Lower KS3 English: Real-life Writing – The Mental Health Pandemic by Lottie, age 11

Lottie, age 11, wrote this compelling speech in our 6-week Real-life Writing topic on speech writing.

Writing powerful speeches can be difficult. You need to not only be able to write well, but also really care about your subject matter. Lottie’s passion for her subject really shines through in this speech and it blew the group away when we read it out at the end of the topic.

Often, children have something to say about a subject they care about, but are unsure how to get their point across in a powerful way. So, before writing, we analysed some famous speeches such as those from Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill and Severn Cullis Suzuki and drew on the techniques in their speeches to help create our own.

All students in the class took part, and this is just one of many fantastic examples.

What an amazing speech, Lottie. You convey your passion for this topic with force and clarity; not always easy to get this balance right. I think you should be extremely proud of this work and you might have a career as a speech writer ahead if you wanted it! Next time, you could try including an anecdote to give a clear example of an issue affecting one person. This would help the audience connect even more emotionally with your subject matter and feel even more persuaded. Great work!”

Feedback from Tutor Dave

To unleash your child’s creativity and help them to write like this, join our Upper/Lower KS3 Real-life Writing Topics on Wednesdays.

The Mental Health Pandemic

Today I am here to try and raise awareness about mental health amongst young people in our school systems. Some people may think that mental health is something that can start to need help and attention when people are grown up, perhaps when they are working or trying to run a family and provide for many people, and of course, that is the case in half of these cases. But it is not the only time that we should be looking after our mental health in life.

From being very young, as soon as we start to be aware of the world around us, we start to form a sense of self, of who we are, of where we fit into our family and our friend groups. For some people that comes easily and they manage to make their way through schools with little to no problems, but others find the pressures of trying to find where they fit into the groups around them at school harder than ever, or maybe they have a lot of pressures at home or are suffering from the pressures at school such as exams. All these pressures can build up inside a young person’s mind at any time during their lives . 

Schools can give out a lot of pressure for young people, in a country where bullying is happening in every single school, it’s almost at pandemic levels, in the whole of Europe England has the highest rates of bullying in a school setting. THE HIGHEST RATES OF BULLYING IN EUROPE. If you are unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of a bully or a group of bullies then this can have a seriously negative effect on your mental health. There is no end in sight for the young people suffering at the hands of bulles. No more going home to get away from it. It follows young people around, with attacks on social media, there seems to be no getting away from it. Schools are supposed to be a safe space, a space where a young person can go to learn, but these days we know too well that too often school is the least safe place in a young person’s life. Surrounded by teachers, who seem to be unable to stop the bullies. Parents who do not hold their children accountable for bullying. It is left to carry on until something very serious happens.

Social Media is a way of life for many young people in the country. Every day they are faced with looking at “perfect people” around them on lots of different platforms such as, snap chat, insta, facebook, they all show one way to look to be able to fit in with them, thin, slim, big bum if you are a girl and it is no better for boys, fit, masculine, muscley, not allowed to show emotions. All this does is build up an ideal in the mind of a young person that they are not good enough. If they do not look the way that is shown and praised all around them on social media this leaves them feeling that they are less than. A constant comparison to unrealistic body and beauty standard.Most of the images you see, have been edited multiple times, filters used and this goes to show that the people who do this to themselves before they post their photos online are also insecure about the way they look. It really is pandemic, most young people have felt the pressure to try and fit in, in how they look, or dress, or how outgoing, or chatty you are, even how many friends you have.

It’s easy to see why young people are constantly feeling bad about themselves. Knowing the signs to look for in a young person around you, to see if their mental health is suffering, could be that maybe they are quieter than usual, they might struggle to make eye contact with you, they might stay on the edges of groups of people, their school grades might start dropping from their usual levels. If you see a young person displaying any of these signs, you could try to get them to open up by simply speaking to them, explaining that you are there whenever they want to talk, or if they want to have someone to talk to at break. 

Look after the young ones around you because you don’t know what’s going on inside their head or at home. They are our future generation. Let’s look after them to look after our world.