16 October 2020

Happy, resilient pupils are more able to embrace opportunity and fulfil their potential

As the first half of Autumn Term draws to a close School Counsellor Mrs Laura Herman looks at happy, resilient pupils and how she is here to help both new and established pupils.

Following the long period of lockdown, it was wonderful to see the Red House Lawn bathed in sunlight at the beginning of September and the new boys gathered together tentatively making new friends and meeting their teachers.

Parents were watching from a safe distance, struggling both to shield the sun from their eyes while hoping for a wave or a smile, but also bracing themselves for the transition of their little boys who were now embarking on the first day of their adventure of growing up at John Lyon without so much as a backward glance.

As their sons were led away by Prefects and Sixth Form Mentors into the Music School, few parents, if any, as you would expect, received a kiss blown across the garden! At best, perhaps there was an odd sideward glance that was safely undetected by their new peer group.

The boys, embarking on their transition from child to young adult involves great change and adaptation for all involved and we believe it is vital to arm both boys and parents with some additional knowledge and support in negotiating this change. Mental health and wellbeing plays a very important role here at John Lyon as happy, resilient young people are more able to embrace opportunity and fulfil their potential.

I have also enjoyed training the new year’s Sixth Form mentors (pictured at the top of this blog), a group who will be able to engage with pupils of all ages having received training with a focus on listening, communication skills, values, boundaries, confidentiality and keeping safe.

Parents continue to play a key role in how we deliver our pastoral care here at John Lyon and for many years I have had the privilege of holding a Parenting Teenager’s Course each term, which are always popular events at which I cover subjects such as meeting teenagers’ needs, setting boundaries and managing emotions, amongst others.

Due to current restrictions and social distancing, the Parenting Teenagers Course will not go ahead as planned this term but there we hope to be able to run it online in the near future so do keep an eye on updates on the school website and emails.

For any enquiries, I can be contact at laura.herman@johnlyon.org. Pupils can drop in to my office, next to the Music Office, any Tuesday lunchtime without an appointment. They can ask a parent or form tutor to contact me or you just drop a note under my door. Basically, any way they feel comfortable to make contact.

Mrs Laura Herman is a professionally trained psychotherapist, member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). She can be can be contacted by pupils at laura.herman@johnlyon.org.