Being Happy and Kind

Posted on: 12/11/2021

If you have already read this week’s newsletter you will know that this Saturday is World Kindness Day

Much has been written about ‘happiness and kindness’ and it goes without saying that if we all showed each other more kindness we would have a much happier world.

Every day here at St. Helen’s College we see kindness demonstrated in so many ways. Staff show genuine care and kindness towards the pupils, modelling how to treat others with compassion and goodwill. We see that kindness being replicated in the children’s behaviour to each other and in acts of kindness towards the local and global community too. Children are frequently observed or overheard asking each other how they are feeling, with real care, and taking action if a child is not feeling at their happiest. Our Friendship Benches are used at playtimes: if a child finds themself with no-one to play with, they sit on one of these benches and it is only moments before another child approaches them to ensure that they are included. Our Playground Pals take specific responsibility for showing kindness to their peers in the playground and for encouraging kind and inclusive play.

Children also spot and acknowledge each other’s kindness and other values through our Value Spotters system, writing golden notes about each other’s helpfulness and other qualities. We then celebrate these acts of kindness and compassion in our assemblies to reinforce how important and meaningful they are.

Staff, parents and children show great kindness, too, through support for charitable initiatives. Earlier in the term, parents and staff made many generous donations for Harvest, which were distributed amongst those in need of food in our local community. Kindness has again been demonstrated at school this week through our fundraising for the Royal Legion’s Poppy Appeal. We have ensured that the children understand the significance of Remembrance Day, discussing the bravery and - yes - kindness of those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We have looked, too, at the kindness of those who run and support the Royal British Legion, helping veterans and their families and keeping these important memories alive so that we may all continue to feel thankful for our current freedoms. Next week, we will be supporting Children in Need and will be discussing further the importance of showing kindness to those less fortunate than ourselves: not simply through raising money, but through our own selfless acts of kindness. We can all offer to help neighbours and friends or, in other ways, bring joy to those who may not experience it often enough. For example, over the years, St. Helen’s College children have made many visits to local care/nursing homes to bring joy to the elderly with their singing or by talking to them or sending them cards or letters. During the Covid pandemic, which pushed us all to think even more about kindness to others, St. Helen’s College children created artwork to decorate a ‘rainbow room’ at a local hospital to cheer up NHS staff as they battled through what were surely the hardest weeks and months of their careers.

It is crucial that we show each other kindness as adults too, of course. As an avid supporter of the organisation ‘Action for Happiness’ I share their monthly calendars with staff. This month’s calendar is named ‘New Ways November’ and it encourages us to give thought to doing different things or doing the same things but in a different way. While I am well aware that St. Helen’s College parents are some of the kindest people around, I encourage you to take a look. Perhaps by embracing some of these tips you may find a new level of happiness and find yourself being kinder to yourselves and to others as a by-product!

The relationship between kindness and happiness is indisputable. By being kind to others, we can produce happiness for them and ourselves. Some of the greatest figures in history have acknowledged this and used it as a basis for carrying out meaningful humanitarian work. I will leave you with this quote from Mother Theresa - a wonderful maxim which we may all strive to fulfil:

‘Spread love everywhere you go. Let no-one ever come to you without leaving happier.’

Have a kind, happy weekend!

Mrs. Drummond