Empowering People, Launching lives

Keeping active during lockdown

Six months into the pandemic, opportunities for physical exercise had been severely limited for our learners. Trips into the community weren’t as frequent as before Covid and staff had to improvise with exercise within the school. In November 2020, the Thomas’s Foundation provided a grant of £2,000 to fund BRAVE sessions for pupils at Park House School.

The grant enabled us to expose pupils to activities they wouldn’t usually access; BRAVE methodology includes the classical yoga practices of movement, breathing, deep relaxation combined with sound, rhythm, and sensory integration techniques.

It comes with a range of benefits for our pupils; the poses support the development of muscle strength, coordination and core stability. In addition, it provides a calming sensation enabling the body to process sensory input in a regulated way.

Across the year, pupils have been working on different skills and poses. The sessions have helped them develop their breathing, improving their mindfulness. With the pandemic causing uncertainty, additional self-regulation strategies are incredibly useful for our learners.

“{Abdul*} now attends for the full duration of the lesson, having found this a challenge initially, and enjoys being there. You can really see the difference in his behaviour, it’s helping him to keep calm” Abdul’s Supervisor

In total 56 pupils attended the sessions with every learner making progress either in the time they attended for or number of poses they could complete. Additionally, the number of instructions pupils could follow independently increased noticeably. This increase in independence is crucial in building confidence when it comes to enjoying physical activity with peers.

The Thomas’s Foundation have been a fantastic supporter of our charity through the years and we are especially grateful for their support in what has been a challenging year. Without the grant, our pupils would not have been able to access these sessions which have had such a positive impact on their learning.

If you’d like to make a donation to help fund extra-curricular activities such as this, you can do so here.

*names have been anonymised.

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