The Students’ Guide to Coping with the College Closure

Healthy Study Habits

By Emily Wike, Psychology Teacher and Personal Tutor

Looking After Yourself

It’s important that you try to remain healthy and look after yourself in order to not only ensure your mental health, but to ensure productive study habits too.

This is the area I would look at first, before attempting to be super productive workwise.

1. Sleep – Are you getting enough? Are you sleeping at usual times? Are you treating this like a binge-watching Netflix at night – sleeping in until lunchtime situation? Hopefully not. I’d advise that you try where possible to stick to your usual sleeping habits. You may not realise, but your body really relies on a consistent routine in order to function properly – Google circadian rhythms if you want to know more!

2. Wake – Make sure you are getting up! Sounds daft and must be very tempting to have a good old lie in, but like I said, your body needs consistency. Set an alarm for each day and stick to it.

3. Eat well – and regularly. You need to be fuelling your body effectively, in a balanced fashion, avoiding too much of certain food groups. You should also consider your fluid intake. It can be really difficult when sat at home to remember to drink – and drink the right things. Try to remind yourself that water intake is also essential for effective body function.

4. Be active – Try to get out each day. The Government are currently allowing one form of outdoor exercise per day – so use this. Whether it be going for a walk or run, it’s really important to get some fresh air and get your heart rate up. If you’re stuck for inspiration regarding what exercise to do, there’s loads of resources out there to help you.

• Joe Wicks 9am Live PE (try it – it’s actually quite hard!)
• YouTube (loads of workout tutorials – why not try something new like yoga?)
• LesMills – currently have free online workouts available
• Darebee – workout database

5. Mindfulness – It’s important at this time to engage in mindful activities, as we are making lots of adjustments to our life. There are loads of apps that promote mindfulness. Or, you could simply read a book, listen to a podcast, engage in self-care etc. Take time out for yourself.

6. Communicate – You should also ensure that you are communicating with people – however you choose to do this. There are tonnes of means to doing this now: picking up the phone, using social media, using apps like Zoom, FaceTime or Houseparty. It’s more important now than ever do to this, as you are at risk of becoming isolated.

7. Good hygiene – Again, it sounds obvious, but in order to establish a routine and feel productive, research has shown that getting up, showering and getting ready for the day (clean clothes etc.) is effective. 

8. Set non-academic related goals – This is the perfect time to make time to do other things too. Organise your belongings? Watch the documentary series you didn’t have time to? Read the book? Learn a skill? Whatever that may be… Make a list and tick off as you work your way through – really satisfying.

Productive Study Habits

1. To-do list – Don’t underestimate the power of a good old to-do list. Set yourself daily tasks related to work set by teachers and tasks that you would like to complete, too. The best way to achieve this is to log in and check emails and the Remote Learning area of Moodle in the morning, lunchtime and end of each day – to ensure you don’t miss anything and keep track of this on your list.

2. Set a timetable – Different subjects may have different requirements as to how they wish for you to complete work: some may require independent study; some may have live chats and forums, and some may have quizzes to engage with (or a combination). Keep track of this and build this into a daily timetable. In this, you should build in ‘me time’ as well as academic time.

3. Study space – Ensure you set up somewhere for you to work without distractions. This may be hard with other family members around – especially if you are sharing study resources (e.g. laptops). Communicate your plans with one another to ensure clarity in terms of how you wish to approach your studies (e.g. if you are doing an assessment, you may need a ‘quieter hour’ – can this be achieved better at a certain time of day in your house? If so, do it then). Don’t be tempted to work in your bed – research suggests that this disrupts the quality of your sleep.

4. Rest breaks – Build breaks into your day. You may want to do 2 hours of work for a subject, go out for a walk, do another hour of work, then have lunch and so on… You aren’t a machine, and don’t work like a machine in your usual life, so don’t be tied to your desk and try to mix things up. Remember, short and long breaks are OK – just so long as you’re ticking off your daily to-do list, too.

5. Be realistic – Don’t set goals that you can’t achieve in a day, this will lead to a deflated sense of self-esteem – and nobody needs that now! If you don’t meet your daily goals, so what?! We all also have bad days, so don’t beat yourself up and pick up where you left off on the next day.

6. Take time out – The hardest part about being at home is still maintaining a work/ life balance as we’re living and working in the same environment. Try not to let the lines blur. Ensure, for example, let your evenings/ weekends still be yours!

7. Communication – Stay in touch with your teacher and classmates. A lot of students seem to have groups on the likes of WhatsApp – if you don’t, why not try set one up?

Protecting your Mental Health

1. As already mentioned, ensure you are doing activities that you enjoy and that give you satisfaction/ make you feel good!

2. Change of scenery – like already mentioned, you can now get outside once a day for exercise. Make the most of this and spend some time outdoors. It does a world of good.

3. Talk – communication is so important during these times. Tell people how you are feeling, because it is normal! Expressing worries out loud can also help you to understand your feelings a little more. You can gain reassurance, other perspectives or advice.

4. Professional support – Where relevant, you may feel it is necessary to turn to someone with more expertise for some support. There are lots of options out there – whether it be talking to your Tutor, a member of the safeguarding team, utilising the college counselling service (now done over the telephone) or using external services

Greenhead Volunteers shortlisted for the Jo Cox Foundation More in Common Award

We are delighted to announce that the GVS Team and 10 students from Greenhead College have been shortlisted for a Jo Cox Foundation More in Common Volunteer Award, for their voluntary work with Valorum Care.

Each year students at Greenhead College are able sign up to the Greenhead Volunteering Scheme (GVS) as part of the College’s award-winning enrichment programme.  This year, 10 students volunteered their time to care for the elderly at Beechwood Nursing Home, an invaluable opportunity for them as they enter competitive caring professions.

These students have now been recognised for their fantastic work with Valorum Care by the Jo Cox More in Common Volunteer Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the many volunteers who work tirelessly across Kirklees who bring people together and the winners will be revealed on 2nd April.

Congratulations to students Olivia Dyson, Maiwand Habibee, Sakib Shadman, Leah Thomas, Ellie Cobham, Kiren Kular, Lily Pham, Ali Beladi, Rahim Said, Junaid Shahzad on this fantastic achievement, which is an acknowledgement of their hard work and dedication.

Lynsey Jones, Personal Tutor at Greenhead College commented: 

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of the work of the GVS team and our amazing volunteers who give their time to help each week at Valorum Care.”

Greenhead College Film Club Shortlisted for National Award

Greenhead College’s Film Club are set to walk the red-carpet having been shortlisted for the ‘National Film Club of the Year’ award at the Into Film Awards. 

The club will attend a star-studded ceremony to be hosted by popular actor, author and talent judge, David Walliams on March 18 at ODEON Luxe Leicester Square. The Awards are hosted by film education charity, Into Film, who engage with over half of UK schools.

The Greenhead Celluloid film club is run by Alice Hickman and supported fully by Principal, Simon Lett, who is a film expert and teacher. It operates as part of their college Enrichment programme and involves film discussion, screenings and review writing as well as filmmaking in the Greenhead Celluloid Hub.

The club is inclusive of students from every academic programme, all of whom come together weekly to love film and access the cultural and imaginative potential of the medium. Their students engage in the Into Film programme in a variety of ways.

Head of Film Studies, Elizabeth Bowen said:

“Film is ultimately about people and their worlds. It is vital, exciting and expansive for Greenhead Celluloid film club to be nominated.”

Designed to recognise, showcase and celebrate young people’s involvement in film and education, the Into Film Awards will bring together film industry professionals and young people to shine a spotlight on the achievements of five to 19-year olds from across the UK, as part of a school or youth groups or as individuals.

This year’s films cover an eclectic range of subjects and themes including the impact of plastic usage on our oceans, gender dysphoria, celebrating your heritage, Asperger Syndrome, living without hearing, self-improvement, and many more.

Host for the 2020 Awards, David Walliams said:

 “I love the Into Film Awards because it gives the opportunity to young people, from all kinds of backgrounds, to be a part of the film industry.”

Philosophy students treated to revision session by Dr Greg Barker

On February 5th around 70 A Level Philosophy, Religion and Ethics students from both A1 and A2 year groups benefitted enormously from a revision session focussing on Philosophy and Ethics run by Dr Greg Barker, published author and research fellow at the University of Winchester and now a full time educator and coach with plaudits from across academia for his engaging and informative relaxed style.

Greg delivered sessions on several areas of the Religious Studies course covering work on two ethical theories , Euthanasia , the Problem of Evil and the Design Argument. In addition, he offered many revision tips and essay writing strategies that all our students who fed back afterwards, found extremely helpful and easy to follow. This was a most worthwhile day that we hope to replicate in the future!