues, and the importance of accepting yourself for who you are. The event was part of the School’s annual Mercers’ Lecture series.
A group of 18 Sixth Form students ran a pre-lecture
discussion with Nigel over dinner. Conversation ranged from his early family memories, his views on modern day rugby, through to how it felt to of ciate his 80th international rugby match this month during the NatWest Six Nations Championship.
Following dinner, Nigel delivered his lecture to some 1,000 people, packed into the School’s Memorial Hall. He captivated the audience with his honesty and humour
and provided food for thought when talking about his early life, including the bullying he suffered.
At the end of February, pupils across the school from Infants to Sixth Form took part in Abbey Gate College’s  rst Wellbeing Day.
The pace of life, concerns about school work, friendships, parents and the impact of social media on children’s lives means that it is more important than ever for pupils to learn how to manage stress and take care of their own wellbeing.
The whole school were off timetable for the day so that pupils could participate in a variety of talks and activities themed around positive mental health and wellbeing. The sessions focused on enabling students to understand their feelings and emotions and develop strategies to look after their own wellbeing, as well as that of their friends.
Younger pupils enjoyed a mixture of activities, including singing for fun, dance yoga and British Red Cross  rst aid, and participated in workshops such as personal safety with PC Sally Malone.
At the Senior School, the morning sessions involved talks on key wellbeing topics, such as mental health  rst aid, alcohol awareness and time management.
The afternoon saw pupils learning new skills, getting active, getting outside in the fresh air, working together, getting hands-on, learning strategies around resilience and managing anxiety, taking time out from the usual routine and getting creative. Pupils chose two activities from 21 possible choices, ranging from yoga to gardening, mindfulness to money skills and camp craft to chess.
Feedback from pupils was overwhelmingly positive, with children saying how much they had enjoyed the day and felt inspired.
Head of Pastoral, Nerys Moses said: “When you hear a Sixth Form pupil leaving a session of yoga and loudly announcing, ‘That was one of the best things I have ever done!’ you realise how worthwhile it is to devote time to wellbeing.”
Sports centre under construction
Construction has now begun on the new £6 million Sports Centre at the Grange School, Cheshire.
Due to be completed in December 2018, the new Grange Sports Centre will provide a high
level facility including premier netball, badminton, football, and basketball courts.
Other facilities will include an area tailored for activities such as yoga, dance, gymnastics and aerobics,
a dedicated area for rowing machines and free weights, an external climbing wall and bespoke classroom facilities.
As part of the build there will also be a new multi-use games area for sports such as netball and tennis, which will be fully  oodlit and laid with a high performance surface. New changing and catering facilities have been incorporated into the design which will further enhance the user-experience.
In recent years the school has enjoyed considerable national success in netball, hockey, rowing and athletics, whilst also encouraging participation at all levels of sport for general  tness and wellbeing.
 Pictured: Mrs Debbie Leonard (Head), Nigel Bantleman (Site Manager, Seddon Construction) with sixth form students Miles Hogg and Ella McGrath
Independent Schools Magazine 5

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