If you've read the AfPE guidelines (or our recent blog about it here) you will…
It can be tough to be a child these days –my own daughter was anxious about going into year 5 after being off for the summer. And a parent confided recently that her Year 6 child cried on her first day back to school, due to worrying about her SATs.
According to a The Guardian report, the Childline counselling service says ‘the number of counselling sessions it has delivered to youngsters with anxiety has almost doubled in two years, with nine out of 10 calls from girls.’
Pressures from home and social media seem to be mounting and whatever your stance on current educational policy, SATs look set to stay.
So how do we guide children through these times of exams and academic pressure? Here are some quick and simple activities to use with your Year 6 pupils…
1.Most of the time we are not aware of our breath, after all it’s an automatic function and we don’t need to think about it in order for it to happen. But oftentimes, our breath becomes short and shallow, particularly when we are stressed or anxious about something.
- Become aware of your breathing – notice which parts of the body move as you breathe in and out. Notice the speed of each breath and how deeply you inhale. Can you feel the air passing in and out of your nose?
- Try box breathing: breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts and then hold for 4 counts. See the video below for a more detailed explanation of box breathing, which also includes an example you can follow with your class.
2. Move your body. Get up from where you have been sitting and just start moving around. Give each part of the body a gentle shake to release the tension in your muscles. Give your face a rub, especially around the jaw line and in-between the eye brows.
3. Get outside. A change of scenery, the fresh air and the distraction will work wonders for relieving tension and bringing yourself back into the moment. This works great, even if the children only have a minute or two outside.
Or…why not take part in our ‘Wellness Workshops’ which are available during Autumn and Spring Term for all year 6 children?
What our workshop covers…
- A fun dynamic class that inspires boys, as well as girls, to enjoy dance
- Movements that focus on releasing muscle tension and increasing blood circulation
- Stretching techniques to calm the mind
- Breathing techniques to de-stress
- Practical ideas the children can take away to try as a class or on their own
All you need to provide us with is a clear space (such as a hall) and some Year 6 children (up to 35 per session).
Price: £50 for a one-hour session, £125 for a half-day workshop
Email [email protected] for more information and to book a workshop.