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Cooler Heads Prevail

It would have been easy this year for our year 11’s to be overwhelmed or disillusioned with all the disruption to their exams. It is thanks to their grit and determination and our staff’s unrelenting support and innovation that it has actually been a relatively straightforward and peaceful year. They have implemented a host of different strategies, from Art Therapy to Chess to working out, that have helped our students cope with the various adversities that have been thrown their way.

Whilst simultaneously writing his dissertation, one of our LSA’s, Mitch, has somehow made the time to support every student through his unique art therapy;

From the beginning of the year, 11B have been engaging in therapeutic arts-based workshops which are designed to facilitate the exploration of creative self-expression. As a collective and as individuals, the group has produced artwork which correlates with the artistic form of expressionism, through the creation of abstract, emotive art. Artistic collaboration within the group has promoted effective communication which has fostered a sense of unity and togetherness. Below, is an example of a piece of artwork created within a session...’

If paints won’t do the job, the fabulous Poppy (our P.E. lead) takes our students out to burn off some energy: she says:

“Physical Education not only provides our learners with new, exciting opportunities but multi-sensory activities that are engaging for all. At Hardwick House we aim to support our learners and give them skills that we know will benefit them in the future. PE is the perfect subject when it comes to learning new skills, building social connections and exploring outside of comfort zones in a safe environment. With the pandemic, PE aimed to deliver lessons that were exciting, safe and stress relieving, to help our learners stay active during these difficult times. Students have learnt more about individual sports, what physical education therapy techniques are available to them and how to engage with their peers outside of the classroom.”

And for those in a more cerebral mood there is a regular chess club to strategise as well as immersing oneself in something non-exam-related: crucial to staying relaxed.

The end is now in sight and we’re ready to wish our year 11’s well after a year of hard graft. Fingers crossed for results day!

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