Work in schools
Cambridge Child Therapy has extensive experience in providing therapy to children in schools due to Clair Lewoski having overseen the development of a therapy service across 10 primary schools see www.mewan.net/calmspaces/index.php
Cambridge Child Therapy can provide the following services to schools:
Individual or group therapy sessions for children
Therapy sessions can be provided for a child or group of children on a sessional or half or full day basis. Some schools like to combine a range of services - such as individual therapy sessions for children, a meditation whole class lesson and mindfulness meditation sessions for staff either at lunchtime or after school.
Training for school staff on children's emotional development
Many teachers feel they would like more training on children's emotional development and mental health. Training on Attachment theory, for example, can enable teachers to understand why children present in school and the classroom in certain ways and to think about different ways of responding. A range of twilight and INSET training can be offered and tailored to your school's particular needs and interests.
Meditation and Relaxation lessons for children
Mindfulness and other forms of meditation have been shown to :
- Enhance children’s attention, focus and concentration
- Improve memory
- Increase self-acceptance and self esteem
- Improve self-management skills
- Improve peer relationships and decrease aggression and bullying
Teachers who have been trained with their class to deliver meditation and relaxation lessons state that after practising several times a week for 1/2 a term they can notice a change in their pupils concentration, ability to co-operate and get on as a class. They feel their class is generally 'calmer' and comment on the drop in noise levels in the class.
Meditation lessons can be clearly linked to Every Child Matters outcomes. The sessions can be linked to your schools curriculum in the following ways:
- Personal Health, Social Citizenship Education
- Looked after Children
- Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning
- Learning and Behavior Support
- Children with Additional Needs
- National Healthy Schools Standard
- Special Educational Needs
Whole class lessons can be provided or small group sessions. The aim of the lessons is not only to teach the pupils the skills to use meditation techniques but for the teacher to also learn and practice with them, so that the teacher can then facilitate these lessons with their class independently.
Stress management/ Mindfulness meditation groups for staff
Benefits for teachers in learning mindfulness and other meditation techniques are:
- Reduces stress and increases sense of well-being
- Improves focus and concentration
- Stabilises mood
- Enhances immune system
Groups can be offered as part of an INSET or regular lunchtime and after school meditation groups can be set up.
''After my lunchtime meditation session I feel calmer and that I can think more clearly and concentrate better. I feel a more effective teacher when I have meditated at lunchtime.'' Year 3 teacher
Consultation for teaching staff to think about children's behaviour
Regular or one off consultations can be arranged individually or for small groups of teaching staff. Key Aims of the groups are:
Understand emotional factors that impact on teaching and learning
Understand that behaviour has meaning and develop skills in understanding meaning of behaviour
Extend staff skills with challenging, worrying, disruptive, hard to reach and ‘at risk’ students
To help staff feel more confident and supported as teachers
To consider group processes and institutional factors impacting on learning and teaching
To reduce teacher isolation and stress by sharing and discussing difficult students and situations
Emil Jackson of the Tavistock Clinic, London has developed 'Work Discussion Groups' in schools and the aims listed above are those that have guided this model and are quoted by him. To hear Emil Jackson talking about his Work Discussion Groups in school on Teachers TV click www.teachers.tv/videos/managing-inclusion-preventing-exclusion.
Having trained with the Tavistock Clinic in their Work Discussion model and having worked in schools for over a decade, Cambridge Child Therapy can provide a model with the same aims and ethos as the Tavistock Work Discussion Group model.