Chill and Chat Club: The Importance of Mindfulness
Our fantastic in-school counsellors, Ms Corbett and Mrs Howell, offer a friendly and empathetic ear to all children here at the Prep School.
Although mindfulness seems to be quite the 'buzz word' amongst educationalists at the moment, the well-being of our children has always been our focus at Bede's, and Ms Corbett and Mrs Howell either meet with children individually or in groups in our Chill and Chat sessions.
It is a warm and nurturing environment, held in the sanctuary of Ms Corbett's room ensconsed in big soft cushions and bean bags, surrounded by soft toys and posters emblazoned with positive, motivational messages.
The children start the sessions with offering a few brief words on how they feel ' right now'; they might play a game which invites broader thinking (plasticine and playdoh often prove to be a useful distraction so that children feel more able to talk) or participate in role-play; and once a week they are offered relaxation because children lead busy and active lives and learning 'peace' is an important skill. Ultimately, it is place where children can be heard with a clear voice, helping them to express themselves and identify emotions and feelings.
It is a pleasure to see how 'Chill and Chat' has gone from strength to strength with the children feeling increasingly empowered to lead the sessions. Ms Corbett - who also plays vital roles as our Child Welfare Officer and Deputy Houseparent - says, "I am thrilled with the way the children have embraced Chill and Chat, and I am consistantly inspired by their vocal abilities and the way in which they support the group and one another.
"Children who are relatively quiet around school really open up and it has been an honour to see individuals flourish. Every child matters to us hugely, and ultimately happy children make good learners."