The Head Teacher of Nassington Primary School (in East Northamptonshire), Lorraine Allen, invited Gently be to deliver a 2.5 hour session as part of a staff CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Day.
Having met with Lorraine to discuss her aims, our programme then offered 4 parts:-
An understanding of how the brain works and how stress/anxiety etc can take over, therefore why regular relaxation is so important and techniques to achieve this;
Movement and the body - why it matters and how it affects the brain, accompanied by our 'energy ball' mindful movement session;
Self-hypnosis - understanding the power we hold in ourselves to change and improve;
An experience of Laughter Yoga, involving laughter exercises, gentle movement, deep breathing and stretching all helping to release endorphins (happiness) and lower cortisol levels(stress hormones), finishing with a refreshing half-hour guided relaxation.
We also touched on food as it relates to energy, mood and brain function in an informal discussion during a break, whilst enjoying a healthy, energy giving snack supplied be Gently be.
This above is an example of what is possible in a session. There are a variety of other themes, all with practical application, that Gently be can offer, tailored to your requirements.
We were delighted with the feedback from the Head and present her unedited feedback below.
Feedback from staff CPD day.
Why did you invite Gently be to take part in your Teacher Training session?
"We always talk about well-being for children and know that learning will not take place if they are not in a “good place.” I am responsible for the well-being of staff and was noticing more and more how emotional issues and stress were affecting physical well-being. Many staff were talking about not sleeping and not being able to relax. Then the flier arrived..."
Did you feel your goals/expectations for the session were met?
"More than! In two hours so many aspects were covered and in enough depth to ensure understanding and have impact."
How did you/your staff feel at the end of the session?
"I certainly felt as though I was more in control of my emotional well-being than I had thought before. Several other staff made the same comment. When life is hectic it is too easy to think things are out of control but the understanding of “the stress bucket” put things in perspective. The practical aspects were also very useful as we were able to “feel” the difference of exercise and the laughter yoga."
Were there things you could take away and implement?
"Talk in the staff room is often about walking along beaches in the middle of the night! (And emptying the stress bucket!)"
Is there anything you felt didn’t work so well for you or anything you think we could improve upon?
"We would gladly have the same session again – although we are thinking about asking for another session sometime to look at more ideas."
How would you sum up your experience in a sentence or so?
"Staff training days tend to be about how we can improve outcomes for children and in doing so we put more pressure upon ourselves. In two hours staff were introduced to strategies designed to deal with the pressures of life, which are now being used to support each other.
Our next step is to improve outcomes for children by giving them the same tools."
If you are interested in discussing a session for your staff, or perhaps for your pupils, please call, email, or better still arrange to meet with us,
so we can best work together to meet your goals.
Ali can be contacted on 07840 737588 or please use our contact form.
We look forward to working with you.