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Wellbeing in our youngest friends

More recently than we would like to remember, we were in lockdown. Throwing us all into the throws of what to do with the children. We had to juggle unprecedented times, of home schooling, full time work and lock down, which has had a massive effect on our own #mentalhealth and #wellbeing but the flow on to our children much worse.

Time when we would go down the park and kick the footie, or play on the playgrounds, walk the dog, was limited by time. And if we couldn’t fit that all into our 1 hour per day of only 4 people allowed to socialise from the same family, we would often forgo going out at all.

But what did this do to our children? I know for me, it sent me somewhat stir crazy. As a person that loves to get out in nature at every available opportunity, I was limited to what I could do, with whom and when. My children, who spend countless hours playing sport albeit organised sport, were stopped in their tracks, and when sport resumed it was not the same, routines had changed, and we spent more time being focused on inside activities avoiding coming into contact with others.

I am sure many of you know exactly what I mean. We were stuck, I noticed, their self-esteem and happiness decline, and their agency seemed to be lost. Fast forward to now as a Principal, I see the direct impact it is having on the youngest of our little people. Many of them don’t know how to play outside anymore. They haven’t had the same opportunities as perhaps their older siblings, or relatives or even of children 5 years ago.

Between the ages 0-8 it is the most important time in a childs life to embed creativity and imagination. It will naturally start to wane at age 8, but we want to ensure that we give every opportunity for children to reach their full potential in these areas before it is too late. At #Hensmanstreetelementary we encourage and embed creativity in all areas of our school, not only is it one of our values, but we are encouraging and recognising it in children on a regular basis. What we have noticed is that more of these opportunities exist outside a classroom.

Whilst we are all trying to protect our little humans, we are in turn hurting there wellbeing. We want them to strive and grow into the most interesting and resilient people they can be, but to do so they must engage in nature, be able to explore their surrounds freely and take risks and be encouraged to develop their creativity and imagination.

Here at Hensman we are very lucky to be able to offer and indoor and #outdoorclassroom environment, where children are free to go between indoor and outdoor spaces. We get out and about within the #community, spending a whole day at offsite place based schooling.

As a micro-school we are not stuck in large school thinking and can make changes quickly meeting the needs of the cohort we have in our care. If you are thinking that you want something different then do get in contact with us. #prekindy #primaryschoolperth #independentschooling #earlychildhoodfocus #inquirybasedlearning #playbasedlearning

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