Using yoga to raise standards of behaviour and improve concentration skills

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Yoga sessions at Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel promote mindfulness and help pupils to relax, calm down and socialise. These sessions have improved concentration skills, foster resilience and encourage pupils to engage with learning.

Number of pupils: 206
Age range: 3-11
Date of inspection: May 2018

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice:

The school places a strong emphasis on emotional wellbeing and security, considers the feelings of pupils throughout the school daily and responds to any concerns immediately.  In order to raise standards of behaviour throughout the school and improve concentration skills, good practice was observed in terms of yoga in a primary school in the county of Swansea.  As a result of this visit, one-day training was organised for pupils, staff, governors and parents on yoga.  The project was funded through a grant.

Description of nature of strategy or activity

Yoga sessions are held throughout the school at different times of the day to promote the mindfulness of pupils and staff.  It helps to improve concentration skills, fosters resilience and encourages pupils to engage with learning, and adds value to existing education programmes.  These transferrable skills are just as effective at home as they are at school.

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

This work has raised standards of wellbeing for staff and pupils, and raised standards of behaviour throughout the school.  Pupils calm down after yoga sessions, focus better during lessons and are aware of how to relax.  This work has had a valuable effect and has inspired pupils to be healthy, confident individuals. 

How have you shared your good practice?

Good practice is shared with parents, governors and the local community through the school’s social media.  S4C filmed the good practice in yoga for the HENO programme that was broadcast across Wales.  As a result of this programme, staff from other primary schools in Wales have visited the school to observe good practice in terms of wellbeing.  The Children’s Commissioner, Mrs Sally Holland, visited the school recently to observe provision.  She praised the school for developing a high standard of wellbeing independently without any commercial scheme.  As a result, she has invited the school to complete a special task to survey pupils’ experiences in terms of wellbeing, in the form of personalised report for Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel.  The aim will be for the school to use the report to inform attitudes towards wellbeing, care, support and guidance for pupils.  The survey is based on the Commissioner’s Children’s Rights Framework.  The Children’s Commissioner will use the data anonymously to discover good practice in Wales, and also to identify themes across Wales that will help to support schools.  This information will also help to inform the Children’s Commissioner’s priorities for children and young people as part of the national ‘What Now?’ consultation.