“Yoga is very good for you and helps you stretch your core which is a really important strength for health and fitness.” Harlem Carthy-Lewis (age 10)
Children at Firbeck Academy in Wollaton have been enjoying Yoga classes as part of the school’s approach to ensure that both their physical and mental health are cared for.
Zoe Piponides (SENDCO and Year 5 Teacher) is wellbeing lead at the academy; and lucky for the children, Zoe is also a qualified Yoga instructor!
She said, “I have been practising Yoga for 10 years and it is so exciting to share my passion with the children. We have fabulous grounds at the academy, so we have been making most of the good weather and taking our classes outside. The children are responding so well that many are regularly doing Yoga at home now.”
Zoe says that the Yoga instruction is proving to have a positive impact on how children approach their lessons. “In these testing times the children’s wellbeing is a particular focus for us and daily Yoga lessons help to alleviate some of the stresses and worries children might be experiencing.
“All classes have given it a go since the beginning of lockdown, and it has been posted on the academy’s website so that children could experience Yoga at home with their families too.”
Deputy Head Teacher Sem Cao said that the Yoga classes are part of a broad program the school has established to support the whole child and foster the most beneficial environment for learning. “In our recovery curriculum our children’s mental health and wellbeing is paramount which is why Yoga is being used at Firbeck; not only does it improve memory and concentration skills, it has also been shown to reduce anxiety and stress in children.”
Pupil Evie Nicoll (age 10) is enthusiastic about the classes. “It’s calm and relaxing and it gives me energy. You get to see how far you can stretch your body and feel good about yourself. I look forward to doing it and have been doing it every day since lockdown started!”
Fellow pupil Harlem Carthy-Lewis age 10 agrees. “Yoga classes are calming; they get me ready for work and motivate me. I like doing the ‘full bridge’ where you can turn your body into to a bridge! Yoga is very good for you and helps you stretch your core which is a really important strength for health and fitness.”
Whilst the benefits of improving memory, attention span and academic performance are all important, pupil Evie was quickly able to sum up why the children look forward to classes. “Yoga is also really fun to do!”