Jean Barlow is a highly qualified and experienced teacher, trainer, consultant and author. Jean has worked with many school leadership teams and educational staff to
promote social and emotional impetus to improve teaching and learning in a variety of schools, nurseries, children‘s centres and early years classes, colleges and universities.
She has worked for many local authorities throughout the UK
She has delivered presentations to many conferences and workshops that feature nurture and emotional health and well-being of children and young people.
Jean strongly believes that the nurturing approach helps children to build emotional resilience, promote independence, organisational skills and improved learning potential.
The cultivation of enquiry, social cohesion and happiness within groups enables the challenge of learning and being part of a community to be enjoyable and exciting.
Individuals find their own potential whilst learning more about one another and developing a sense of belonging.
Jean has been at the forefront of developing parent support initiatives, delivering training to parents and parent facilitators.
Jean‘s work includes
2013 Thea Blair from Nevada City, California produced a film documentary of the practice and impact of the ‘aChild2Child‘ peer massage programme
in schools in northern England
This film is on the web, peacefulhands.org
You can see the trailer or the whole film.
Jean and Thea are also working with Eva Scherer from New Zealand and with David Palmer from the USA who is the founder of Touchpro and inventor of the therapeutic chair massage to explore ways to bring the value of touch and in particular, peer massage to a wider audience.
The C2C Peer Massage in schools is a short daily massage routine for the hand or the back or back, head and shoulders, which helps to build up emotional resilience
and ‘feel good’ factor in children. It is for all children and is done fully clothed with the child’s permission.
The programme itself comprises a series of strokes that are taught through routines and games that are delivered in pairs or groups between pupils. The programme can be introduced through the use of materials,cushions and soft toys for younger pupils or for those pupils who are more touch sensitive than most. The quality of the touch is determined by the receiver; the one who gives the massage must always take notice of the feelings of the receiving partner.
Permission to touch has always to be sought and given before each of the routines. For those children not wishing to take part, their wishes are always respected and they can simply enjoy quiet time to reflect. These children may participate in the C2C Peer Massage at any other time should they choose to do so. The ethos of the intervention is to encourage the children to develop ownership of their own bodies, offering opportunities to become empowered to accept or refuse touch, develop social skills, respond appropriately to their partner and engage in joint problem solving. It is a truly inclusive model as all the children can access the work and make a valuable contribution at their own pace.
In a world where touching is often seen as "not something that we do" or only "OK" if it is pushing, shoving and fighting, Peer Massage in the classroom provides a different window on the world of relationships through touch. It is also good fun!
The massage itself produces a physical response which promotes a natural stimulation to the immune system and promotes relaxation and a reduction in anxiety. It allows children to develop the cognition between intellectual and emotional experience and to develop clear links between thoughts, feelings and actions. The approach is therefore integral to the SEALS curriculum.
Many schools are adopting peer massage as a whole school response to the Every Child Matters agenda, Personal Social Health Education and Citizenship, for the Emotional Health and Wellbeing of children. Peer Massage also fits very well into a Rights Respecting School Award framework - for Health and Safety, Dignity and Respect, Fair Treatment. It is a practical expression of the school ethos in many schools, bringing together nurturing and respectful practices.
It is suitable for all children and helps to teach the importance of looking after ones-self and others.
Peer Massage can be done as part of a circle time or as a five minute session at the beginning of the day or of any lesson. Research has shown it also supports Working and Learning as children can, after massage, have improved concentration of up to thirty minutes.
Used as a ‘whole school’ approach, Peer Massage helps to build and enhance positive school ethos.