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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Children calmed by school massage
Teachers say the introduction of massages at a Leicestershire primary school could help cut bullying rates.

The "peer massage" scheme at Newbold Primary School in Newbold Coleorton is calming pupils down and helping them to concentrate, staff say.

Children are only massaged by fellow pupils on the back and arms and can stop if they feel uncomfortable.

The sessions form part of the school's anti-bullying week which also includes playground peacemakers.

'Really good'

"We wanted to help the children become calmer and improve their concentration," said Leicestershire's healthy schools head teacher Lesley Brewer.

"We hoped through positive touching we could increase self esteem and respect for others.

"Some children are quite lively and we were looking to focus their energy positively and reduce aggressive play activities," she said.

The school called in an educational psychologist Paula Hopkins-Dunn to introduce the idea to the children and demonstrate the movements.

The children are only massaged by other pupils in their class and are taken through the moves each morning by members of staff.

One pupil said: "It's really good and it makes me feel more relaxed. I even do it at home sometimes."

The scheme forms part of the government's Healthy Schools Programme which aims to support children in developing healthy behaviours, to help raise pupil achievement, to reduce healthy inequalities and to help promote social inclusion.

Massage lesson at Newbold Primary School

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