The theme this week was Express Yourself for Children’s Mental Health Week in collaboration with Place2be and the pupils and staff expressed themselves through a myriad of different ways. It was fantastic to see the broad range of skills and talents that our community are still using to express themselves, even in lockdown. We had pupils expressing themselves through baking, through singing and dancing, through their football skills and various other sports, through drama, through art and through dress. On Monday we had a virtual assembly all about expressing ourselves to support our mental health, being your authentic self and tackling stereotypes, featuring a fantastic video from Black Violin. This also raised awareness of LGBT+ History month, which is running for the whole month of February in the UK. Pupils in the junior school have also been studying the book Julian is a Mermaid, a beautifully illustrated story all about self expression and identity. On Tuesday, staff and pupils dressed to express themselves for Dress to Express Yourself Day, which brought some much needed colour and joy to our current lockdown experience. On Tuesday S9 also had a talk from award winning conflict journalist and photographer Ayman Oghanna who spoke about his experience in war zones and on the importance of looking after your mental health and well-being. In Life Skills (PSHE) pupils created mental health action plan calendars for the month of February inspired by the charity Action for Happiness, planning one activity they can do for every day in the month of February to support their mental health and well-being, focusing on acts of kindness reflections of gratitude and relaxation techniques. On Thursday, Pickwicks were invited to a talk from the Nation Gallery on Art and Disability. A fantastic look at the role of disability in art and about self expression. Raika in S9 noted ‘ I think having a disability gives you a different perspective on the world, so you should be proud of it’. Our week focusing on our mental health and self expression was rounded up perfectly with a relaxing and rejuvenating yoga session for S7, 8 and 9 provided remotely by Miss Alicia from Happy at Heart Yoga.