From the head’s desk: 29 October 2021
In the past week, there have been some significant changes to the Covid-19 regulations and restrictions for schools. This comes at the same time as the rollout of vaccines is extended to children over 12 years. These developments bring hope that our school will experience greater freedom in our daily routine, in hosting co-curricular activities and in welcoming parents onto campus. Although the threat of a fourth wave looms, we will make the most of these liberties in the final weeks of the school term.
This time of the year, marked by the beauty of the jacaranda trees, is dominated by final examinations. I am aware that the Senior School pupils are preoccupied with their examination preparation. In any given year, this causes increased stress in schools but after the past 18 months, many of our girls may feel even more emotionally drained than usual, or they may be experiencing heightened anxiety. For parents and teachers, this may be an opportune time to assess the daily routine of our girls and provide support structures for their health and well-being.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is an active organisation that reports regularly in the media. They inform us that one in six South Africans suffer from anxiety, depression or substance-use problems. This group also provides sound advice on how to manage mental health. It is important for all of us to acknowledge that mental health is as important as physical health and to seek professional help if necessary. There are also basic lifestyle approaches, which help one to manage stress and anxiety, such as a balanced diet with choices that include protein, complex carbohydrates, fatty acids and healthy fats. Exercise and sleep are extremely important, and both should be prioritised by our girls in the lead up to examinations. Screen time should be managed. Another valuable support is the use of breathing exercises which release emotions and stress.
HEAD OF SCHOOL