New Year Resolutions, New Year Habits

New Year is a time to set new resolutions and goals, but what should young people be focussing on?

I would suggest that there are some basic habits that our students should try to develop to help set them up for a successful year. These could include: sleep, diet, electronic devices/social media, enrichment and study.

Habits

The key with habits is actually turning them into habits. Once a habit is formed it becomes much easier to stick to. It can take anything from 18 to over 200 days to form a habit, with an average being 66 days, some research suggests.

To help develop a habit it might be useful to think of it in three parts: the cue, the behaviour and the reward. The cue is what triggers the habit. This could be simply walking into your home at the end of a day, it could be a break in a TV programme, meeting a friend, anything. The behaviour is the thing you actually want to do and the reward could simply be the feeling of satisfaction of achieving what you wanted or a treat.

Recognising these stages will help us to make habits or even break bad habits.

As the habit is formed, the reward becomes less necessary and the habit becomes automatic. This is where we want to get to.

Sleep

Sleep is incredibly important. It allows the brain to transfer short term memory into longer term memory, it allows the body to repair itself and also affects how we function the next day.

A lack of sleep affects the brain’s ability to process information and how we respond to situations. Our emotional responses and empathy towards others deteriorates quickly with a lack of sleep. The impact of lack of sleep on a student’s day at school is significant.

It has been suggested that teenages need nine hours of good quality sleep each night.

Young people should aim to develop evening routines which will help trigger the body to prepare for sleep.

These two articles explore teenage sleep further. – article 1, article 2.

Electronic devices/social media

Social media can have many positive impacts such as the discovery of new ideas, development of social skills, attainment of a sense of identity, etc. However, it also has the potential to impact on mental health with feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. Many sites which are image based potentially give rise to unachievable expectations in terms of “success” and body image.

We should try to encourage young people to gain a sense of perspective and consider how much time they are spending using social media. Turning off social media and electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime will allow them to relax, disengage and reduce the effects of blue light on sleep.

Article on use of electronic devices and impact on sleep. Another article on the impact of social media on mental health.

Enrichment

Joining a club, volunteering or developing a new hobby will help to develop new skills and provide a break from study. We often find that our most successful students are also involved in additional activities which develop their character. These activities develop skills such as organisation, planning, time-management and social skills. They also develop dispositions such as resilience, caring, motivation and curiosity, all of which will be highly useful throughout life.

Whatever New Year’s resolutions/habits you set, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Year 11 bring the cup home!

The year 11 rugby squad pulled off a great win in the final of the Northumberland Schools County cup defeating a good Whitley Bay side 79-15.

It was a great first half performance dominating the opposition through some good forward play and some slick backs moves. This allowed the KEVI side run in some excellent tries.  Whitley Bay came back strong in the second half scoring three good tries but the KEVI side proved too strong and ran out comfortable winners.

Man of the match was awarded to Hugh O’Brien.

All the students were fantastic and can now look forward to their Rugby tour in February!

Golfing Success

Congratulations to Amelia in Year 10 for her golfing achievements.

As well as being selected to play for the county in the upcoming season, she has also been selected to be  a Girls Golf Rock Ambassador for Northumberland.

Girls Golf Rock is an initiative for girls to learn to play golf in a fun & social way and is new to Northumberland in 2018. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Instructions for a Heatwave

This week Ms Kane recommends ‘Instructions for a Heatwave’ by Maggie O’Farrell.

O’Farrell’s sixth award winning book, Instructions for a Heatwave, is a literary delight which delves into the world of family dynamics and relationships.

Set during a heatwave in London in 1976, the book takes a seemingly normal family and peeks behind the scenes.

It is particularly interesting that the book is written in sections of different family member’s perspectives – so this is a good book for learning to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes.