The Girton Gratitude Project

1 September 2020

As students and staff face the last three weeks of Term, Girton Grammar School has launched an initiative to help keep attention focused on what members of the School community have so that they focus less on what they have lost.

The Girton Gratitude Project is a three-week initiative that is about building resilience by strengthening the state of mind, known as gratitude.

Acting Head of Girton Grammar School, Dr Emma O’Rielly said that each of us has a gratitude circuit in our brain which, when strengthened, can deliver physical and mental health benefits.

“Positive emotions like gratitude can have an immense impact on us by boosting the immune system and protecting our cardiovascular health.

“Gratitude helps us to manage challenges when we consciously remember that there is still good all around us.

“Our students understand that there is much for which they can choose to be thankful. But during challenging times, we all need reminding of this.

“The first day of Spring seemed like the perfect time to launch The Girton Gratitude Project. I am asking students and staff to draw a line today and to consider that the worst is quite possibly behind us,” Dr O’Rielly said.

The Girton Gratitude Project will be delivered via online morning House Tutor in the Senior School and during online roll call in the Junior School. Students will spend time learning about the power of gratitude and its protective effect on mental health. Students will be asked to undertake exercises such as drawing pictures of their friends, voice recording thank you messages, submitting photos of themselves with friends before Stage 3 lockdown and capturing in words and pictures the small things for which they are grateful.

“Many experts describe gratitude as a natural antidepressant. The effects of gratitude, when practised daily produces a feeling of long-lasting happiness and contentment.

“The students’ words, voices, photos, videos and pictures will be compiled into a video clip that represents the collective gratitude of our School community, providing a boost that will benefit all of us as we work hard toward the end of the Term,” Dr O’Rielly said.