Sunday, 19 September 2021

Staff and students are all sharing #3GoodThings

Staff and students are all sharing #3GoodThings

A QUICK scroll through various Shiplake College department and staff Twitter accounts and you’d see a theme growing — an array of tweets mentioning #3GoodThings.

Shiplake has started the new school year with a really strong focus on mental health.

All pupils and staff have been introduced to #3GoodThings, a well-established initiative used by psychologists to change mindset and boost wellbeing and happiness.

Science is increasingly showing that gratitude is a central stimulant in determining how we feel.

We all have a natural focus on what goes wrong in our daily lives; we are quick to notice even the smallest of problems. Fear can close down our minds and our hearts; we rarely spend time dwelling on the good things.

However, the deliberate action of thinking of three good things that have happened to us in a day is incredibly powerful. Tests have shown that people who try it each night for just one week were happier and less depressed one month later.

And it’s so easy! When you sit down for a quick break, just before you go to sleep or any time you have a spare few minutes, reflect on the previous day and list three things that have made you happy. The action of thinking, better still writing them down, is therapeutic.

Spearheaded by deputy head pastoral, Mr Nick Brown, Shiplake staff and pupils alike have embraced this and it is wonderful to see the Twittersphere alive with #3GoodThings.

Many parents have also got involved! Tutors ask their tutees each week to reflect and it’s also a great talking point around school.

Anything such as enjoying their lunch, finishing a book, a particularly good lesson, a sports match, a random act of kindness, a new experience or achieving something of note; taking a few minutes to acknowledge and be grateful for these special moments can have a powerful and positive effect.

One of the characteristics of the Shiplake 7 is reflection and #3GoodThings is a great opportunity to employ this in a positive way.

Our three good things today:

1. Sharing this initiative with readers of the Henley Standard.

2. Inviting prospective Year 12 students to our Sixth Form Open Morning on Saturday, October 6.

3. Reminding prospective Year 12 students that the deadline for registrations and scholarship applications for 2019 entry is Friday, October 19.

What are your #3GoodThings?

AT a time when the pressure on students and teachers to gain excellent exam results is higher than ever, it is important for schools to recognise the value and extent of learning that goes on outside the classroom as well.

Developing the whole individual and not just the scholarly side is the duty of educational establishments and at Shiplake College the extracurricular life of the pupils is of huge value. At 3.10pm every day at Shiplake College, pupils down their pens and head outside for a full programme of co-curricular and sporting activities.

Three afternoons of the week, and Saturday mornings, are devoted this autumn term to rugby, hockey, rowing, cross country and racquet sports.

Having access to regular outdoor sport is of great importance, not just for physical health and growth, but also vital for mental wellbeing, developing social skills, building character values and learning from the experiences that playing sports brings, such as success and failure.

The other two afternoons see a chance for pupils to challenge themselves with an extraordinary range of extracurricular activities.

Regular options include golf, sailing, archery, canoeing, Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, design and technology club, model making and pilates.

There are more unusual choices available for pupils to try. Parkour, the discipline of freely moving over terrain, buildings and obstacles, is a popular choice and new to the programme this term for younger pupils, along with conjuring, where students can learn how to perform magic tricks. Model United Nations Club is again back on the agenda where students role-play meetings like the Security Council and General Assembly and gain a unique insight into how the United Nations works.

At Shiplake College, developing the determination, resilience and confidence of the students is paramount, helping them to flourish in life at school, university and beyond.

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Across the programmes there is a focus on inclusivity and participation, allowing all pupils to experience a sense of achievement and progress.

In the safe and familiar environment of school, all these activities help pupils to discover new skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication.

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