Happiness is a serious business
9 October 2015
Form 4 students took their happiness very seriously this week when they took part in a ‘Mental & Physical Well-Being Day’ with leading experts including self-esteem guru, Natasha Devon MBE, and teenage mental health expert, Jackie Cox. The whole day was given over to a myriad of lectures, seminars and activities - from delving into the intricacies and mechanics of the adolescent brain, to getting advice on how to shave or to buy the correctly fitted bra. Students were inspired by Natasha Devon MBE to value their health above aesthetics, to feel confident in their own skin and ‘rock their own brand of gorgeous’. They also garnered much-needed advice on the importance of great nutrition and got ‘hands-on’ with live food demos, learnt some tips on how to meditate and get enough sleep, and came away with some practical guidance on how to deal with anxiety and stress.
Nigel Lashbrook, Headmaster, said: “We are very much on the front line, helping students to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies, to have good self-esteem and to be in strong mental health. Today was a fantastic chance for our students to learn some of the tools they will need to win this fight.”
He continues: “We already have a strong tutorial programme, which focuses on these issues, but we wanted the students to have the chance to fully immerse themselves in the topic - so we created our Mental and Physical Well-Being Day. It was designed to kick-start conversations and raise awareness of these important topics, which can then be further built on in the smaller, more intimate setting of tutorials.
Oakham’s Mental & Physical Well-Being Day programme:
- Jackie Cox gave two fascinating lectures during the day. Her talk on ‘The Teenage Brain – how it functions and changes’ really helped students to understand the effects of neurological changes and the ensuing chaos this causes for their daily lives (organisation, decision making, memory, sleep and self control). Her second talk gave students the opportunity to learn how to deal effectively with anxiety and stress during the coming adolescence years.
- Students were inspired by Natasha Devon MBE to value their health above aesthetics, to feel confident in their own skin and ‘rock their own brand of gorgeous’. They left the session knowing to be really sceptical about the images used in the media and advertising.
- Some of Oakham’s teachers also offered their expertise: with a Housemaster giving guidance on meditation and sleep, and the Director of Sport running a workshop on nutrition for teenagers.
- The boys took part in an interactive workshop with the Shave Doctor which showed them how to shave properly, and the girls benefitted from a bra fitting workshop from the team at John Lewis Leicester.
- Live cookery demonstrations were also ‘peppered’ throughout the day! The team from ‘Roots to Food’ invited some students to cook as they chatted through the component parts of a healthy dish. The recipes have also been sent back to Houses, so now everyone can have a chance to cook them.
- There was also a pop-up library so that students can see how our collection of library books links into some of the issues covered during the day (both fiction and non-fiction).