BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Education
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Lavender calms stressed pupils
lavender fields in Norfolk
Lavender is reputed to give a sense of calm
Pupils at an inner-city primary school are being offered aromatherapy foot and hand massages, as well as lavender-soaked tissues to help reduce stress and aggression.

St Silas Primary School in Toxteth, Liverpool, also has a converted classroom - called the quiet place - where pupils are given space to wind down and the chance to learn how to cope with stressful situations.

The children are a lot calmer

Kate Cassim, learning mentor
During a six to twelve week programme, pupils spend three sessions a week in the quiet place, where they are offered massage, learn relaxation techniques, take part in role play and talk problems over.

"You wouldn't really recognise it as a classroom," said Kate Cassim, the school's learning mentor.

"The kids call it the magic place. It's a cross between a grotto and a fairy den - there a waterfall, stars, twinkling lights and soothing music."

Lavender-soaked tissues

Mrs Cassim said tissues with drops of lavender essence on them are given to the pupils so that when they leave the quiet place, they can recreate its sense of calm.

"When they feel a tension or an anger build up inside them, they can whip it out and it brings them back to a 'nice' place.

"It's about using imagery, but there's also a strong association with smell."

Boost to learning

Mrs Cassim said the scheme has already had a positive impact on the school.

"The children are a lot calmer and it's raised their self-esteem - there's a feel-good factor associated with the quiet place and a feeling of warmth around the school.

"So it's good news for our children and good news for their learning."

It was also about preparing the children how best to deal with the everyday stresses and strains they would encounter in adult life, she added.

The school's head teacher, Pete Stephens, said: "Children do much better if they are happy and contented and free from anxiety."

"Children do have worries and problems and we should recognise this.

"We support the educational and emotional needs of all our children and they achieve so much more because of it."

See also:

18 Sep 00 | Education
Class starts with Tai Chi
31 Mar 00 | Education
Yoga to calm pupil stress
Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories