Working towards an Amber Flag
The Amber Flag is a Well-being Initiative. Its aim is to create healthy, inclusive environments that support mental well-being. In St. Laurence’s, we place a huge emphasis on well-being and we want to celebrate this by flying the Amber flag at the front of our school. This will enable us to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of looking after your mental health, especially our students and that they feel more comfortable seeking help and advice should they experience any difficulties. Indeed, our main aim is to give them the knowledge how to safe-guard their mental health.
Our wish is encapsulated nicely in an N.C.C.A Junior Cycle teaching of Well-being quote, ‘Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical wellbeing, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and have a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community’.
Amber Flag Goals
Well-Being Day 2023:
Well-Being Day took place on the 24th of March creating a positive, happy, calm, healthy and fun-filled atmosphere around the school, teaching us an essential life-long lesson about looking after our Well-Being – see St. Laurence’s Amber Flag poster attached.
The children were greeted entering the school by the Amber Flag Committee and other students wishing them a, ‘Happy Well-Being Day’ and giving out smiley face stickers. Like Kindness Day, a positive vibe set the tone of the day as both teachers, staff members, students and parents sang and danced their way in, to uplifting tunes.
The whole school was vibrating this uplifting mood and the corridor walls, school doors and Well-Being (Mental Health) boards were awash with positive, uplifting Well-Being posters, positive affirmations and mantras.
We announced on the school intercom, the Dr. Seuss quote that inspired this year’s Well-being Day theme, ‘To the world you may be one person; but to one person who may be the world’. It was the ideal message for the day!!! We spoke to the school body about how important and precious each of us are and therefore, we need to prioritize our Well-Being. We referred to the attached poster, ‘5 Ways to Support Your Well-Being’ and to their classes chosen activity to boost their mood and to give them Well-Being ideas.
This filled every pupil with a sense of Well-Being and the importance of looking after the Well-Being of others. They were also excited to participate in their classes’ Well-Being activity. Here are just a few of the Well-Being activities that took place: talking about what Well-Being (Mental health) is and how to look after it, talking about the school Well-Being poster, singing, dancing, yoga, relaxation meditations, breathing exercises, outdoor golden time like drawing with chalk outside with buddy classes, extra P.E outside, mindful colouring, a Well-Being class breakfast, a nature walk, a picnic and using the Amber Flag Well-Being resources on the school website.
That’s a fantastic amount of Well-Being and super resources that each child can use throughout the year and forever more!!🏆🥇🙌✨😍🥰🖐👏🙏
Enjoy the photos which can be found here!!😊👍💗❤💖👏
Cake Sale 2023:
The 6th class pupils, Amber Flag Committee, indeed the whole school community baked cakes and organised a cake sale. Each class had a slot to buy cakes and there were posters advertising our chosen charities. The cake sale was so enjoyable and a great success. It did wonders for everyone’s Well-Being.
Click here for photos of our Cake Sale.
Kindness Day 2023:
Kindness day took place on the 8th of February creating a positive, kind and love-filled atmosphere to get us ready for St. Valentine’s Day during our mid-term break.
The children were greeted coming to school by the Amber Flag Committee and some teachers' children wishing them a, ‘Happy Kindness Day’ and giving out heart stickers. The tone of the day was set as both teachers, staff members and students bopped to kindness tunes.
The whole school gathered for St. Brigid Kindness themed assembly. Junior Infants and their 5th Class buddies highlighted the theme of the day, ‘How will you make some one smile today by being kind?’ A third class young lady named Ava Melody inspired our theme from her amazing art work. It sent the perfect message for the day!!!
The whole school celebrated St. Brigid, all her kindness and gave all our school students and staff ideas on how they could be kind to each other, today and every day. We concluded our celebrations by joining the school choir sing, ‘You Can Count on Me’, by Bruno Mars.
This sent every student back to their class eager to spread kindness and to participate in their classes’ kindness activity. These activities were carried out across the whole school at different levels: kindness compliments passed to each other, cards to buddies, reading kindness books, designing kindness quilts out of paper, creating posters, art activities, song singing, kindness mindful colouring, creating a kindness tree, kindness fortune teller, kindness poetry, kindness word pots and writing letters to a nursing home.
That’s a lot of Kindness and a great recipe for a year full of Kindness!!!
Past Well-Being Initiatives
Our first initiative this school year (2021-22) to enhance pupil well-being was, ‘Our Christmas Gratitude Stars’. Being grateful makes us appreciate what we have and boosts are feeling of happiness. The corridors looked lovely and cheerful as we filled them with gratitude stars for Ms. Mooney, the Principal who was retiring. Here are some decorative pictures.
Our second initiative was ‘Kindness Week,’ in February which commenced on Valentine’s day. The children were encouraged to be kind to each other. Colourful posters filled the halls and children were rewarded with Kindness hearts, certificates and smiley faces for their efforts. The whole school took part together in a loving kindness meditation, listened and danced to a kindness song on the intercom. Throughout the week the children took part in kindness activities with their classes and buddies like writing kind words in chalk, yoga and kindness confetti.
‘Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and moulds relationships that can last a lifetime,’ quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin.
St. Laurence's Well-Being (Amber Flag) Webpage
Follow this link to the St. Laurence's Well-Being and Positive Mental Health Webpage which has great ideas on how to support your well-being every day!