The return to school this week has brought happiness and joy to both teachers and students as they engage in face to face learning on campus once again, re-establishing a positive relationship which is the foundation of success in learning at Bishop Tyrrell.

During this staged return to school, it is important for us to reflect on what we have learned about ourselves while undertaking home learning. Perhaps the most important learning during this unprecedented time will turn out to be that our Resilience has become stronger as a result of the need to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully we have learned to trust that “all will be well” as we draw on our inner strength.

Julian of Norwich (1342 – 1329) a Christian mystic, lived in a small cell at the Church of St Julian, in Norwich, UK from which she wrote several manuscripts about how we should live our lives, her most famous being “Revelations of Divine Love”. She was known as Mother Julian and she was said to have visions from God from which she formed her beliefs.

The most famous quote from her writing which remains in our vocabulary even today is – “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Christians believe that Mother Julian was reminding us of God’s love for us and telling us not to worry about things.

In this edition of the Bulletin I’ve shared posters from our Year 7 students who were recently reminded to have Faith and believe that all will be well. Their artwork shows them practising Empathy toward others, wishing them well, showing kindness and letting them know they are being loved from a distance.

By pausing in their day to reflect on what is happening in their world right now, they are practising Mindfulness, a skill which encourages us to slow down, be calm, breathe deeply and meditate or pray. Empathy and mindfulness are two of the skills we need to develop when we are learning to be Resilient young people.

A third skill which helps us to develop resilience is practising Gratitude. By stopping the busyness for a moment to think of three things for which we are grateful we centre our thinking on the now which causes us to reduce the need to worry about the future.

Developing empathy, practising mindfulness and being grateful for what we have are habits, well researched by positive psychologists, which are the foundation for developing Resilience. The ability to be resilient will stand you in good stead throughout your life.

Being “safe at home” has given you the opportunity to get to know yourself and to work on the important task of developing your Resilience. There will always be difficult times in our lives, and these will always present opportunities to grow. It’s how you use the time that matters.

Try these three important activities this weekend.  Show Empathy toward others – call a friend or relative you have not seen for a while who might be alone and feeling isolated; write down three things you are Grateful for in your journal or tell the people who matter in your life about them; and practise Mindfulness by being still and calm, practising deep breathing and letting your worries go.

Use your new skills in Resilience and remind yourself that “all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. You are perfectly loved and lovable, just as you are”.

Suzanne Bain