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Last week, Hunter Hall’s Summer of Wellbeing continued as Cumbria’s only standalone independent prep school embraced Mental Health Awareness Week with a focus on the importance of moving more for good mental health.  

Over the course of the week, children from Pre-School to Year 3 learnt different ways to use movement to protect their mental health, meeting each morning in the hall to do so. They danced their way into the week, did yoga and meditation on Tuesday, completed a HiiT class on Wednesday and used movement through art on Thursday. On Thursday, the children in school also wore something green and donated gold coins, raising £84 for Carlisle and Eden Mind. Parents got involved too attending a workshop around the ‘Zones of Regulation’ – a method by which parents and teachers can help support children to regulate their emotions using simple, visual colour aids. 

On Friday the week culminated with a whole school Wellbeing Walk where over 150 pupils, parents and staff came together to walk the boundary of the school grounds, while enjoying the glorious sunshine, fresh air and sense of community. 

This was followed on Friday evening by a fundraising auction in aid of a new indoor-outdoor Wellbeing Space that will be created over the summer break. 160 children and adults gathered at the Eden Valley’s ‘Into the Woods, Cumbria’ to bid on over 50 lots. Together the community raised just over £17,000, which will be invested directly back into the school infrastructure and the Wellbeing Space in particular. 

Mental health and wellbeing have always been part of the school ethos and values. However, throughout this summer term, pupil, teacher and parent wellbeing is being placed front and centre – helping the children and wider school community to understand that wellbeing is not about restricting yourself, it’s about finding balance and achieving a personal equilibrium.

The term is packed full with events both large and small as the theme is woven throughout the daily curriculum.  Horticulture, cookery, yoga, meditation and parent-led art masterclasses are already embedded in the timetable. In addition, this term, teaching staff have built in curriculum time for pupils to create their own toolkit of strategies to help recognise and regulate their emotions. 

Next up, the school community will celebrate World Wellbeing Week (24 – 28 June) when the children will engage with local organisations and businesses who champion wellbeing, including Cumbria’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing team, Sunbeams Music Trust and Pooley Bridge’s Verey Books to name but a few. They will also create ‘Be Well’ Boxes to be delivered to local charities and organisations and take part in a number of workshops during weekly timetabled wellbeing sessions.

Assistant Head (Wellbeing) and Head of Lower School and Early Years, Ella Tarrant commented:
“It has been great to see how enthusiastically the children and the whole school community have embraced our focus on wellbeing. Our aim going forward is to continue to build on everything we have already put in place, interweaving wellbeing throughout the curriculum and equipping children with the skills and strategies to flourish at school and beyond.”

Head, Paul Borrows commented:
“Thanks to the tremendous fundraising efforts of our whole school community, we really are well on our way now to creating our Wellbeing Space. This physical presence in school will take the form of new indoor-outdoor space – a place where children will have the opportunity to learn in a different environment and develop an understanding of how to look after their own wellbeing, whilst also learning how to look after the natural world.”

To find out more or arrange a visit, go to www.hunterhall.co.uk. Hunter Hall is Cumbria’s only standalone, independent preparatory and pre-school for children aged 3 – 11 years and is located on the outskirts of Penrith, Cumbria