Well, last weekend the snow reminded us that winter is far from over didn’t it! If you decided to go out and experience the building of snowmen and the creation of snow angels, then good for you. It does not happen often does it? I believe there’s some snow forecast for this weekend, so have your coats, scarves, woolly hats and gloves at the ready!
When I start to pen these messages, I usually wait for the week to unfold before writing anything because little bits of information and insight come along and pop into my head.
A chance meeting with a rather splendid old woman has influenced this week’s entry.
My wife and I decided to take our children for a local walk after the snowfall on Sunday. Fortunately, where we live you find yourself in open countryside within 5 or 10 minutes and on this particular walk, we passed a large field, which was occupied by a magnificent brown horse. This horse, which stood approximately 18 hands high – as tall as me - was feeding on a fresh bale of hay that was placed just inside the field’s five-bar gate.
My children were amazed by this immense creature, marvelling at its size and strength and the sight of its ears twitching to attention (responding to any sound or movement) as it chewed through the dry straw.
Suddenly, a little old woman appeared behind us. There she stood, at a safe distance, with a crutch for support in one hand, wrapped up against the cold with a warm red coat and scarf.
‘He’s beautiful isn’t he?’ she said, pointing the crutch in the direction of the animal.
‘I used to walk my granddaughter along here when she was a child and this has always been a horse field,’ she continued, ‘my granddaughter would comment on the fact that a fully grown mare would be making a lot of noise whinnying to its foal. I pointed out to my granddaughter that the foal had been born blind and the reason for the noise was the fact that the mother was calling out directions to help guide the young animal around the field.’
We nodded, waiting for her to continue her story.
‘That was 20 years ago, what you’re looking at is that same foal.’
We stood and stared at the horse and then back at the old woman.
‘I’m 92 you know. I had my vaccine jab today and I’m having a walk to celebrate,’ she added.
Then the old woman said something wise and illuminating.
‘Do you know what the secret to a long and happy life is? I’ll tell you. You need a sense of humour, to not take yourself too seriously, and never be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Lovely children you’ve got there by the way.’
And with that she said her goodbyes and sailed off, continuing her walk, down the country lane.
Next week is ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ and as a school we are going to focus in on activities and approaches that promote the children’s well-being. We’ll have collaborative, open-ended tasks that develop the children’s communication skills and provide them with fun and enjoyment. Feel free to try some of these activities at home. See attached with this message examples of the kind of things you and your children could choose to indulge in next week.
Mr Le Fevre has provided other incentives and information around ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ in his weekly message and teachers are sharing each other’s ideas and plans to ensure that next week is a true celebration of who we are and gives the children a real opportunity to express themselves in whatever way they wish.
You’ll see also this week I’ve included a story read, so feel free to share this with your children.
Take care and stay safe.