On Thursday 29th October, Killoughteen NS registered to take part in the Amber Flag Initiative. The Amber Flag initiative is an initiative run by Pieta House that recognises the efforts of schools in creating healthy, inclusive environments that support mental wellbeing. This involved the whole school community coming together in order to create a safe, positive and healthy attitude towards our general physical and mental well-being. We set up a Wellbeing Committee and set out our goals and objectives. Then it was time to get to work. This is our story so far…
Goals & Objectives
- Establish a wellbeing committee
- Create an Amber Flag notice board
- Organise a mental-health awareness day
- Hold a fundraiser for Pieta House
Establish a Wellbeing Committee
Killoughteen Wellbeing Committee is made up of 2nd and 6th class pupils. Throughout the year, the Wellbeing Committee worked very hard in helping our school work towards achieving our goals and objectives from carrying out a Mental Health Audit at the start of the year to presenting Pieta House with the proceeds of our school fundraiser as of late.
Create an Amber Flag Notice Board
Starting out, the Wellbeing Committee felt it was important to get people talking about ‘wellbeing’ and the language of wellbeing. We decided to create posters promoting the 5 Ways of Wellbeing and wanted to raise awareness around the little things we can each do that will make a big difference to our overall physical and mental health. Please see some of the beautiful work created below by the 2nd class members of the Wellbeing Committee. 6th Class also created a video explaining the 5 Ways to Wellbeing which was shared with all classes during our Wellness Day.
The 5 ways to Wellbeing
Other displays included creating a Kindness Board. To mark World Kindness Day last November, we created a whole-school ‘Quilt of Kindness’. The children also carried out random acts of kindness and were awarded Certificates of Kindness.
Killoughteen does Kindness
As the Christmas season approached, we wondered how we could help spread a little Christmas cheer. And so in place of our annual Christmas carols, pupils across all classes made a Christmas card for our friends in the local nursing homes. Here you will see a small selection of the beautiful Christmas cards designed and delivered by 6th Class members of the Wellbeing Committee.
Hold a Mental Heath Awareness Day
On Wednesday 21st April, we celebrated ‘Wednesday Wellness’ and organised a variety of Mental Health and Wellbeing lessons for all classes. These lessons included talk and discussion around identifying feelings and emotions and character strengths, along with developing a growth mindset and practising gratitude. Here are just a select few pictures showcasing some of the children’s amazing work:
Infants read Have you Filled a Bucket? and filled their own buckets with all the things that make them happy.
1st and 2nd class read the story I am Enough and identified their character strengths. They also created some beautiful Proud Clouds.
3rd and 4th class grew their very own gratitude flowers and discussed all the things they are grateful for.
5th and 6th class learned about the importance of having a growth mindset and the power of ‘YET’.
Hold a Fundraiser for Pieta House
On Friday 23rd April, we celebrated ‘Rainbow Friday’ and held a fundraiser for Pieta House. We dressed in our brightest clothes to symbolise being a rainbow in someone’s cloud. We invited in two guest speakers to speak to the senior classes about the importance of healthy eating and promoting self-care and general wellbeing, while the junior classes participated in a yoga/mindfulness class. A great day was had by all.
The Rainbow Class enjoying Rainbow Day
Yoga with Infants – 2nd Class
Food & Mood Talk with 3rd and 4th Class
3rd and 4th Class enjoyed a zoom with nutritionist, Christine O’Sullivan where they learned of the importance of healthy eating and how eating well can improve your sense of wellbeing and mood.
Wellbeing Talk with 5th and 6th Class
5th and 6th class had the pleasure of speaking with Rosemarie Bennis, owner of Sonas Health Food Store. Rosemarie spoke to the pupils on how to look after their general wellbeing and deal with the everyday stresses and worries of life.
Presentation of cheque to Johnny Togher of Pieta House
Finally, we are very proud to announce that altogether Killoughteen NS raised an incredible €520 for Pieta House. We would like to sincerely thank everyone for their very kind donations.
To conclude, we have loved taking part in the Amber Flag and have come to understand the importance of promoting a positive mental health and wellbeing amongst our peers. At present, we are waiting to hear back on our application. We hope to bring you good news on the flag very soon.
The Wellbeing Committee 😊