Welcome to the Katie Jayne Tutors Senior Blog Issue Number 23.
We would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2021. Let us all hope that this year will bring renewed positivity and a bright outlook for us all.
In a week where you would have been looking forward to going back to school to see friends and classmates, we may yet be spending a little longer working and studying from home. In our article, ‘Skipping through lockdown’ we give you a few basic tips on how to skip your way through the next few weeks taking on lockdown with ease…
Cathy is back this week to show you how to make mentoring work for you and if there were ever a person to look up to and to help you remain positive it is Karen Darke MBE, this week we unravel her uplifting personal story. Having suffered an horrific climbing accident, Karen faced an amazing journey and we marvel at the personal triumphs that she has notched up over the last few decades. Once you have read her incredible story we shall be asking you to get involved in Karen’s next challenge, The Pole of Possibility. Read on to find out more.
Hoping you enjoy the read and we shall see you next time.
‘Skip through Lockdown’
We are not going to let a little more lockdown time interfere with our life plans, projects and general life making activities. We are going to march on but just in a slightly different way. Why not take a look at a few of our ideas on how you can skip through lockdown by keeping positive, active and generally cracking on with life.
#1 Structuring your day – we know this sounds a little boring BUT…having structure really helps. Make sure you know what your online teaching timetable is and be organised for it. When you are not studying, move away from your study area so that you recognise the difference. Sticking to your usual routine like: exercising, taking a shower first thing and applying your make up and doing your hair will certainly make you feel more positive.
#2 Dance your way around the kitchen/living room-to break the rhythm of a day indoors. Put your dancing shoes on and have fun, crank up the music (whilst being considerate to everyone else who may be working from home) and throw some shapes. Your endorphines will give you a natural lift, you could even encourage siblings and family members to do the same. We could all do with a little rhythm in our lives!
#3 Try to limit your social media time. Reading the news or constant feeds about lockdown can be a little depressing – you will definitely notice a difference if you can keep the news in perspective.
#4 Keep moving – whether it is walking, yoga, football with your family, skipping, jogging or dancing. Activity is so important both physically and emotionally. Try and get outdoors if you can.
#5 If you feel a little hard done by and feel as though the wait of lockdown is weighing on your shoulders read an uplifting story. Of course we highly recommend reading our article about Karen Darke – give it a read, tell me you do not feel better for it!
#6 We always say – try to learn something new every day. Even if you are busy all day in online lessons, your brain loves a change of gear. There are so many free online courses there is no excuse not to try something that you have never done before. If you are struggling, look back across all of our blogs and you will see ideas that will keep you inspired.
#7 Stay in touch. Ring your grandparents, auntie, cousins, friends, people who were in a club you attended…don’t lose touch. You will be amazed at the enjoyment you can get, and give, by just picking up the phone.
#8 Eat healthy food- Instead of having naughty food nibbles whilst on your online tutorials keep something close to hand that is actually healthy but tasty like humous and carrots, fruit salad, cheese and pineapple hedgehog…(this is a blast from 1970 and definitely gives away my age – but your parents will know what I mean)
#9 Be creative. There is nothing like being creative. There are so many ways to let your creative juices flow. Write a song, paint a picture, make your best friend a gift, make jam, write a play…
#10 Be kind to others and to yourself… Mucho important. It will make you feel good and make someone else’s day.
#11 Keep your sense of humour. Most things in life can be laughed at and keeping the giggles going will really help lift you. Try to bring a little bit of silly into your day and also, making someone else smile is a true gift.
Where can your creativity lead you?
You will all have heard of Rizzlekicks from ‘Gettin down with the trumpets’ fame.
They are a hip hop duo from Brighton consisting of Jordan “Rizzle” Stephens and Harley “Sylvester” Alexander-Sule. Their debut album, Stereo Typical, was released in 2011. Selling over 1 million singles and over 500,000 albums the pair shot straight to fame, but it wasn’t easy. Both boys were studying hard at a performing arts school in South London, creating their own style, their own music videos and their own brand. The boys took a chance and decided to take a break from study to see if they could break into the world of music. They gave themselves a year to try it out and to see where it would lead them. Hard work and perseverance paid off and the boys were booked to play at an open air festival. They got picked up by music professionals and the rest is history. You may wonder what they are doing now…both lads are still working hard under the stage names of Jimi Charles Moody and Stephens has released music under the stage names Wildhood and Al, the Native.
More recently we have read about Berwyn, a London based singer, originally from Trinidad who was sleeping on a mattress on a bare floor when he decided he had a choice. Either he would go all-out to try to make a go of music, or he would give up. Deciding to get creative he put blood, sweat and tears into pouring out his heart into music. His creativity paid off with a debut album including all of those truly original and personal songs. Berwyn signed a deal with Sony and has hit number 3 in the BBC Sound of 2021 list. Comparing Berwyn to James Blake and the likes of Sampha, reveals his hip-hop sounds and low level RnB tones. Featuring on Later With Jools Holland he chose to perform Glory and added lyrics to include support of Black Lives Matter.
Berwyn’s life could have taken many turns but using his creativity in a positive way set him on a path of fulfillment and achievement.
Centre for Conservation Science
The Big Schools Birdwatch is taking place this week and your younger siblings may be taking part, but we thought that the scientists and environmentalists among you may have an interest in the work that the RSPB are carrying out in the Centre for Conservation Science. Here the team look for solutions to 21st Century problems. This week we thought we might highlight Marine Conservation… in the past we have helped by attending local beach clearing but there is so much more you can get involved in – take a look here.
Why not register for the Big Schools Birdwatch. You could encourage and mentor your younger siblings through the project.
Throw Away the Blues of 2020
Enter a New Phase of Mentoring
Mentor with Confidence to Make a Difference!
Ask yourself – What does mentoring mean to me?
Have you ever been a Mentor OR maybe you have been the Mentee?
If the answer is likely to be YES, then you will understand the importance of the role.
Were you a role model who provided guidance and emotional support, imparting information and experience to someone who needed it?
Perhaps you were mentoring a younger student who was feeling anxious about starting secondary school, maybe they had suffered a bereavement or simply had friendship issues.
Whatever the reason, you gave your time willingly and supported vital change in that young person’s life.
Are you thinking about becoming a Mentor in 2021?
If you are then I urge you to go down this path of change.
Mentoring brings so many benefits:
M – mental change – motivate
E – emotional support
N – nurturing encouragement
T – tolerance
O – opportunity
R – respect
In my experience of being a trainer of hundreds of Peer Mentors, mentoring gave those children self-confidence to communicate and it nurtured their motivation. Peer Mentors are valued and respected members of the school community. Teachers mostly commented on ‘how the students matured in such a short space of time’ and the younger students gained confidence to be the best version of themselves.
So throw away the blues of 2020 and become a better version of yourself
Become a Mentor!
Author: Cathy Coombs-Surrey’s Learning and Counselling Centre
Feel The Burn
Thrive are offering a few online classes for free. You will need to sign up but should be able to access a couple of the companies workouts free of charge.
– is a new series, a space Western television series created by Jon Favreau for Disney+. It is the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise, beginning five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983). It stars Pedro Pascal as the main character, a lone bounty hunter who goes on the run after being hired to retrieve “The Child”.
Smartwatch of the year: Samsung Galaxy Watch3.
Smart home gadget of the year: Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Fitness gadget of the year: Mi Smart Band 5.
Laptop of the year: Apple MacBook Air (M1).
Phone of the year: Samsung Galaxy S20 5G.
AFFORDABLE PHONE OF THE YEAR: OnePlus Nord.
Gaming gadget of the year: Sony PlayStation 5.
Number One is still Wham with Last Christmas
Introduction to Karen Darke, her story, her life changing fall, her Paralympic journey and the Pole of Possibility Challenge…
Some of you will not actually be back to school just yet so I thought I would use this space and time to introduce you to a woman who is superhuman, inspirational and motivational. Karen Darke is somebody that I, and many others look to for inspiration, she is an author, an athlete, an amazing team player, a motivational speaker and a very giving soul….Karen is very modest so would not agree with my introduction of her but I think I would not be doing justice to her, myself or this story without letting you know what you are in for right from the start…..
Karen has had the most amazing quarter of a century, her life did a 180 degree turn at the age of 21 when she had a horrific rock-climbing accident whilst climbing on the sea-cliffs in Scotland, Karen woke from a coma to be told by Doctors that she would not walk again. This life changing incident took Karen on a very different, truly inspirational journey. Aged 21 Karen became involved with raising money for spinal injuries charities, inspired by the support, opportunities and information they provided. Karen believed that so much was still possible, and she has been able to move forward and live a full and incredibly adventurous life again.
Twenty-four years after her injury, Karen’s connection to the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) is as strong as ever. The bike she raced to gold on in the Rio Paralympics 2016 was designed and built by Williams F1, whose founder Frank Williams, was also paralysed in an accident. His daughter Clare Williams is Patron of SIA, and the support of Williams F1 in production of her bike inspired Karen to target fundraising £79K for the charity. Karen has broken the land speed record in a handbike – Karen achieved a speed of 46.05 mph over the 2.5 mile course, 17 mph faster than the previous female world record and won silver and gold medals at the Paralympic games. More publicised though was her effort to embrace heart and the true spirit of humanity, crossing the finish line holding hands in the London 2012 Games for the bronze medal.
Karen has moved mountains to raise money for charity and has the sort of personality that when you are asked by Karen to get involved, you do – because you really want to…. her energy is irresistible.
I hope that by reading Karen’s story and hearing about her new project, ‘Pole of Possibility’, that you will want to get involved. Read on here today and over the coming weeks to find out what the POP (Pole of Possibility) challenge is all about and how you can get involved.
Hi! I’m Karen, a lover of life and adventure, and always seeking the learning in life, staying curious as to what we can learn not only when things go well, but when things don’t go as planned too. I broke my back in a climbing accident when I was younger, and I think that is what taught me the importance of focusing on what we can do, not on what we can’t; and on being grateful for what we have instead of thinking about what we don’t have. I have been lucky to have a very adventurous life since then, sharing the learning with others and now helping people of all ages adopt an ‘adventure mindset’ as a way to feeling more freedom, joy and love within life.
In the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, I won the 79th medal for Britain, a gold. There is a bit of a story behind how things developed from there, but I came up with an idea for a project called Quest 79. I would visit seven continents and do nine rides – one on each continent, plus two Paralympic Games. While raising £79K for the Spinal Injuries Association, I want to encourage as many individuals, families and groups as possible to take on their own Quest 79 challenge, by taking a step out of their comfort zone. As I have learned through my own experiences, when we commit to something that stretches our mind or body in new ways and consistently work at it, it often begins a life-expanding process and allows us to see all sorts of new possibilities.
Once upon a time, pushing my wheelchair 79 metres was a big challenge, let alone crossing 7 continents. It seems almost unbelievable to think back to when I was laid in a hospital bed, broken and bruised, paralysed from the chest down with nothing but a view of dull ceiling tiles and the prospect of life in a wheelchair, that I have been able to ski across icecaps, kayak oceans, cycle across continents and experience the life of adventure and exploration that I have. This has inspired me to encourage others to do something that seems a bit of a challenge to achieve. We all have our own mountain to climb, but no matter how big or small we are aiming, we are destined to discover something inside ourselves that is precious. I call this our ‘Inner Gold’.
To date I have cycled six of the seven continents: Antarctica and creating the ‘Pole of Possibility’ remains. Each of the journeys has given me far more than the wonderful experience of travelling to new landscapes and cultures. Each adventure has gifted me with an experience of a powerful positive emotion: I felt compelled to write my Inner Gold blog series to share some insights on these, as I believe they are helpful emotions that we can all nurture in everyday life. If you like the sound of these, you can visit www.karendarke.com for blogs and podcasts on these ideas. In future blogs, I will tell you more about The Pole of Possibility and invite you to take part in a virtual way, so that you can join us on the flag, and maybe even have your own Top Trump card to represent your personal Quest 79. See https://pop.karendarke.com (soon to be www.thepopchallenge.com )
Thanks and I look forward to getting to know those of you that get involved!!