Express Yourself

As a School we are looking forward to recognising Children’s Mental Health Week from Monday 1st February.

Our Chaplain, Bishop Martin Shaw has been working with pupils during their weekly Assemblies and with staff to discuss ‘Awareness of Moods’ and posing questions for us to consider and reflect upon – you may have seen this as part of our #WellbeingWednesdsay series on our social media platforms.

Next week, as part of an enhanced PSHE and Wellbeing Programme there will be opportunities for pupils to share feelings, thoughts or ideas through creativity and to do activities that make us feel good.

Our blog this week comes from Mrs Lake-Johns, who shares some insight of this important element of wellbeing and some advice for the ECS Community on supporting good mental health.

Express yourself

This is the theme for Children’s Mental Health week 2021 and somewhat ironically, I find myself a little at a loss as to how to begin this week’s blog, and how to express MYself!

It is a strange concept, perhaps, to ask children to express themselves when they are the members of society who seem most the free to do so, the most likely to let adults know exactly how they are feeling through tantrums, tears, that “look”, giggling or sudden bear-grip hugs. Yet, the enormous benefit to our mental good health of having a space in which to express ourselves in rich, detailed and complicated glory is undeniable. It seems pertinent that in a period of pandemic, we still are able to sit alongside our children and remember to give them space to be and to feel and to react.

Many organisations working with children extol the virtues of journaling and throughout the first lockdown, there was a growing realisation that journaling allowed children to express themselves in a way that brought relief to them from the screen time that had suddenly multiplied beyond all comprehension.  The clarity it afforded to them and the release of pressure that those who journaled felt, has been much documented and a direct correlation noted between the starting of active journaling and the improvement in quality and length of sleep.  Interestingly, the power of good sleep to impact both physical and mental health is very well explained by Mathew Walker in his book “Why we sleep” and has become a permanent fixture on my bedside table, I’d encourage you all to read it………….and then sleep better on it!

The national Children’s Mental Health Week, starting on 1st February encourages children to try any medium for expression. They have ideas based in art, in music, drama, craft and even in dressing up to express how children are feeling at the moment.

So in the spirit of care for our children here at ECS I invite you all to consider how you will express yourselves next week and in the future, what route suits your time, your lifestyle and your talents.

For me, I tend to “journal” in my own way through poetry, not every day, but certainly for significant moments that have affected me.  I recently wrote a poem for my Great Aunt, who died well after a long and very happy life, and I share it with our school community hoping that it will prompt you and your children to Express Yourselves too.

To the sea.

I shall away to the sea now.

I am called as the seagull mourns it’s lament,

lifting its cry on the winds,

hear me hear me…it is time.


I am lured by my heart to the sparkling blue,

to the ebb and flow of the tide.

Where once I raced and gambolled in surf,

now I sit at its edge, in repose.


I have lived the crescendo of roaring waves,

been tumbled smooth and polished by life.

I have loved and breathed and swum and dived,

I exhilarated in it all.


I shall away to the sea once more,

let my heart call its final farewell.

Let the breeze sigh my name and my tread be light.

As my tide is done, yours flows more.


29 January 2021
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