Last week our pupils enjoyed our annual Wellness Week. There were many facets to the week, however, the overall theme was Gratitude and how important gratitude is for for positive mental health. The children were engaged through story, journaling, art, pilates, and even fruit art workshops!On Monday, each Senior Class was paired with a Junior Class to explore Niall Breslin’s beautiful book, Take Five. The book stresses the importance of being grateful for what we have in our lives, especially at times when we may be envious of others. The older children helped the younger children to complete an activity on the book and they all enjoyed having a chat and a giggle too.
The Senior Classes kept a Gratitude Journal for the week and some Sixth Class girls created Resilience Boxes. These contained tokens from their lives which may help them on a bad day, e.g., a feel good movie, a prayer, photos and of course some chocolate!
The children also took part in an Art Competition based on The Five Ways to Wellbeing. The entries have blown us all away; the thoughtfulness, talent and effort is really commendable. Well done to all those who entered the competition.
A new feature of Wellness Week this year was the Affirmation Hunt. Children made their way around the school looking for affirmations that meant something to them. They noted their favourites and are encouraged to look at their lists from time to time to get some positive food for thought.
On Wednesday we were very lucky to have Helen from Dungarvan Pilates come to our school to facilitate workshops with some of the Senior Classes. Exercise, in any form, is key to maintaining good mental health. A huge thanks to Helen for giving up her time.
We were also delighted to welcome Took and Terry who guided the children in food art. Took, originally from Thailand, is a fantastic cook who has created the most amazing art on plates from fruit, vegetables and rice. Check out her Facebook page Creative Food for Kids by Took. The lucky children engaged in a looking and responding session before Took showed them how to create a dish. With fruit, kindly sponsored by Glanmore Foods, the girls created their own ladybirds, trees and dogs. Healthy eating is another important cog in the wheel for positive mental health and this workshop highlighted how healthy eating can be creative and fun. Thanks so much to Took and Terry for all their hard work in preparing the workshops. The children thoroughly enjoyed it!
Ms. N. Kiely ran Art Workshops for Wellness Week. One of these was based on lighthouse imagery. The children visualised being lost out at sea on a stormy night and chatted about how that would feel. Ms. Kiely then guided them to notice a glimmer of light in the distance and discussed how it would feel to get there. They chatted about what their ‘Lighthouses’ are, namely, their safe places and people who make them feel better. They created beautiful art based on this imagery. We are extremely grateful to Ms. Kiely for facilitating this workshop.
St. Mary’s was a sea of colour last Wednesday, or should I say, last ‘Wacky Wednesday’, as pupils and staff donned bright colours, wacky attire, including mis-matched shoes/socks and some very wacky hairstyles. Our aim was for the pupils to remember, ‘On your darkest days, wear your brightest colours’. It certainly brought a smile to a lot of faces.
The three Junior Infant Classes visited Conor Lannen’s Country Store last Friday to learn all about fruit and vegetables. The children were amazed to see such a rainbow of fresh produce. Many thanks to Conor and all the staff for their warm welcome and patience.
Mrs. Barry wishes to thank everyone who helped Wellness Week to be such a success. A huge thank you to Ms. Niamh Kiely for all her input, creativity and support. Thank you to Joanne Dee, School Completions Programme, for facilitating workshops with pupils from Juniors to First. Huge thanks to Joanne, our secretary, and to Glanmore Foods for their very generous sponsorship of the fruit.. Thanks so much to all the staff for their support and lastly, but most importantly, thank you to all the students for their openness and enthusiasm for Wellness Week. We hope you will all take something from it and remember; Wellness is not just for the week, it’s important to mind ourselves every single day.
Junior Infants enjoying their relaxing Yoga Session