17th December 2020

Amidst a global pandemic, young children evidently value the physical presence of others in ways that advancing technologies, however sophisticated, simply cannot meet.

Pupils from The Mulberry House School adapted the ancient Japanese custom of expressing gratitude and making wishes for a better future by writing on small, wooden wishing plaques known as ema.

As you approach the independent pre-prep school on Minster Road, West Hampstead, you will see the plaques adorning the school gates, forming a unique and beautifully creative art piece entitled ‘The Wishing Wall’.

The sense of absence and longing to see friends and relatives post-pandemic is both moving and palpable. It’s clear that the children want to be physically close to those that matter to them most.

One pupil, Shreyasi, from Year 2, wrote, ‘After Covid, I wish to go to India to see my grandparents.’ Whilst Sophia, from Year 1, wished that she ‘Could give a hug to her grandparents.’

Bethan Lewis-Powell, the school’s Founder and former Headteacher, encouraged pupils between the ages of 4 and 7 years to reflect not only their own feelings, but also on the feelings of others during this time.

Their emotional responses made a respectful plea for everyone to work together for a brighter future and continue to show kindness to each other post-pandemic.

Zabel hoped that, ‘People are still kind to each other after Covid.’ Another, Megan from Year 2, wished that, ‘The whole world would stay safe from Covid.’

Headteacher, Victoria Playford, is thrilled by the positive response from the community, stating:

At The Mulberry House School, we encourage children to reflect and debate current issues and to develop their own views about the world around them.’

She added: ‘Their words send a clear and inspirational message to us all that acts of kindness matter more than ever and are never forgotten. As part of our Mulberry Mindset, we teach children that empathy is an important skill.’