Earlier today, the Duchess of Cambridge visited Lavender Primary School and Alperton Community School in connection with Children’s Mental Health Week to learn how they support students, faculty and parents with their mental health.
At Lavender Primary School in Enfield, Kate joined show and tell with a classroom of children in Year 2 and volunteered her own item.
“I’ve got something. It’s not very big. Do you want to see it?” she asked before she revealed a photograph of her family – the official Cambridge Family portrait used on their Christmas card last year.
“These are my children, and this is my husband. And my family makes me feel happy. And we like playing outside together and spending lots of time together as a family. And that makes me feel very happy.”
Kate then asked the students if they liked spending time with their families and what they liked to do together, and listened as they shared their own items that made them feel happy. Some of the students’ items included swimming goggles and football stickers.
While at Lavender Primary School, Kate also joined a lesson with Year 6 students to discuss healthy eating; and met with parents to discuss routines to ensure healthy children, such as screen time, sleeping habits, healthy food and exercise.
The Duchess of Cambridge revealed that Princess Charlotte is a big fan of olives and that she often cooks with her daughter and eldest son, Prince George. She told the students that they’d recently made cheesy pasta together.
Matthew Kleiner-Mann, chief executive of the Ivy Learning Trust, who met with Kate, said afterwards to the Daily Mail that she told them how “One stirs the flour, one puts the milk and butter in, and they make salads and stuff. Food is important to her, and she understands the links between mental health and physical exercise.”
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This @_place2be #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek people across the UK are taking steps to be ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’. At Lavender Primary School The Duchess of Cambridge found out more about the support offered to students, teachers and parents to help with mental wellbeing — including the daily mile, a simple away to get children outside for 15 mins every day to run or jog at their own pace. The Duchess also joined a food diary activity, which focusses on the links between food choices and mood and feelings, and even met Herbie the school dog!
Kleiner-Mann spoke of Kate’s dedication during her visit, saying that, “She was so engaging and was interested in how Place2Be fitted into the whole school community. She was wonderful with the children and was keen to speak to the parents about the whole helps with their mental wellbeing too.”
Before departing Lavender Primary School, Her Royal Highness watched students taking part in the Daily Mile Challenge outdoors, and met the school dog, Herbie.
At Alperton Community School, Kate joined an art class to learn how it helps with students’ mental wellbeing.
She also revealed that Prince George likes to draw, and once picked up a piece of charcoal from the fireplace and insisted that he was going to make a drawing using it; that the family is learning to papier-mâché; and that she would like to take up tie-dying again.
Kate told art students that “It expresses your creativity and can help your confidence.”
“I loved art when I was at school, and I did art A level as well. I still look back on that time and still love the skills I learnt then, so I hope you’ll feel the same. It will be a skill you’ll have for life.”
Kate also met with Andria Zafirakou, the first UK teacher to ever be awarded the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, and attended a roundtable discussion with teachers and educators about how they help students’ mental health and wellbeing.
The Duchess attended a meeting of the Random Acts of Kindness Club, where students write down encouraging messages to their fellow students and share them.
“So much time and effort and energy goes into making these, it must be so appreciated by those who receive them,” she said.
“Does it make you happy by making them? Does it make you feel good? It goes a long way to making you feel good about yourself.”
Children’s Mental Health Week continues until 10 February.