Learning for Life
Mental Health and Wellbeing at NCBIS!
In Key Stage 4, the students have 3 scheduled ‘Learning for Life’ half day sessions built into the calendar and spread out over the year. The focus of these sessions is to give the students experiential education in areas of learning outside of the standard GCSE curriculum. Learning for Life is centered on ideas, concepts and subjects taught at IB level with a view to allowing the students to gain insight into IB, as well as challenging them to develop knowledge and skills in line with the IB learner profile.
On Sunday 22nd April the Year 10 students had their third and final of these ‘Learning for Life’ half days. The focus of this session was to explore the concepts of ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’, specifically looking at the topic from a practical and psychological viewpoint in order to develop skills that the students can use in their own lives. To initially explore this, the students took part in a large scale catagorisation exercise called “Putting People in Boxes” which looks at the ways we are similar and the ways we are different depending on your frame of catagorisation. This then led into the topic of stereotypes, heuristics and their impact on mental health.
The remainder of the 2 hour and 40 minute session was spent engaged in practical activities aimed at getting the students to reflect on their own experiences and mental health through a personalized mindfulness session. This was a difficult skill to learn as it involved breathing regulation, systematic muscle relaxation and guided mental imagery, which is difficult to achieve unless completely focused. The next practical section was spent looking at approaches to coaching. Coaching requires the coach to help the person being coached to find their own solution to difficulties and is a difficult skill to hone well. However, through some structured work on this, the students really got the hang of it and did well in training themselves to be better, more proactive, listeners.
The students did a wonderful job overall of pulling this all together and making pledges to themselves about how they were going to use these skills moving forward. They eloquently related aspects of the session to their (sometime difficult) experiences as students and young adults and made astute links to why this is important in the real world. All of the Year 10 students thoroughly impressed us with the quality of their focus and resilience during the day and with the depth of their learning. Well done to all!!
Mr. Rossall – Head of Key Stage 4