Highgate Primary pupils wear clothes inside out to highlight mental health awareness

Inside Out Day at Highgate Primary. Picture: Highgate Primary

Inside Out Day at Highgate Primary. Picture: Highgate Primary - Credit: Archant

It may have looked as though children at Highgate Primary had forgotten how to get dressed last week, but that could not have been further from the truth.

Rather, the reason the pupils all had an item of clothing on inside-out was to highlight the importance of mental health.

On February 6, children. staff and the school dog Horace all got involved as part of Children's Mental Health week. Billie-Jean Daniels, who leads on personal, health, and social education (PSHE) at the school told the Ham&High why she had been delighted by the support pupils had shown for the initiative.

She said: "I am thrilled by the children's response to Inside Out Day.

"Throughout the school, it has ignited conversations around children's mental health and raised awareness of some of the problems faced by young people today."

Highgate is a school that has long championed a progressive approach to mental health.

In 2017, it won a Guardian Public Service Award for its pastoral care model, while across Children's Mental Health Week activities including singing competitions and yoga sessions encouraged pupils to open up and talk about the issue.

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The idea of Inside Out day is to wear something inside out in order to draw attention to the fact that often, even though people appear fine on the outside, they can be going through difficulties others cannot see.

Billie added: "It has been great to see the profile of mental health rising in the national agenda and we are very proud that this is mirrored in our school."

The Storey Road school even runs a drama therapy scheme - paid for by a BBC Children in Need grant - which helps to give the pupils the space to best manage their own mental health.;

As part of the day, pupils helped to raise money for the foundation If U Care, Share, which supports emotional wellbeing amongst young people.

The foundation was set up by the young siblings of a County Durham teenager Daniel O'Hare who committed suicide in 2005.

Highgate Primary School shares a site with the Blanche Nevile School for the Deaf Children, which is turning 125 this year.