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The Duchess of Cambridge leads an assembly from Mentally Healthy Schools

Our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, on Thursday the 18th of June will lead an online assembly based on a Place2Be lesson plan taken from the Anna Freud Centre's Mentally Healthy Schools platform.

The Mentally Healthy Schools site, which is run by the Anna Freud Centre, was launched in 2018 by The Duchess as a legacy of The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, and was developed by leading children’s mental health charities The Anna Freud Centre, Young Minds and Place2Be.

The theme of The Duchess’ assembly, which was pre-recorded last week, is ‘spread a little kindness’ and is based on a lesson plan from Place2Be which is one of hundreds of resources available on the Mentally Healthy Schools platform. It encourages children to explore ways in which they can show kindness, and recognise the benefits of kindness to others.

As part of the assembly, The Duchess joined a video call with students from Waterloo Primary Academy in Blackpool, whose parents have been working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the assembly, The Duchess will say: “Talking to someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or teacher, is something you can do to make yourself feel that little bit better. And you can also play your part in helping others to feel better too, whether offering a friendly ear, or helping someone in need. Small acts of kindness can go such a long way. But as we help others, we mustn’t forget to nurture ourselves, by taking the time to focus on the things that make us feel happy too.”

The assembly will be live on the Oak National Academy website at 11am on Thursday 18th June. Oak National Academy is an online classroom providing high-quality video lessons and free resources to parents and teachers. It was created in response to the lockdown, supporting teachers educating their pupils remotely, and since its launch has delivered over 12 million lessons to children and young people. Every Thursday morning, the academy, in collaboration with TES, hosts assemblies for students across the UK, allowing them to experience the normal routine of a school environment.

Jaime Smith, Director of Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools at the Anna Freud Centre said: “Our Mentally Healthy Schools site is an amazing source of materials which gives primary school teachers access to resources, advice and information they can trust about all aspects of mental health in one place. We’re delighted that Our Patron The Duchess of Cambridge is leading this assembly and using this assembly plan from the site that she launched.”

Matt Hood, Principal at Oak National Academy, said: “We’re thrilled that The Duchess of Cambridge was able to lead this week’s assembly on acts of kindness. Being kind and considerate is a vital lesson for children at any time, but especially so in the current pandemic. We must encourage young people to talk about their feelings and to know that it’s normal to feel a bit anxious or upset right now.”