Pupils asked to switch off devices for Children’s Mental Health Week

Arnold Lodge School has encouraged junior school children to spend time away from their screens and learn through hands-on tasks this week

As part of Children’s Mental Health Week, Arnold Lodge School (ALS) has asked junior pupils to switch off their devices for a week of remote learning without screens.

In a bid to promote mental wellbeing, the coeducational independent school in Leamington Spa has encouraged pupils to learn through different hands-on tasks.

Many independent schools have been providing a full timetable of online lessons during periods of school closure.

The head of St Margaret’s School, Lara Péchard, recently said too much screen time in one day can be counterproductive to learning and wellness, and encouraged schools to balance screen time.

Each year group at ALS has received a wellbeing pack including books to study – such as The King Who Banned the Dark, Fox and The Wild Robot – supplies for art projects and seeds to plant.

We wanted to encourage them to spend more time exploring and learning away from their screens and to try some new activities at home – Matt James, Arnold Lodge School

Some of the activities pupils will be encouraged to take part in include bird watching, creating a stress ball from a balloon, learning how to say their name in sign language, sending secret messages to their friends in Morse code, creating art with recycled items, building dens, making song playlists and creating shadow puppets.

Matt James, head of the junior school at ALS, said: “To help promote Children’s Mental Health Week, we wanted to encourage our pupils to spend some time away from their screens and focus more on their own mental health and wellbeing.

“All the children have adapted really well to learning remotely through their devices, but we wanted to encourage them to spend more time exploring and learning away from their screens and to try some new activities at home.

“I’m sure some time away from the screen will also give parents some inspiration for fun activities to try with their children whilst schools continue with online teaching.”

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