Massage in schools programme
Massage in Schools Programme
We are fortunate to have the opportunity few years ago to introduce the Massage in Schools Programme (MISP) in our school which works hand in hand with mindfulness as part of our pupil wellbeing approaches. The MISP programme is well established and is used in many schools throughout the country and abroad.
What is Massage in Schools?
It is an inclusive programme of positive touch and clothed peer massage for children of 4-12 years that has been used in schools for over 16 years. Children wear their normal school clothes and give gentle massage to each other on the back, head, shoulders and arms. All massage moves are taught and assigned a special symbol and done to calming music. The staff are fully trained and in turn train the children . It is a respect and choice programme which gives the children the option to choose if they would like to take part on any given day; their decision will always be respected. Permission from the child is sought before every session. If children choose not to participate they still benefit from being in the calm environment which is created during the session. Very often, children will want to participate and view the time as very beneficial to them.
How will it benefit the children?
Studies have shown that, when children give massage to each other, they become calmer, concentrate better and have more confidence. This will be of tremendous benefit to the children and their teachers. It will support our Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum (and work in Healthy Schools (Emotional wellbeing) and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL). It will address such issues as awareness of self and others and personal safety. It also teaches the children about positive touch and support good sensory development.
The children have a designated massage partner who will have been chosen by the Class Teacher supporting friendship development and positive social skills.
When and where does it take place?
Massage takes place daily after the busy lunchtime session in school. All classes take part at the same time. It is a very short session of around 5-7 mins and takes place daily.
What can parents do?
You can find out more about the Massage in Schools Programme by viewing www.misa.org.uk and www.massageinschools.com . If you have any further questions, please contact Mrs Edson who will be delighted to help you. There is a wealth of information on the MISA website ( https://massageinschools.com/ ) including videos of it in action.
You can also ask the children to model the massage strokes we do in school on you! It is a very positive experience and we are sure you will love it.
If your child does not want to give or receive massage they do not have to. It is important for you as parents and carers to know that they have a choice. If your child has any medical conditions which may be affected by this massage, please discuss with your GP before making the decision whether your child should take part in the MISP programme and advise the school accordingly.