Cycling and gardening were among the activities at a North Shields school when pupils marked Children’s Mental Health Week. St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, which is a UNICEF Golds Rights Respecting School and part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, took as its theme this year ‘My Voice Matters’.

My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves,” explained St Cuthbert’s Head Teacher, Shaun Dillon.

When we feel empowered, there’s a positive impact on our wellbeing. Children who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. This year, our aim was for our children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be empowered to work collaboratively to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing and that of their families.

Topics explored over the course of the week across the school included the role of the brain in the body’s functions.

Children explored how our brains are responsible for all functions of the body, including how we move, communicate, make decisions and interpret our surroundings,” continued Mr Dillon.

Our brain also processes our thoughts, behaviours, feelings and emotions. This is why we couldn’t talk about mental health without looking at brain health. Children also took part in lessons and activities exploring how our body works, how exercise, diet, and how we treat ourselves and others, all impact our mental and physical wellbeing.

In addition, the school received a visit from the Cedarwood Trust, which works with councils, non-profit organisations and businesses in the North Shields area to help those in need, providing free meals, food banks, support groups, work placements and other resources.

During the week we also invited families into school to meet the staff from the Cedarwood Trust to hear about the wonderful work they do in supporting our local community,” added Mr Dillon.

Following lots of conversations between the families, Cedarwood staff and our school staff, we have planned a project around growing vegetables and cycling. Our curriculum gives our children lots of experiences that show them that they have a voice which will be heard and listened to, and that they can make a positive difference in our school community and the wider world.

Sent on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust and Barking Dog Media. For more information contact or call 07754 271086.