We have been conducting an experiment over the past two Tuesdays, either side of half term. When the children arrive in the morning they have the option of coming into the School Room instead of the Dining Hall.
The lights are off here, curtains are closed, peaceful music is playing and there are bean bags and mats spread out across the floor. The children come in and either sit or lie on the bean bags. They can stay for as long as they want until it is time for registration and the only stipulation is that there is absolutely no talking.
Many children come in as soon as they arrive in school and stay for the whole time. Others may just come in for five minutes or so before going out to face the challenges of the day. We introduced this to give the children an alternative to the usual gathering in the Dining Hall, where there is plenty of chatter and excitement and the thinking behind it was that some children might be happier starting the day off in a much quieter, more relaxed way, where they can gather their thoughts and prepare themselves for the new day.
I expected between five and ten children to come along, but many more appeared in the first week and were unanimous in wanting it to continue. This week nearly half of the children in Years 3 – 6 came in for at least some of the time, with the majority staying until registration.
What has really impressed me is the way that the children have approached this different approach to starting the day. They have been incredibly focused and mature about it, there has been no silly behaviour at all, they have taken the opportunity to relax completely, some have been meditating and some look as if they have actually dropped off to sleep!
Later this term we are having a yoga session in assembly and I very much hope that we can introduce this as an activity for the children, either after Christmas or in the summer. We should constantly be looking at different ways of doing things and this change in the way that we start the day has certainly got the children’s approval.
Attached with this blog is a photo of dawn breaking over the school playing fields. It is a beautiful picture and to me it promotes the sense of peace and tranquillity that we continue to promote among our pupils.
Finally at 10.45 on 11th November we shall be holding a short service of remembrance in the chapel. Parents are very welcome to attend.
Jerry Gear 3.xi.15