Downlands Village School has supported Mental Health Awareness Week by offering students some musical respite. SUS-210517-170352001

Hassocks school uses music and dance used to help with mental wellbeing

A village school has supported Mental Health Awareness Week by offering students some musical respite.

By Carly-May Kavanagh
Thursday, 20th May 2021, 3:00 pm

Michelle Ridley, one of Downlands Community School’s pastoral support officers, and Miss Lincoln, a music teacher, organised for pupils to express themselves through music, dance and song during their lunch breaks every day last week. Gail Wickens, PA to the senior leadership team,said: “Each lunchtime we had a different group of children sharing their love of dance, music and song with other students, culminating in our staff singing Lean on Me on Friday, May 7. These events all took place in our beautiful Amphitheatre also known as the Hassocks Outdoor Performance Space. Young people are struggling with their mental health and we have been trying to support them as much as possible. Our fantastic pastoral, SEN, teams and teaching staff spend many hours on a weekly basis helping students to manage their mental health. We have a weekly visit from Poppy the Therapy Dog and we offer time with our school counsellor for those students really in need. It has been recorded nationally that young people have experienced much higher levels of anxiety and low mood during lockdowns and now with restrictions easing, there is a rise in social anxiety with many young people reporting a decrease in motivation. The events were aimed at providing a break from the norm and offer a chance for some students to share one of their passions with their peers. We would like to thank all being brave enough to take part and for doing their bit to help the mental health of students at Downlands Community School.”

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