Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Tuesday, November 2, 1999 Published at 16:36 GMT


Massage lessons for stressed pupils

Massage is also said to benefit young children

A primary school is considering teaching massage techniques to four-year-olds to help relieve stress in the classroom.

The initiative, which could be introduced at St Gilbert's RC Primary School in Glasgow, is already used in some Swedish schools to help reduce pupils' aggression.

It involves pupils pairing up to massage each other's backs, shoulders and heads, mirroring actions described in a story read by their teacher.

St Gilbert's was introduced to the concept by a delegation of Swedish teachers, a nurse and physiotherapist, which visited the school last month.

Head teacher Patricia Reaka said the school was interested in the scheme and its reported benefits.

The Swedish delegation visited the school after hearing reports of a pilot project staff carried out last year to help boost children's learning.

This involved making drinking water available to pupils throughout the day, so they did not become dehydrated and could concentrate better.

Parental support needed

Mrs Reaka said: "The Swedish group wanted to visit us and exchange views. When we first heard of it we thought it was teachers massaging children, which is something we couldn't do, but it's children massaging children, and they are fully clothed.

"In Sweden they have found it gets rid of tension and stress, and that children are not as aggressive in playground situations as they might usually be.

"We are interested in it, because anything that improves children's behaviour has to be positive. So many children come from stressful situations, and there is also quite a lot of stress put on children in schools these days."

If the school decided to introduce massage, it would be done at the lowest level with the youngest pupils, as older pupils might be embarrassed by it if they were not already used to it.

"We would have to have parents on board, and it would also depend on time and resources," Mrs Reaka said.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

01 Jun 99 | Education
Schools massage away exam stress

27 Jan 99 | Education
Stress therapy for five-year-olds

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'