Every week at LJS we have a range of assemblies where we gather together. These are, of course, virtual at the moment but they are still moments of togetherness that are valued enormously amongst our community.
Linked to the Summer Term theme of Health and Wellbeing, this week’s main assembly theme has been ‘The Great Outdoors’. On Monday, Mr Robertson invited the staff to share their experiences of adventures in the great outdoors, all linked to looking after our own wellbeing. There were many volunteers! Mrs Perkins told us of her experiences teaching English in Nepal. One of the highlights she spoke of was when she went trekking through the Himalayas, including Everest. Mrs Pick spoke of her experiences in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Her visit was inspirational and she told us that she hopes to return with her family to share the wonders. Mr Larkin’s outdoor adventure was on British soil and we heard how the Peak District provided exhilaration and challenge for Mr Larkin and his group of friends, as they battled against inclement weather and in particular dense fog which severely limited the visibility. Mr Marsden is a keen rock climber and had the incredible opportunity to climb with a group of friends in Yosemite National Park in the USA. He told us how connected to nature he felt and how that made him feel. Every year, Miss Marais embarks upon a cycling holiday with a group of friends, something that has taken her across Britain and Europe. As she talked about a cycling adventure in the Basque region of northern Spain, she explained how they met with challenges such as steep and lengthy climbs up mountainous roads and how resilience and determination are key, as well as collaboration and support from the group. She told us how utterly exhilarating the ride back down the other side is and how it amazing it makes you feel to have conquered the challenge. The overriding message from all of the staff, no matter what their adventure was or where it took place, was that being in the great outdoors has tremendous benefits for our wellbeing in all sorts of ways. Mr Robertson has highlighted six elements of our wellness and it is clear that being outdoors can positively affect all six of those areas – mental or emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and environmental.
Today, Ms Crump asked us all, ‘How are you?’. She discussed with a group of Year 6 children how we can check in with ourselves and the sorts of activities we can take part in to enhance our wellbeing. We heard how undertaking tasks for the #CaptainTom100 challenge had made the children feel good about themselves and about their achievements. Jack described how he had set out for a walk with his family and on seeing some litter at the beginning of his, he decided to take a litter picker to tidy up the environment at the same time. Archie described how he feels happy when he is up high, resulting in him feeling at his happiest when he is high up in a tree. Naomi was busy baking 100 cupcakes for her Captain Tom challenge and explained how she felt a rush of happiness not from eating them all but by giving them away to family and friends and spreading a bit of happiness in the process. Sophie described how she loves closing her eyes and listening to the sounds of nature all around her. Sitting at the top of Ben Nevis was a particular highlight and the whole school enjoyed hearing of her experiences.
This week’s Music assembly was focused on the piano. First of all, Mr Smith, our piano teacher, told us a little bit about the history of the piano and how it works. We all got to see inside the grand piano in the hall and watched how the hammers strike the strings when the keys are played; at the same time the dampers lift away from the strings to allow them to vibrate. We all know that Mr Smith and many of our visiting music teachers play the piano for many school occasions including assemblies, choirs and accompanying instrument lessons but we didn’t know that some of the other teachers also play. It was wonderful to see Mr Marsden, Mrs Pick, Mrs Harrison and Mrs Pearson playing and several pupils shared their playing with us too, from Year 2 to Year 6 – what a treat to hear so many pianists play for us!
Music is one of the many ways that we can enhance our wellbeing in so many ways and there is always music to be heard as you wander around LJS, from percussion to strings, brass to woodwind, individual singing to choirs.
What are your plans for this weekend? Will you immerse yourself in Music? Will you spend some time in the great outdoors? Will you be helping those around us?
Whatever you choose to do, remember to check in with yourself and your own wellbeing.
Have a fabulous weekend!