To bring wellbeing to the forefront of students’ and staff minds, and for students to be aware of help and support available at Blackpool Sixth.
Monday highlighted student motivation and taught students how they can prepare for a day of learning at home, as well as how students can retain social connections during a pandemic.
Activities/resources around positive emotions and how students are able to recognise positive emotions within themselves.
Principal Jill Gray was interviewed on a podcast on the subject of ‘How to help yourself?’, where she shared stories of how she helps herself and how college can help in enabling students to help themselves.
Two mindfulness videos were shared with teaching staff, one around guided meditation and another around a guided yoga session.
Students were encouraged to spend 5/10 minutes stretching at some point in the day. Specific set of stretches were shared that focused on counteracting sitting for prolonged periods.
Buy a pack of coloured sweets like the one in the picture.
Taste something with a strong flavour, like coffee or a tangerine and pay close attention to what happens in your mouth, then what feeling these tastes evoke.
Really try and appreciate how the object tastes and how the object makes you feel. Breathe it in deep without thinking of anything other than that object and how it makes you feel.
Try this a couple of times until you have fully understood and appreciated every aspect and emotion of the taste.
TOTAL (£ 3,696.01)
To help you along with this, we are starting a series of prompts to help you kick-start your writing habit in 2021!
The inspiration for this prompt comes from the amazing American poet Emily Dickinson (b.1830, d.1886). Although she only had eight poems published in her lifetime, she is now considered one of the greatest poets in world literature.
Here’s the first verse of one of her best-known poems:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
The poem compares something quite abstract and difficult to grasp – ‘hope’ – and gets us to think of it as a bird singing within us and not giving up.
You can find the rest of the poem here together with links to more of Emily Dickinson’s poems.
Think about an abstract emotion or idea, perhaps a word you hear used a lot in quite an unspecific way e.g. fear, worry, happiness, health, well-being, resilience. How could you picture it as something much more physical or ‘real’ to you e.g. an animal, a landscape, a building, a piece of clothing? Now write (without thinking about it too much) for a few minutes, building up your description. Use the senses – what does it look and sound like and, if it fits – what does it taste, smell or feel like to touch? Then look over your notes and pick out the best bits. Write this up as a short poem or just a paragraph of description. If you are doing it as a poem avoid the trap of thinking it has to rhyme. Emily Dickinson was brilliant at rhyme but these days most poets avoid it as it can feel too forced or contrived.
If you’d like to share your poem or paragraph, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to include it now or at a later stage in this section of ‘Thrive’. We might even include the best ones into an e-book or have them read as part of a podcast.
Tip: Get yourself a nice notebook for your writing. Computers and phones are great for re-drafting but there’s nothing like using old-fashioned pen and paper for your initial draft. Label it with the date and maybe something to remind you about how you were feeling when you wrote it.
Hollie Coulston – Upper Sixth BTEC triple Art & Design student.