The school that puts wellbeing first
On the BBC Sounds currently is an episode of People Fixing the World from Highgate Primary School in London. Currently about 3 children in every class will have a diagnosed mental health condition and many schools struggle to meet the complex needs.
This primary school employs or gives placements to several different therapists. 39 children have a weekly therapy session with 14 different therapists; that is about 10% of the school population.
There are interviews with a few of the therapists who work at the school including Barry and Ruth who are dramatherapists. I love hearing about what other dramatherapists are up to and some of the amazing work they are doing.
The Art Exhibition
Barry Brosnan and a child client create some art work with a swirly sky. Barry then sets up a role play:
Barry: “This is your art exhibition. Is there a theme?
Child: “This one is hurt”
Barry: “What do you want people to think when they look at this?”
Child: “I want people to think that they should never be upset, and they should always be positive and not down.”BBC Sounds
What it means to be a girl
Ruth Peters co-facilitates a girls group for six 10 – 11 year old girls. In the recorded extract, Ruth invites the girls to make their bodies into the shape of tiny seeds and then to begin to grow as a relaxing piece of music plays (Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra). As they grow the girls are invited to pay attention to how their bodies feel.
Later the group create a story by offering one word each and play Zip, Zap, Boing.
Ruth talks about the group offering additional support to help the girls feel confident in themselves and connected. The group includes a focus on body image and how it feels as a woman to look a certain way with the two facilitators using their own different bodies to model body-positivity.
Intrigued, I looked on the school website to find out more about the therapy service and found these descriptions of Ruth and Barry and the other therapists working in the school to support student well being.
You can listen to the full programme on the BBC Sounds website here: