Infant school children taught to massage each other in drive against bullying

Jonathan Melling from the Elliott Group, inside the current Arundel Court Primary School hall

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CHILDREN have been taking part in a massaging programme to help combat bullying at their school.

Elson Infant School in Gosport has been trying out the Massage in Schools Programme.

CARING Elson Infants School pupils are using massage to help them with school life                           Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141363-1)

CARING Elson Infants School pupils are using massage to help them with school life Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141363-1)

Pupils pair up and carry out simple massage techniques in the classroom to help reduce bullying and aggression, develop respect for each other and help concentration.

It is also designed to be a good way to calm children down and prepare them for learning.

Lyn Carter, who runs the Massage in Schools Programme, said: ‘It’s to help the children understand kind, safe, positive touch to each other.

‘It’s a stressful world that we all live in and we understand that relaxation is helpful to all on a day-to-day basis.

‘There are benefits to the children and the teachers do notice that in the classroom. They tell us that the children are calmer and able to concentrate and focus on their lessons a little bit better.’

All parents are asked to sign a permission form – and every one in the Year 2 Butterflies class did.

Children are paired up and shown which massages to do.

Those who are receiving the massage are taught signals to show them if they are happy or not.

Head of school Cara Head said: ‘We are always looking for ways to engage our children and looking at the development of the whole child – not just the academic side of it.

‘We felt it would be better to try it as a whole class to see the impact that it had on developing relationships between the children.

‘We are very lucky that our parents are very supportive of the school in general. They have continued to be supportive of this element of it as well.

‘We have seen a difference in the relationships between the children in a positive way in terms of their interaction with each other and their emotional intelligence.’

Pupil Harrison Bennett, seven, said: ‘I’m surprised we do it because I didn’t think we would do something like this in school. But it’s really fun and it helps make you strong.’

The programme also ran at Gomer Infant School, and is scheduled to take place at other schools across Gosport.

The programme is run for children aged between two and 12.