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I was recently walking past the Reception class of Mrs Cabot and I noticed a lovely wellbeing initiative centered around traditional tea ceremonies. Mrs Cabot and her boys were sitting on the floor, sharing in a pot of tea and spending time connecting with each other. As I joined them I discovered that while they were having their cups of tea they were sharing their emotions and discussing events of the day. This mindful practice and emotional sharing was fostering a supportive environment for students. Mrs Cabot was able to share some wonderful examples of this with me and the value that the students placed on this emotional connection.

The tea ceremony, a time-honoured practice in many cultures, emphasizes the beauty of simplicity and presence in the moment. As a staff group we gathered for a staff meeting earlier this term and Mrs Cabot shared the work she had been doing in her class with tea ceremonies. We shared in a tea ceremony at this meeting and encouraged discussion and reflection on emotions for our staff. We encouraged staff to use tea ceremonies to help as a calming and reflective practice within their classes, encouraging students to take the time to be mindful and share their thoughts and emotions. This has occurred from our youngest classes in the Early Learning Centre to our students in Year 6 and even been a part of our Grandparents and Special Friends mornings this week.

By integrating tea ceremonies into the wellbeing program, this has provided a unique opportunity for emotional connection and support. The students have thoroughly enjoyed this shared experience and the hope is that this will continue to build a sense of community, breaking down barriers and encouraging open dialogue. Students and staff have reported feeling more connected and understood, with many appreciating the chance to pause and reflect amidst their busy lives.

In all that we do at St Peter’s College to support the wellbeing and mental health of our students and staff, our aim is to build and strengthen relationships and a sense of community. I would like to continue to recommend to our families at St Peter’s College the wellbeing resources at SchoolTV and URStrong. Both of these resources have important strategies to support the wellbeing of children and families.

Ben Storer
Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration