Intervention Programme for Special Needs

Programme Aims

This programme aims to support children who are at risk of exclusion from school through the use of yoga, mindfulness, breathing, relaxation and motivation exercises specifically tailored to those children who need urgent help with self-regulation and self-esteem. The project’s effectiveness will be measured by the outcomes in the students’ behaviour at school, as well as qualitative feedback from the students, teachers and caregivers.

Goddess Myths

Creative Explorations

Empowerment

Breathing Exercises

This programme teaches a menu of 4 different breathing techniques students can use to calm down when the going gets tough. They are essential resources during a crisis and students use them to get from feeling angry or scared to feeling calmer and happier. All these techniques are safe for children and involve no prolonged holding of the breath. 

Relaxation Techniques

Many of the students who are at risk of exclusion have suffered some kind of trauma. This means they tend to find it very difficult to relax as they are frequently in “fight or flight” mode. Yoga includes special techniques for relaxing the body and mind, but traditional approaches may be challenging for some students. This programme aims to provide options for relaxation and help students to choose a way that works for them.

Motivation and Self-Esteem

Each session will include a progress check-in with each student. This will take a different format for each situation but could include feelings words exercises, communication of needs and requests, wins and goals or other motivation techniques. Students will have an element of control and choice over their session, as this is often a behaviour trigger.

CPD sessions

I offer interactive CPD sessions for teachers and TAs in which you will learn to use some of the mindfulness, breathing and yoga techniques that are most useful for children at risk of exclusion including those which can be done with the whole class. Having experienced the activities yourselves, you will be able to help students to draw on these resources when they need them most, and to remind each other to use them to calm down. 

Pilot Project with Students

As part of the project, schools identify up to 6 students who are most at risk of exclusion and I work with them 1-1 for 30-40 minutes or another agreed period of time. Larger group sessions up to 3 students are possible where additional students are not at risk of injuring each other or have 1-1 TA support. The project must be monitored for its effectiveness and I will be looking for detailed feedback in order to develop the project.

About Me

I’ve worked in education since training as a teacher in 2002.  A classroom primary teacher, I’ve worked in English language support as well as in a variety of learning support roles.  For a number of years I have been working with National Teaching & Advisory Service, specialising in teaching primary children who are not accessing a mainstream education.

This project has arisen from working with excluded children as a tutor, and realising that one of the biggest barriers to their learning is their ability to self-regulate. I am passionate about reducing exclusion now that I have seen how it affects those who experience it. I believe yoga is one of the keys to unlocking children’s ability to self-calm and I am devoting this project to finding a way to deliver those keys to the children who need them most.

I’m a qualified QTS teacher, also trained to teach yoga to adults and additionally to children with special needs. I am insured for yoga teaching and have an enhanced DBS police check. You will need to ensure that your school has the necessary insurance cover.

 

Photo credits: Simon Richardson, plus Creative Commons images from Unsplash by the following artists: Patrick Foreman, Jyotirmoy Gupta, Vince Fleming, Geert Pieters and Joao Rafael