Sunday Saviours

Sunday 31st Jan

Hot Chocolate Saturday was ok wasn’t it? It gave us purpose to our walk, give us something to talk about other than COVID, and brought a smile to our faces – mine included. So it was worth it. Well worth it. The disco on Thursday was also amazing, and brought a smile to the faces of many! We’ll be doing another disco this Thursday – same time. More information about the viewing platform over the coming days.

As you know Children's Mental Health Week is taking place on 1-7 February 2021 – the reason we did Hot Chocolate Saturday when we did. This year's theme is Express Yourself. Watch HRH The Duchess of Cambridge's video message to mark the start of the week. The week is run by children’s mental health charity Place2Be to focus on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme is...

EXPRESS YOURSELF What's it all about?

When children are able to find creative ways to share their feelings, thoughts or ideas It can help them feel good about themselves and who they are. Children can do this through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that they enjoy.

It’s really important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.

Given that the past year will have left many of us feeling out of control and helpless, supporting children and young people to express themselves is arguably more important than ever.

What can you do? Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your child to express themselves.

Could you build on existing interests or passions? Think about what has helped them get through the past year. A love of dancing? Baking? Drawing? Fashion? Encourage your child by noticing their unique interests and praising their efforts.

Trying new things can be a great way to find a new creative outlet. There are lots of online tutorials and video demos that you and your child could be inspired by… could you try out something new together? Or perhaps ask someone you know to share their creative hobbies and give them a go.

Some children may not think of themselves as being creative. Try to focus on the importance of the process and the way it can make them feel, rather than the end result. Try not to judge their efforts and remember to give encouragement for trying rather than for doing something well.

Listening carefully can help children feel more comfortable and confident when expressing themselves. Try to minimise distractions and give your child your full attention when you’re spending time together, being aware of your own body language and eye contact. You might want to try summarising what they’ve shared and acknowledging their feelings.

Children are expressing themselves all the time but not necessarily with words. ‘Listen’ to everything they are trying to tell you with their behaviour, or with their play and creativity or with their silence. It’s all self-expression.

Remember – you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get creative at home. Recyclable materials or older items you no longer have a use for can provide amazing inspiration, and of course there’s no limit to your imagination!

Let your child know that if they are worried about something, they should always talk to an adult they trust. It could be you, someone in your family, a teacher or someone else in their school.

If you’re worried about your child’s mental health you can talk to your GP or someone at school.

You can also find a list of organisations that provide support and advice on the website: www.place2be.org.uk/help

So my 1st 3 Sunday saviours this week focus on kids, and are taken from CAMHS web site. That said, as I read them over, they fit equally to anyone. Substitute “child” with “friend,” “partner,” “brother,” “sister,” whoever you care about.

Sunday Saviour number 1 is to talk to your child. If you spot your child may be struggling it is important to talk to them. Keep talking and communicating in any way you can. Verbal, hugging, listening….. just communicate.

Sunday Saviour number 2 Mix it up a bit if you can. We’re doing this in school. More details will be on the newsletter tomorrow, but we’re ensuring monotony doesn’t creep in, or if it has, we’re trying to break it by just dropping a change or 2 in.

Sunday Saviour number 3 is not really a Sunday saviour, more a life hack. You know that, in the words of Cher, “words are like weapons, they wound sometimes” My dad always used to say to me – “stop crying, boys don’t cry.” Granted I was 32 at the time, but in all sincerity, what we say to kids is what they’ll believe as adults. So, if they’re stressed, and teary, explain to them that that’s absolutely fine. Use phrases like, “its fine to be sad, I get sad as well you know, tell me more about it, I hear you, let me help you work it out, I’m listening…..”

Sunday saviour number 4 – put a smile on your face, by putting a smile on someone else's….  Help neighbours – elderly, unwell, or immobile neighbours are going to be at greater risk during this period. If you have time why not give them a call to check on how they are doing, and if you are doing an essential shopping run ask them if they need anything.

Sunday Saviour 5 – learn a board game – play it in weird places – post on facebook. Wrap up, play it outside, in your car, in the shed….. wherever – family time. Nothing to do with work, school, COVID – mobiles off. TV off. Music on. Ambient lighting….. it’s a big deal. Come on! Get on it!

Another biggy this week It’s not really is it, but my final Sunday Saviour – make the little positives massive things. That way, there’s less room for the negatives!  Train for the marathon. We’re virtually, and collectively, running from John O Groats to Lands End. Road route is 874 miles. We’re starting in John O Groats, finishing in Lands End. A BBQ and prosecco, or orange juice,  will be waiting for you….. So come on kids, adults, and older adults….. do what you can. Run, walk hop, skip or jump…. Just get going on Sunday. Stephen Darper, one of our parents has upped the anti here….. he’s tracking us and if we do it, he’s going to buy us a fine medal….

So come on St Georges, let’s get the medal, recording our distance travelled in 1 hour on the Facebook event! The weather looks great on Sunday next week…. So why not mix up by having a celebratory BBQ after the run – course you can!

So there we go..... 6 of the best for this week. Once again aimed at motivating, refreshing and focusing your week.

See you at the disco on Thursday! Not sure how yet, but I will!

As always folks, stay safe, and stay indoors. I reckon during times like this things are not going to be perfect are they, so we'll never be a 10/10, but if you get to below 5/10 then get in touch please, either by phone...… 07776438866, or by email.... help@st-georges.lancs.sch.uk and I'll do my best.

Take it easy folks, and without patronising you, once again, very well done for all that you're doing. You're doing great. Be proud.

We can still dream folks, All the best, Andy.

Sunday 24th Jan 2021

Well, it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission isn’t it!?

It’s with that in mind that I write this week’s Sunday Saviours.

Before I embark proper on the saviours, I hope the week has gone well, and that you're all safe and well. I don't want to predict what life is like in your homes, but for me and my digital circle of family and friends life is once again getting boring, and as the surprise and shock of "lockdown2" wains, the importance of staying at home needs refreshing, for me at least. It remains crucial that we follow the government instruction of essential travel only, exercise locally for an hour a day maximum, deploy socially distant measures at all times and wash our hands thoroughly and frequently. As for the kids being at home... maintain a routine. Kids thrive off routine, and without routine the kids will fill the vacuum with chaos, moods, grumps and sulks.... and that benefits no one. If this is becoming the case at your home, please use the help@email, or give me a call, and I'll certainly see what I can do.

Its possible now, midway through the term things need zhuzhing up a little. We need something different. We need something to look forward to .

I’ve had an idea. Discussed it with no one. Asked no one, so it probably won’t happen, but here goes..

ü So. Were allowed out for daily exercise.

ü We have to stay local

ü Takeaway shops are open

Sunday Saviour 1. Next Saturday between 10am and 5pm I’ll be on the Junior Yard with 2 urns, marshmallows, cream some shortbread biscuits and some hot chocolate. Why not call in if you’re out your daily walk. Enter through the school car park onto Junior Yard, leave down the path. If you all turn up between 2pm and 2.30pm then it will be carnage. But let’s see what happens and rely on common sense. If I’m busy we can have a 30 second chat, if I’m not busy we can have a 35 second chat – then you’re on your way with the rest of your walk! We can’t congregate on the junior yard, must wear facemasks on the school yard (year 7 kids upto aged 77 adults!) but it would be nice to see you! My only stipulation is you have to walk a mile to get to school! No driving! I’d lose my job if Carr Lane was full of cars. That would actually be illegal. So – walk, or run! There’ll be a bucket at the start of the junior path if you wanted to donate some money to school funds, (but that’s not the point of the Hot Chocolate Day) I’ve committed to spending £7000 on new books….. Rob and Michelle are auditing and revamping…. I want the school to be amazing, fresh and different when the kids return.

Sunday Saviour Number 2. Get training. We’re doing a run. On 7th February I want you all out for your hourly exercise! How far can you all run. Let’s see how many marathons we can run. So, on Sunday 7th February, we're all in, we’re all out - in our own time, at our own location, and our own space getting out for a run. Although we'll remain in isolation we'll be doing something together - something to text about, maybe even something to laugh about - something as part of a community. I for one am looking forward to it. It's something to do, something to look forward to and it gives us hope of things to come. And without hope, life's pretty dreary. So come on.... let’s get off the sofa, and get out.... let's see how far we can get!

Vary the kids day, whilst maintaining structure - Curricular Newsletter and Homework Menu

As boredom creeps in, work with your kids to refresh and revise the structure - freshen it up, use different resources - a change really is as good as a rest! But don't make changes instantly, kids need to still accept the monotony and boredom of life, kids needs to learn about digging into resilience, and accepting the imperfections of life. No matter how hard we try we cannot make a kids life trouble free, 100% happy, and give them what they want, when they want it.... that's just creating a problem further down the line. But when boredom does creep in we can "stick with it for this week, we'll change it on Friday, ready for next week...."

There's loads of resources out there for you to utilise …. I know, it's just finding the time.... I get that! Having said all that, remember my mantra through all of this... if it's working for you, it's working for me. The curricular letter, and the newsletter include a rather excellent structure for you to follow if you wish. Sunday saviour 3 is to sit down as a family and take a fresh look at these - you might want to consider pushing the kids in a direction they don't want to go - doing one "boring thing" for every 3 or 4 for example. Kids, like adults, have their favourites, and I suppose a theme running through these Sunday Saviours is resilience and of course, our mental health

When we set off on lockdown2 (for schools) I focussed on board games. So let’s try and find time, if possible to play a board game or 2? Does that help for Sunday Saviour number 4? Come on kids…. Learn all about losing, turn taking, counting, reading rules…. And have fun. Get mum or dad beaten! Post on facebook using the #boardgames

Sunday Saviour number 5 is a serious one. Don’t skip it, even though I’ve said it loads of times. Remember be kind to yourself. If you’re not being kind to yourself, you won’t be kind to others. And now more than ever, you have to be kind to each other.

You're all doing great you know; of that I promise you. Youre doing something never been done before – and your doing it superbly. Don’t underestimate your achievements. You know what you’re doing, but do you know what you’re not doing. Let me remind you for Sunday Saviour 5.

You're not saying "I should be doing this"

You're not saying " I have to this this"

You're not comparing yourself to others

Your keeping yourselves and the kids fed, watered and safe. That's all. Anything else comes as a beautiful, and probably quite unexpected surprise. Take it, and congratulate yourself. Let me remind you all..... you've got a hell of a lot on. As they say. Keep calm. Carry on. Do your best.

And Sunday Saviour Number 6. Variety is the spice of life, and we all need something to look forward to. And these saviours are packed with them – well there’s 2, and here’s the 3rd. Tony Greenwood, whose kids came to St Georges, and now a mate, will do an hours disco for the kids on Thursday 28th January between 7pm and 8pm, streaming on facebook! I hope you get dressed up kids, and join us…. And post your photos of you enjoying yourself! He doesn’t know he’s doing this yet, as I said at the beginning, it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission…. So, keep an eye out the newsletter tomorrow for this one. It’s just a link or something…. Maybe zoom… who knows. He’ll sort it! And I’ll put more details on the newsletter tomorrow!

So there we go..... 6 of the best for this week. Aimed at motivating, refreshing and focusing your week. Achieve 1 or 2 of those and you’re doing just fine, achieve between 3 and 4 and you're well on top of it. You're flying high. If you're achieving 5 or 6 then your either showing off, you’re actually a teacher, or you should be on our training programme for teachers!

As always folks, stay safe, and stay indoors. I reckon during times like this things are not going to be perfect are they, so we'll never be a 10/10, but if you get to below 5/10 then get in touch please, either by phone...… 07776438866, or by email.... help@st-georges.lancs.sch.uk and I'll do my best.

Take it easy folks, and without patronising you, very well done for all that you're doing. You're doing great. Be proud. Andy x