When I was a school pupil, and I am guessing that it was the same for many of you, wellbeing was seldom spoken of and mental health was a private family matter, if that. I am so grateful that the world has moved forward and that we thankfully live in a time where wellbeing is not only mentioned, it is in fact prioritised.
This past week has been dedicated to wellbeing at the school with many events/sessions taking place for each year group and for staff. A screening of the movie Inside Out for Year 8, a Yoga session for Year 9, talks to the Sixth Form from Jonny Benjamin (author of The Stranger on the Bridge) and from Michelle Leigh (founder of The Oli Leigh Trust) to name just a few.
A week like this highlights the premium placed on mental health and wellbeing – but it would not be enough if we were to only hold events during a dedicated week. The school runs a very comprehensive Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic (PSHCE) programme throughout the year and where wellbeing is extremely prominent.
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 17B) teaches that when picking a community to live in, one should check that it has the following, “a court of law to keep justice, a charity fund, a synagogue, a bath house, a bathroom; a doctor, a craftsperson; a butcher and a teacher of children.” These things require the members of a community to support their existence and to be involved in their success. According to the Talmud then, there is a direct correlation between one’s wellbeing and the amount of time and energy one puts into ‘giving back’ to the community. The idea of the school motto, Orah Viykar is to bring light and honour to oneself and to all others – the basis of positive wellbeing.
Daniel Marcus Deputy Headteacher, Jewish Life and Learning
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