Human interaction and "Extra-curricular Happy Hour"

Hi all,

Just to follow up from the Well-led event, an update on some of our efforts in this area.

I posted before about our “Well-being Wednesdays” where our large PE team commandeered the gym for some “protected time” on Wednesday mornings. This was to replace the ‘tea Friday’s’ we used to have to get together in the staff room. All of these little planned weekly events were simply designed to satisfy that need for a bit of human interaction which has slowly been eroded since this crisis began. All of our team have found this hardest to deal with as we are all fairly social, outgoing and tactile people.

As even the socially distanced meets in the gym were slowly deemed as inappropriate we never gave up on finding a way to satisfy the urge. So now we have developed the “Extra-Curricular Happy Hour” - where we make sure the staff are having as much fun as the kids at our newly re-introduced Sports clubs. We currently have teas, coffees, hot chocolates, homemade cakes and cookies available for anyone who wants to come down and help us on the field and we have had a great response from non-PE staff who are just after some fresh air and the chance to be with others at the end of a tough day. We are going to hopefully develop this on with some fun ideas such as ‘fancy dress’ weeks, a little mini raffle and other tiny tid-bits to keep us going over the winter months.

The best thing about this activity is it can embed a culture of enjoying delivering these activities again rather than the added daily burden it had unfortunately become with increased workload and less support from around the school - no longer will a fixture at Shenley Brook End school be met with the nod from afar and agreement of rules before trying to “get away as soon as we can”… Your first question when arriving here will now be “how do you take your tea!!”. We are bringing the fun back and we won’t be apologising for it! It’s the kind of COVID legacy we can all get on board with!

Hope this helps someone out there who might be feeling isolated at the moment and inspire them to use the tools available in their amazing school communities - even if it doesn’t feel like the warmest place to be at the moment!

Cheers
Sean

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Hi Sean,

I think this a really lovely idea. Have you been able to keep up the momentum?

Hi Harriett,

Long time no reply! Apologies.

Prior to closure we were able to enjoy the extra-curricular atmosphere right up until the week before Christmas where unfortunately we had to close due to the amount of positive cases we had.

We have continued with our wellbeing activities remotely where we could but, of course, it’s not quite the same remotely.

What I can say has happened in terms of momentum, is that we are completely redesigning our fixtures & competitions strategy. We have realised how much we and the students have missed them but also appreciate how cold and impersonal it can be when you play a school who have a 'win-at-all-costs" mentality - So we are going to shape a future where coming for a fixture at our school means a warm-welcome, a chat before and after with the opposition, a hot drink and a snack etc etc. No less desire to achieve, but doing it in a way that spreads a culture where we enjoy the game first and focus on the result second!

Thanks for asking!

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Hi Sean,

no need to apologies it is a ridiculously busy time for teachers and schools at the moment.

Fantastic that you were able to keep going up until closure. Its always harder to keep something going than it is to start it.

Once you are all back in and taking part in competitions you will have to let us know how you get on with your new approach which sounds really nice.

Harriet