Thursday 18th January, Dean Close Preparatory School pupils had a great day developing their team building, revision, first aid and cookery skills as well as discussing puberty as part of their ‘Healthy Living Day’. Healthy Living Day is part of an ongoing Preparatory School Wellbeing Programme to promote personal wellbeing and to equip pupils with key life skills. Throughout the day groups of children, aged 11 and 12, rotated between the different sessions.
Down by the brook the children worked in teams to test their communication, teamwork and leadership skills as well as having lots of fun! They had to solve a series of initiative challenges using balance beams, blocks of wood and ropes. Successful completion of the first challenge earned equipment needed to solve the following tasks. After expending lots of energy completing various tasks, the pupils had the chance to roast marshmallows on an open fire.
In the session on ‘First Aid’, Mr J Harris used the St. John Ambulance ‘Big First Aid Lesson’ to talk about how to treat burns and the procedure to follow to help someone who might be choking. The children learnt how to conduct a primary survey of an accident scene and also how to put a casualty in the recovery position. Pupil, Fenella said, “I had a general idea of what to do if someone was choking but to be shown exactly what to do, where the correct place is to put my hand on someone’s back or the correct position of my head when administering the Heimlich manoeuvre, has given me so much confidence, I feel that I could actually help someone in this situation.”
Clare Salisbury, Head of PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) who oversaw the puberty sessions said, “The aim of the puberty session was to ensure that pupils are well prepared for the changes they will experience, and in some cases have already started to experience, during adolescence. We discussed what happens, both physically and emotionally, during this time and offered tips for looking after oneself during puberty so that pupils can feel more confident as they approach this stage of their lives.”
A favourite part of Healthy Living Day is a visit to the Senior School Cookery School, where pupils had a fantastic time making healthy apricot flapjacks. Full of slow release carbohydrates and vitamin C, they make the perfect snack for when pupils are revising, which was the day’s final session.
After quite an exciting day the children explored revision skills. They learnt top tips such as: learn a topic well enough to teach someone else, make a test for themselves or someone else and writing notes about elements they don’t understand to ask a teacher or friend later on. Jo Cahill, Head of Learning Support said, “It is important to help children find ways to use their strengths and all their senses when learning. The methods they choose must be interactive, engaging and above all, work for each individual. To unlock their own potential for learning can reduce stress, increase grades and encourage putting in the effort rather than seeing studying as a chore. The sessions gave the pupils plenty to think about and try for themselves.”