Inspired by the theme from this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week – My Voice Matters. Two London schools have decided to mark this week with a short film.
Teachers from St Mary and Holy Trinity Primary Schools in Merton interviewed students to understand what was important to them in their community and what would they like to do to support their local communities.
This short video includes images of their school displays inspired by this them and explores what matters to our young people.
We know the importance of using our voice and the power that talking to each other can have to support one another with our mental health and wellbeing. At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Lauren Davis, Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Inclusion and Wellbeing, Safeguarding and Mental Health Lead shares how in 2023, she worked with their school’s House Captains to create a playground area for children to talk and help each other. Through a whole school voting system, the children selected the name ‘Chitter Chatter Benches’.
The children have since used these benches as a space to go to if they need a friend. They have had assemblies throughout the year, where children have shared moments that they have reached out and helped others on the benches. They are a positive child-led space, where children can look out for one another. Please see the short video below of these benches:
Lauren reflects that ‘it is so important for children to be heard and to know that their voice matters. Creating spaces like these provides a wonderful opportunity to see children working together to make their school environment a better place and to know how their ideas are valued’.
Last year, Thrive LDN developed a Happy to Chat Bench and Spaces Toolkit to help spread the learning and insights from St Mary’s across London. The toolkit also builds on work Thrive LDN started in early 2020, pre-pandemic, to support an Act of Kindness Bench pilot across London as a place where people can meet and share a chat.
For more about Children’s Mental Health Week, visit Place2Be’s website.