Dear Friends and Parents,
As the leaves fall all around it us let it offer us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and shed unwanted burdens. Let us celebrate the fiery season of Autumn with it’s vibrant and changing shades of oranges, yellows and reds. This is the ideal time to practice Sound Meditation or Mindful Listening – made all that much easier by the blustery wind and crunchy leaves.
Thursday Kids’ Club moves to Surbiton
As some of you know, our Thursday Kids’ Art Club is moving venue. From Thursday 3rd Nov the club will start again for 7 weekly lessons at the coffee bar in Surbiton Hill Methodist Church. The church is on Ewell Road, next to the Fire Station and there is parking for dropping off the children. Click here for a map. The club remains at the same time, 4-5.30pm. Booking is now open and prices now remain at a fixed fee of £10/week. Remember we have limited spaces and serve a first come, first served policy. Please do let local families know that we have moved and sign your children up for 7 weeks of brand new art lessons. Book now
Calm Exhibition at Alexandra School
To welcome the Alexandra School children to the new year I erected an exhibition of the children’s art work and mindfulness learning as a school-wide Exhibition of Calm. The communal spaces within the school have been cleared to make way for calm spaces and an exhibition featuring a woven CD wall (pictured), Mindful Moment woollen sticks, large circle paintings, observational shoe drawings, a calm mosaic and a “look up” exhibit of hanging displays in the atriums. It’s quite something and the response has been humbling. Thank you to Chantell Adams and designer Rachel Chung for your hands-on and creative help.
Calm for Kids with Christiane Kerr
Earlier this month I took part in a Calm for Kids training course in teaching Mindfulness to Children. Wow, what an incredible weekend. The course was held at artist Ben Johnson’s studio, which was an unexpected and incredibly appropriate treat! I learnt six Mindfulness lessons designed by Christiane Kerr, plus heaps of extra activities and ideas. Since then, I’ve put these lessons straight into practice and have begun teaching the Year 2 and 3’s at Alexandra School in Kingston. The response has been wonderful and together with the senior team we’re planning a Mindful Day for the whole school. Thank you Christiane, for all you do.
Welcome the New Ladies
I am super excited to welcome Pauline Hennessey to the teaching team. Pauline is an experienced artist and illustrator. Next half term she will be leading some of our Thursday lessons to give the children a different experience and valuable finer detail skills, such as watercolour painting. These will be especially exciting for those children who have been coming to SketchBetter for a while now and are ready for new challenges! Pauline is also heading to the Whitechapel Gallery in London to meet some Primary Teachers, learn more about teaching art to children, and spread some SketchBetter love. She’ll be reporting back on her day.
I am also excited to welcome Chantell Adams to the team. Chantell has been involved with SketchBetter since the very very beginning and I’m so pleased to say she will be working with me one day a week, to develop our Educational programmes and Psychology research. Chantell will also be running our Friday after-school club at Alexandra School in Kingston, allowing me time to focus on my MSc research into the impact of Story Spheres on children under 7. Chantell will also be running Christmas holiday Art workshops.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank April Chitty for her loyalty and support over the past 6 weeks and past year. April is moving into a new full-time role, working to support children with learning difficulties. She remains involved in SketchBetter as our Photographer and leads us in our service development into health. We’re in early conversations with Kingston Hospital and Macmillan about running Mindful Creativity workshops with cancer patients. SketchBetter is also pleased to announce it’s voluntary support to April’s Cancer Support group, which she runs monthly in Richmond Park. I’ll be bringing Positive Psychology, Mindfulness and Art to the group each month.
If anyone else is interested in running classes, workshops or is interested in working with me and SketchBetter, please do get in touch. Happy Monday everyone. Thank you for all of your support and continued championing.
With Autumnal love,