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Health and Wellbeing Week 2024

Health and Wellbeing Week 2024

Wellbeing is at the heart of High School life, but it really comes to the fore the week leading up to the February Half Term holiday with HSOG’s Health and Wellbeing Week!

Across this special week, physical and mental health infuses all assemblies, activities and some classes. All pupils, from those as young as Junior 1 up to Senior 6, hear from a range of experts and members of staff on how to improve resilience, create moments of calm and cultivate healthy habits for life.

Each morning at the Senior School a special assembly took place opening pupils’ minds to all manners of health and wellbeing. Monday’s session came from Callum Johnson, Community Engagement Coordinator for Glasgow Marrow, a student-run branch of the charity Anthony Nolan. This charity makes lifesaving connections between patients in need and incredible strangers ready to donate their stem cells. Pupils over 16 were given the opportunity to register to donate should they wish to.

On Tuesday, the benefits of a good night’s sleep were delivered in a special assembly by Transitus. Wednesday saw the return of Brian Costello from ‘Headstrong’, an organisation which inspires positive conversations around mental health, who spoke about resilience, sleep, having a purpose, mindfulness and a good network around you. On Thursday, Robbie Stevenson from the young person’s charity Landed delivered an assembly on the dangers of vaping and ran workshops throughout the day for S1s. An evening discussion on this topic was delivered to parents and staff. Rape Crisis and testicular health charity Oddballs were also in school to deliver talks to older year groups. The week culminated with a visit from comedian Stephen Halkett who reminded everyone of the power of a good laugh while delivering meaningful messages. Junior 6 made the trip up to the Senior School to enjoy the final assembly from comedian Stephen, helping with the transition from Junior School to Senior School which they will be making after the summer.

Across the week there were plenty of opportunities for pupils to try new skills and build new habits. Be that ‘Singing for Health’ with Mr Walker and Mrs Stuart, where pupils could learn warmup techniques and new songs; the Art Department’s Kindness Rocks session which saw children painting rocks with positive messages to give to one another or to leave around the school; smoothie making with Miss Moore in HFT; Zumba with Ms McClusky; PE’s ‘open door policy’ for pupils to try new sports and play against PE teachers; and Mandarin teacher Ms Song running Chinese New Year themed wellbeing activities including Chinese calligraphy.

Wellbeing Representatives Carmen and Vladimir (both S6) and other Senior 6 pupils organised a Fun Club focusing on anti-bullying on Wednesday lunch, and they opened up the weekly Peer Hub to pupils from all year groups looking for a chat and some guidance from senior pupils over a cup of hot chocolate.

The week culminated with a visit from the ‘Therapets’, which saw a number of friendly dogs who love a fuss made of them visiting the school. Pupils enjoyed the time they had with their furry friends and left the session a little calmer thanks to the soothing effects of patting a dog and the associated health benefits.

Commenting, Senior School Nurses, Lisa and Leah, said:

At The High School of Glasgow we pride ourselves on the environment we create to ensure pupils grow and flourish as happy, healthy and confident individuals. Health and Wellbeing Week supercharges our efforts at a time of year where the days are short, the weather is bad and many senior pupils have just finished their Prelims. It’s a time of year where everyone needs a lift and a reminder to take care of themselves and those around them. Thank you to all the pupils and staff who helped ensure the week was a success and special thanks go to Beth (S6) for taking charge of all the sound and lighting requirements in the Assembly Hall, meeting and greeting the guest speakers and ensuring they were mic'd up and ready to go for their presentations!”

Cultivating healthy habits wasn’t only happening at the Senior School, with the Junior School benefitting from a full timetable of wellbeing activities across the week. They enjoyed a variety of assemblies which included information from the pupil-led Wellbeing Committee, sing-a-longs and even a bit of moving and grooving! All staff had the opportunity to be involved too by taking part in an incredible guided meditation, whilst some classes tried out Pilates and completed work related to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Children took some of the activities into their own hands, with the pupil-led Health and Wellbeing Committee creating a special Community Wellbeing Treasure Walk where children followed a trail around the forest, uncovering wellbeing cards along the way, providing moments of mindfulness. Kindness and positive affirmations were spread by Kindness Cards completed by every pupil and given out to one another, highlighting the power of being kind and giving thanks to others.

Senior School Health and Wellbeing representatives visited the Junior School to talk to pupils about their role as wellbeing ambassadors and read stories to them in the outdoor classroom gazebo. Wellbeing stories were also being read in the library, special music workshops took place and children were encouraged to journal.

Mireille Wallace, the Junior School’s Senior Psychologist from Purple House delivered sessions to children examining topics such as ‘What matters to me?’ and ‘How can I share or deal with my thoughts and feelings?’. Mireille will also be delivering a session to parents at an upcoming event entitled ‘How Well Do We Listen?”.

J1 to J3 children took part in Mind Marvels which involved learning new breathing techniques and skills to aid with mindfulness and relaxation, and hearteningly, pupils have continued to apply the breathing techniques in class.

On Friday, pupils were encouraged to set aside their school uniforms for the day and dress to express! The week finished with a special celebration assembly exploring all that had been learnt across the week and what children had enjoyed most. Each pupil contributed to a whole school display, with ‘matter splatters’ and ‘matter spirals’ showcasing all that matters to them.

Ms Gillian Reid, Junior School Principal Teacher and coordinator of the Junior School’s Mental Health Awareness Week, said:

It was a really positive week at the Junior School and it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm displayed by pupils when taking part in the activities, assemblies and lessons. Cultivating habits such as mindfulness, noticing feelings and how to share them from a young age, and learning the power of kindness truly stands children in excellent stead and I look forward to seeing how they continue to build on this and grow."


Below are some highlights from an unforgettable week at HSOG!