|30 Jan 2023|
|Written by Jos Hollington|
Amelia (Mimi) Allen (OB 2004-2011) describes herself as 'the original busy bee'.
Following her two older brothers to Brentwood, she was an extremely busy student: from Drama productions to sporting fixtures, and from academic studies to Head of School duties - she never stopped. Despite her calm, collected exterior, she struggled both mentally and emotionally, something which was later diagnosed as anxiety and depression.
After Sixth Form, she attended Bristol University, studying Drama (Theatre, Film and Television), and throughout her university years, she regularly returned to her primary school for work experience, which later inspired her decision to complete a PGCE in Primary education at Homerton College, Cambridge University. Since graduating, she has taught across multiple year groups in the primary sector, and now works as a pastoral lead (Head of Middle School: Years 7 and 8 Girls) at New Hall School.
Throughout her teaching experience, the resilience and adaptability of children has always amazed her. However, with the ever-changing landscape of education, particularly over the past few years, she firmly believes it is imperative to develop children’s self-regulation, so that they can face the stresses of our busy world with confidence: they need freedom to express their emotions, as well as strategies to cope when they’re struggling.
In 2017, Amelia returned to Cambridge to complete her Masters in Education, studying the impacts of mindfulness on pupil attainment and wellbeing, the results of which were, she says, overwhelming. This, combined with her own mental health journey, inspired her to set up a company called Just Bee Creative, in order to self-publish a rhyming children’s picture book, which follows a busy little bee on a journey of self-discovery and recovery, and it introduces the reader to some simple mindful activities that can support children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Together with her illustrator, Aubany Swinney, Amelia is extremely excited to share Busy Bee with the Brentwood School, Old Brentwoods and wider communities. She hopes that the story will captivate readers and encourage more conversations about mental health and well-being amongst students and their families.
The recommended reading age is 4-9 years old; however, the story is accessible to all. Anybody interested in purchasing a copy of Amelia's book can get in touch via her Instagram page @_justbeecreative or to find out more about her project please visit her website www.justbeecreative.org.
Support the project to make clubhouse accessible to everyone! More...