After recent figures showed more and more youngsters were suffering with mental health issues, a headteacher at a school in Kimberley has taken it upon herself to equip her pupils with tools to deal with potential problems.
Headteacher at Kimberley Primary School Lisa Turner-Rowe now has the children involved in yoga, squash and gardening.
Yoga provides time for the children to be still and mindful, and squash and gardening improve confidence and self-esteem, said Ms Turner-Rowe.
“We need to put something in place to make sure that they have something to turn to.
“Mindful activities that will support them going forward so they have got the tools if they find themselves in a situation in the future where they need something to calm them down.
“Being still is such an important skill but something that children never do.
“Some of out children need that opportunity to shut off from what is around them. It’s about relaxation – making them aware of their body and how they feel when they are focussing their concentration.
“They absolutely lvoe it. We’ll be doing one class at a time and it will be great for the year six’s when they have their SATS,” she said.
The headteacher said squash offered the pupils a chance to be involved in a sport that they can play on their own, building up their confidence at their own pace and and being proud of their own achievements.
Working in a team can crush the confidence of those children who are not naturally sporty, she said.
“The majority of sports in schools is team work an dften children can get criticised if they dropped the ball in rounders for example, or they let their team down. When you do something on your own it doesn’t matter where you come or how you do.
“It builds confidence and self esteem.”
The children have also recently created a gardening area outisde and planted flowers and vegetable seeds.
They are responsible for keeping the plants, which will build self esteem, and show them that they can always be good at somehting even if they do not enjoy subjects such as English and maths.
“They can see the direct result of something they have done,” said Ms Turner-Rowe.
“If you believe in somehting you do, it can give you belief in everythng you do.”