The study was planned in the way outlined below, but as you will see it was amended as circumstances changed.
One School, we identify as School A, would have all staff (Teachers and Teaching Assistants ) trained to deliver the programme, on a daily basis, to every class. A second school –School B, would deliver the programme to a Key Stage 2 class with a corresponding control group. A third, School C – would deliver the programme to a Key Stage 1 class and a second Key Stage 1 class would be a control group, and would not receive the programme.
However, although receiving training, School C withdrew from the study due to other commitments and changing circumstances.
School B actually delivered the programme to the control group as well as the rest of the school.
Two sets of socio-gram questionnaires were completed per class, one before staff training was given and before the programme started, and the second after a month of the programme running. The third and final questionnaire to be completed at the end of the school year did not take place because of the tight schedule of end of term commitments for the staff.
Despite the changes to the original plan, the survey results and feedback from staff, children and parents are still interesting and provide valid information about the impact of the programme.
During this focus week in school children have developed their own touch routines based upon topics such as healthy eating, keeping fit and active, warming up
and cooling down, working in a team and being on your own.
Children have written short poems rhymes and jingles to pick up on the theme, developed short nurturing touch activities and shared them with their peers around the class and school. Some children have raised money for their charity of choice and used break-times and lunchtimes to give their routine to others. This has proved a memorable experience for those involved.
New Sport Massage Routine for individuals, teams, groups and clubs, with Lesley Davidson and Stephen Hepworth leading this project
Anti-bullying week is usually the first or second week in November. Over the years schools have taken the theme and explored ways to promote positive management of difficult behaviours which might lead to bullying. Different aspects of bullying behaviour is explored and explained during the week. Children suggested their own solutions to problems and created advertising posters, introduced stories and practices that promote friendship. Children have devised games and short routines that they have played during the week. Photographs and diaries have been produced and kept in class as reminders for children throughout the rest of the year
AChild2Child routines were introduced as a way of helping children to understand that people need to be quiet and calm just as they need to be active and energetic. They were asked to compare what they felt like when they had been doing games on the yard and then come into the classroom to have a short touch routine, to give and to receive. Some children realised that they could hear things they hadn’t noticed before. They described their feelings as dreamy and cool, floating, still, quiet and happy.
The focus on the Rights of the Child made a big impact on the working classroom. Children were encouraged to consider matching rights with responsibilities
and undertook to develop ways to reward each other for their positive adjustments to their management of difficulties that arose.
A scale of rewards was agreed. Some were small, like points and stickers for individual and group charts. The favourite was an afternoon of book buddies producing a hand or/and back massage to a favourite story.
‘a Child2Child’ kind and caring hands set into a daily curriculum encourages and teachers children that they must make choices, which may
change over time. They are encouraged, through the use of scripts, to develop language that is both positive, informative and clearly express their wishes.
All children are making their contribution to a time of deliberate calm, respectful self -management and self-reflection.
These practices when done routinely and often build consciousness within individuals and groups.
The positive modelling of the staff during the sessions reinforces that the need for stillness and quiet reflection and is a life-skill.
This is essential learning for all ages of children and fits within the Personal Social Health and Citizenship education curriculum in all schools.
The use of nurturing touch to share the values of the school is an inclusive and reassuring way to help all children. Positive touch builds a feeling of attachment, belonging and esteem. These are feelings that create emotional and mental strength.
AChild2Child routines have been demonstrated in many Assemblies. One class used the assembly time to explain the "aChild2Child" work to parents during their celebration assembly. Another used the assembly to give certificates of merit to parents who had volunteered to support the school during their first term of "aChild2Child" implementation. Another class used the time to show the whole school how to do the strokes and invited those children who wished to join in with them to do so. The hall was so quiet by the end of the session. Touch stories based upon road safety, Matilda, the colours of the rainbow, tongue twisters and many more have been used in a delightful way.