Made In Mayflower | 'Together We Can...Be Well-Beings | 20th Wednesday
18th January 2021
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We don't need a superhero, we need more Kid Presidents...

2012 was a great year, it was the year I'd flown through my NQT year and started as a 'proper' teacher! But more importantly it was the year that Kid President burst onto the internet in short 3-minute bundles of fun, inspiration and wisdom beyond his years.

Kid President's message was awesome to each other.  Easy. 
He issued pep-talks and lists such as 'how to be more awesome', which children and teachers alike lapped up, and vowed to follow in a bid to be a better person.  His messages were simple, yet poignant.  So much so in fact that he had a slew of celebrities lining up to meet him...including the actual President at that time, Barack Obama. 

Then, in 2016, after 4 short years he vanished from the internet, away from the fame so that he could lead a normal child's life.  One presidential term is all we got.

Then, towards the end of 2019 he returned (like a superhero) just when we began to need him most.  Kid President started to travel the USA to shine a light on as many examples as he could find of kids being awesome. 

There are a lot of things in life that are out of our control.  But how we react to situations, and how we treat others are always within our grasp.  Recognising the good in others, and meeting them with kindness, respect and awesomosity (I'm making it a word) are all things we can strive for.

What awesome behaviour have you seen lately? 

Tag @NathanwhiteMCA on Twitter and use the hashtag #awesome to share
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.
Switch off to tune in...

You know from your own experience that trying to focus on complicated work is next to impossible when you haven't had a good night's sleep.  The same is true for our children, perhaps even more so. 

If your child is having difficulty with sleep lately, and it's affecting them in the day, maybe some of these pointers will help.
On average, school age children need between 9 - 11 hours sleep per night.  Sometimes as parents we worry about our children going to bed too late, or getting up too early.  One of the first things we can check, and more important than bed times is sleep length.

If your child is struggling to get the right amount of sleep there could be a number of things worth trying to help:
  • Unload time - Children seem to wait until you're about to turn the lights out to tell you their worries.  Sometimes we may feel like they're stalling their bedtime, but there is a reason for it.  When they're tucked up in bed their minds finally have a chance to switch off from everything that's happened in the day, and that's when they can remember and focus on what's troubling them.  If this sounds familiar try starting the bedtime routine a half hour earlier to factor it in.
  • Regularity - Our bodies are very sensitive to change.  Maintaining regular routines helps us to find a rhythm and naturally recognise sleep and waking times.  This is especially important in amongst so many other changes to children's routine of late. 
  • Comfort - It may sound obvious, but we need to be comfortable to sleep well.  This includes checking the mattress, tags on clothing, not too much light and the temperature of the room.  It's actually better to be cooler in the room rather than too warm. 
  • Food and Drink - Generally speaking big meals too close to bedtime can hinder sleep.  However, with children sometimes a quick snack with tryptophan (found in cheese, eggs, bananas, wheat and more) and some warm milk half an hour before lights out can really help.
  • Routine - It can really help to ensure a calm routine before bed.  The hour before bed try to shift to calmer games and quieter volume.  Half an hour before cutting out the electronics and getting in to bed for a story and/or to talk about the day.
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.
Like Elton said - "It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside"
"The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese"

That's a quote from a fantastic little book called Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.  It's a story about 2 mice and 2 mouse-sized people that all live inside a maze together.  Every day they leave their houses, head off to where the cheese is kept, take as much as they need, and then head home again.  Every day is the same.  Until one day the cheese has gone.

Each of the characters deals with the loss of the cheese in their own way, some move on straight away, some struggle to let go of the way things used to be.  But eventually they all come to terms with the fact that the cheese has gone, and move on to find new cheese.

Life is a little like that maze right now.  Just when we think we know where we're going, someone seems to move the cheese.  Change can be scary, especially when we have no control over it, and children have the least control of all.  This can bring up all sorts of emotions that children can find hard to understand and to control.  Recognising emotions and self-regulation are skills that can take children into their teenage years to fully master.

On today's tea@2 we'll be looking at ways to help children recognise their emotions; how to help them regulate their breathing to calm their emotions; and the positive purpose behind negative feelings.  Join us on Twitter at 2pm to find out more and join in the chat.

In the meantime, have you tried using a calm box before?  They're a great way to help begin teaching children self-regulation techniques.  Have you made one already?  Do you have any other methods you use to help children calm?  We'd love to see.

Tag @Nathanwhite MCA on Twittter and use the hashtag #calmbox or #emotionalcalm to share 
There are many different examples of how to create a calm box for children, and the list of things to add into it can be overwhelmingly long.  Click the box above to visit the Young Minds website with some useful ideas of the category of items to include.
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. 
Feeling blue...
This Monday was Blue Monday.  Supposedly the most depressing day of the whole year. 

We challenged our community to change the script and fill Twitter with some blue to make you smile, and you did not disappoint.  Just look at some of these happy memories. 

When people come together with a shared vision and belief...that's when greatness happens.  Like changing the most depressing day of the year, to one filled with joy, memories and forward planning. 

Together we can...
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, what do you do to help you deal with stress short-term, when you start to feel it building up?

Dates for your diary 

Emotional Resilience Parents Workshop - Date TBC
Children's Mental Health Awareness Week - 1st - 7th February 
Art of Being Brilliant Parent Workshop  - 8th February, 6:30pm 

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. There's something about an acoustic song.  Somehow they just seem to hold more raw emotion.  The Revivalists: Soul Fight
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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