The first Theme Day of the year was based on ‘Understanding Yourself’. Students started the day in their tutor groups by taking part in a Myers-Briggs personality test, to understand their strengths, weaknesses and what type of careers they may be suitable for in the future. They then headed to the auditorium where head student, Florence Grieve, introduced the concept of self-awareness; understanding who you are and how you relate to the world. This means being mentally and emotionally present in situations, and understanding how your actions affect people. It also means that you’re clued into what you really enjoy and dislike. We tend to underestimate the importance of knowing ourselves. When we don’t know where we are headed it’s hard to set goals, get motivated and determine the best course of action.

Students were invited to take part in the activity “mingle, mingle”. They walked around the room mingling until questions such as ‘Are you comfortable or uncomfortable in a disorderly environment?’, ‘What is more satisfying; time or money?’, ‘What are you thankful for’ were initiated. Students and teachers organised themselves into groups according to their responses to understand how they relate to the rest of secondary. Florence then introduced the students to Maslow’s theory of ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ to understand the different stages we may be in, at different points in our life. Students played an interactive game based on evolving to the highest stage of ‘self-actualization’ through ‘rock, paper, scissors’. We learnt that no matter what stage you are in, it is important to be aware of where you are in order to progress to a higher level.

Through a video, from philosopher Alan Watts, students were inspired to think about what they would do if money was no object. In groups, they discussed the topic intensely. By 9.20am they were ready to start their workshops, designed by our talented teachers, on topics such as ‘Building Self Esteem’ ‘Mindsets’, You and you’re time’, ‘How to express yourself’ and more. The day concluded with students reflecting on the individual qualities of their fellow tutor group members, by writing down positive things about each member in a ‘About Me’ booklet. Sometimes others can provide valuable insight into ourselves. This is crucial because, as the late Steve Jobs insisted, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

By Arabella Higgins, Whole School Counsellor