Made In Mayflower | 'Together We Can...Find More Happy 
27th January 2021
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FAMILY ENGAGEMENT enables Mayflower to promote community learning. Families sign up to this ethos to create a culture of excellence for all.
Happiness is…
…a choice?
…a state of mind?
…an illusion?
Typical answers you’ll receive if you ask someone, or possibly there will be more personal ones…
…hot chocolate on a rainy day?
…spending time with family?
…a good book?
For me it’s far simpler than that.  We have 5 basic human needs – physiological, safety, love & belonging, esteem and self-actualisation.  To me happiness is the 6th basic human need, but more than that it is a human right.  We all deserve to be happy.  Without happiness in our lives we can suffer illness and depression.
Yet sometimes finding happiness can be a hard task.  And sometimes it seems like an inappropriate feeling to have.  Take our current situation for example.  Many find it hard to show happiness right now for fear of what others might be going through.  Or are perhaps unable to feel happy because of what they are going through.
Emily Coxhead had these exact same worries when she started The Happy Newspaper in 2015.  Fed up with the negativity she felt watching the news or scrolling social media she decided to put out a newspaper focussed on nothing but good news. Well, turns out she wasn’t alone.  The newspaper was a massive success with an unexpectedly huge demand for a 2nd edition…and a 3rd…and it kept going until today, 5 years later and 30-something countries subscribing.
Throughout the paper’s history Emily has had similar situations to now.  Tragedy and upset surrounds us all and she was unsure whether to publish; how can you promote happiness when there’s so many people experiencing something terrible?  But The Happy Newspaper – and happiness itself – is not about toxic positivity.  It’s not about being happy at the expense of everything else.  It’s about recognising the bad, and then seeking the good, a little something that can bring a smile (even if it is just for a little while).
We all need a little happiness in our lives.  What are you doing that brings you happiness?  What are you doing that brings happiness to someone else?  We’d love to know.
Tag @NathanwhiteMCA on Twitter and use the hashtag #happiness to share
If you’d like your own copy of The Happy Newspaper follow the link -

Step up

ATTENDANCE for all is a must. Pupils who are on time and are fully engaged, make more progress. They go on to have better life choices. Step up to the mark.
It really is 'The Best Medicine!'

This week I was fortunate to have been able to share a laugh and a chat with the fantastic Katie White (no relation!), Laughter Facilitator, Embodied Wellness Practitioner and Founder of The Best Medicine.

lick the video below to watch us chat about:
- how important laughter is
- how laughter affects us and others
- how to get more laughter in your life
- whether happiness is right in times of trouble...

...and join in with some fun laughter activities at the end.  

At the very least you'll get to laugh at me having a laugh!
Katie will be joining me on this week's tea@2 for more laughter chat, and to answer any questions.  Don't miss out, tune in at 2pm.

If you'd like to find out more about Katie, The Best Medicine, or laughter therapy (and I highly recommend you do) then please click on the link below:

The Best Medicine Website 
When our sleep suffers, our mood suffers.  Here are two great apps that can really help with sleep troubles.  Both offer a free trial period before you decide whether to buy or not. 
Just click the image.

enables pupils and their families to create a fresh sense of perspective whilst developing their talents and interests.
"Pressure, pushing down on me... 🎶 um ba ba de 🎶"
What’s the biggest drain on your happiness?  

According to recent news reports it’s probably stress.  Stress effects our mental and our physical health (sometimes in ways you might not have realised).  Some of the symptoms of stress are:
  • feel overwhelmed
  • have racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating
  • be irritable
  • feel constantly worried, anxious or scared
  • feel a lack of self-confidence
  • have trouble sleeping or feel tired all the time
  • avoid things or people you are having problems with
  • be eating more or less than usual
  • drink or smoke more than usual
NHS, 2020

There are two way we can try to ease the stress in our lives:
  1. Control our external environment
  2. Control our internal environment
If it’s within our power to do so we can look to remove the cause of the stress, but that’s sometimes harder than it sounds.  Maybe it’s our job, our finances, our relationship etc.  These are things that are often outside of our immediate control.  But our internal environment is always within reach. 
As Viktor Frankl said ‘between stimulus and response is choice, and that’s where growth happens’.  So here are some things we can try to do when we feel the first waves of stress hitting us.

Breathe – I talk about breathwork a lot, but that’s because it really is one of the most powerful tools we’ve got.  The average person breathes around 18 breaths per minute.  That in itself is enough to make you stressed (too much oxygen not enough carbon dioxide).  If we slow our breathing to around 6 – 8 breaths per minute, through the nose, and breathe deeper into the lower lungs/stomach area it has a stabilising, calming effect.  Try checking in on your breath at different points in the day until you manage this rate naturally, without thinking.  I could do a whole tea@2 on breathing alone.
50/50 – No not the R&B song by Lemar…no, just me that remembers that one?  50/50 is a mindfulness technique which encourages you to think about yourself as much as others when interacting with them.  When in conversation we naturally want to pay attention fully and take on board other’s problems and challenges.  It’s what makes you a great listener and parent/friend/employee.  But it can be emotionally draining and draw you away from your own needs.  50/50 encourages you to give half your attention to the person or problem you’re dealing with, and direct the other half inward, assess how you’re feeling in the situation and whether you have the resources (emotions, time etc) so support the other without suffering yourself.  If not, it’s OK to admit it.
Grounding – Our senses are like an anchor; they keep us fixed in the here and now and stop us spiralling into the seas of ‘what if?’  As soon as you recognise the stress rising go straight to your touch.  Our whole body is one great big touch receptor, it gives us massive sensory feedback to focus on.  Feel your feet on the ground, your bum on a chair, the wind in your hair…feel anything to focus on the now.  Once you’re grounded into the now, return to the breath.
5-4-3-2-1 – Not the chocolate bar.  Similar to grounding this pulls us into the here and now.  When you feel the stress rising, pause, and find:
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
This will help to refocus your attention.
On any given day, if the stress is high enough, I can quite easily find myself using any and/or all of these.  They're great as a short-term fix, but if you're suffering from long-term stress please do consult your doctor.  

Do you have any other strategies you use for short-term help to stress?  
Let us know by tagging @Nathanwhite MCA on Twittter and use the hashtag #shorttermhelp to share 
Children's Mental Health Awareness Week - 1st-7th February 2021
Next week (1st-7th February 2021) is this year's Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.  Now, as parents and teachers we're always aware of Children's Mental Health, but it's great to have a week to really shine the spotlight on such a crucial area.  Every year there's a theme to the week, and this year it's Express Yourself.  Such a great theme, I can hardly wait.
Next week's newsletter will be focussed on self expression, and from Monday we'll be tweeting ideas to help support children to express themselves.

Please make sure you follow @NathanwhiteMCA on twitter so as not to miss out.  We'll be using the hashtag #selfexpression all week to share ideas and examples.
Looking for more advice on children's wellbeing?  Try one of these links:

ATTENTION and focus are key learning behaviours that pupils are taught. Pupils learn how to organise their ideas, accelerate progress and achieve the highest standards. 
Blue skies & happy vibes...
This week I asked you to share your #shorttermhelp suggestions for managing stress.  To tell me how you unwind and what form your #toppingup takes.

Let's see what we've got..

It was lovely to see what a success our first Wellbeing tea@2 was, thank you all for your comments throughout and after.  So lovely to see a community of people passionate to share their ideas and experiences...
You can let us know each week how you're looking after your wellbeing using the following hashtags on Twitter:


Each Wellbeing Wednesday we'll consider a different aspect of wellbeing that we can all share some tips on with each other.  This week, how do you support your children to express themselves?  How do you show your self expression?

Dates for your diary 

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week - 1st - 7th February 
Wellbeing Workshop:
How can I reduce anxiety for my child and be ‘well’? - Coming Soon
Art of Being Brilliant Parent Workshop  - 9th February, 6:30pm 
Behaviour Workshop: How can I prepare & create a positive learning environment? - Coming Soon

DEVELOPING the talents and interests of our pupils and their families sits at the heart of our ‘Together we can…’ ethos. Empowerment fuels improvement for all. 
Daily lockdown anthems | Do you have any requests? | Press & play
Press and play. Nothing makes you happier than those embarrassing guilty pleasures.  For me it's Justin Timberlake and cover versions.  Von Smith ticks both boxes.  What's your musical guilty pleasure?  Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #guiltypleasure
Remote Learning has its benefits, but long days of screen time is not one of them. So what do we do to counter this?

This brilliant video highlights and shares the importance of screen breaks in order to balance the day. Class Teachers have very carefully managed your remote timetables to ensure you have plenty of opportunities for rest, fresh air and exercise. It is very important that you take full advantage of these breaks to stand up and stretch. Thank you very much to Mr White for making such a fantastic and useful film. 
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