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Positive Touch in RH

Children in class RH have really begun to enjoy Positive Touch and are working really well showing each other respect as they work in pairs.  It is a useful activity for not only personal, social and emotional development, but also for physical development as they use a variety of movements with their hands and arms.  Here are a few comments from the children:

Ella: ‘It makes you feel nice, like relaxed.’

Josh:  ‘You just ask can I touch you, because it is not your body and you have to ask if it’s ok or not?’

Nicole:  ‘Mrs. Harris puts on music and it’s quiet so we can do positive touch together. I like it, I feel nice and quiet.’

Evelyn:  ‘You mustn’t do positive touch on your own, it’s just for in class because we have to be safe.’

Amber M:  ‘Sometimes it’s a bit tricky what to do, but we practice so we can make our friends feel relaxed with positive touch.’

What is Positive Touch?

In British society people rarely touch each other (e.g. hugs, hand on arm) in a social context, although this is very common in other countries around the world.  Touch has been proven to be an essential to positive and healthy development with many studies about the effects on children who receive no touch in their lives.  The staff at Bluecoat school believe that every child should be taught what is positive and appropriate touch.  The positive touch programme is part of the Massage In Schools Programme whose research shows that there are lasting, positive outcomes for children who are involved in the positive touch programme.  It is a kind of peer massage similar to baby massage.

The benefits are:

  • Children become calmer (calm children do not become over calm, but maintain their state)
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Promotes emotional resilience
  • Helps children recognise ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch
  • Co-operation improves as children work in pairs, threes or groups
  • Improves motor skills
  • Reduces stress, aggression and bullying
  • Improves concentration
  • Increases confidence
  • Helps develop respect for the needs and feelings of others.

It is for children aged between 4 and 12 years of age with 10-15 minute sessions approximately once a week.  Schools and parents/carers are consulted and permission is given before children can take part in this programme.  Positive touch is always child to child not adult to child or child to adult in school context (although you may wish to do so at home). It has been implemented in schools throughout the UK and in Europe and has shown to improve a child’s mental health.  It is used on head, back, shoulders, arms and hands, with relaxing massage type moves whilst listening to soothing music.  No child is pressured to give or receive peer positive touch as each child must ask for the other child’s consent before starting.  It is only demonstrated and carried out by trained staff and only happens in an adult supervised capacity, never independently.

FAQs

What if my child doesn’t want to take part?

If you have given your consent but your child chooses on the day not to participate this is respected.  They will remain in the room and be able to watch the other children.

What will my child do if I do not give my consent?

Your child will remain in the classroom with the other children and be able to watch them or sit quietly with an independent activity.

Why spend time on these kinds of activities rather than practising to read and write?

At Bluecoat school we offer a full and rounded curriculum to meet all the needs of our children.  Whilst daily practice at physical activities, reading, writing and speaking and listening are important, so is our emotional and social development.  The benefits (listed previously) have been proven and the difference in the children’s ability to focus and concentrate after positive touch sessions is well beyond that for children that have not experienced it.  The sense of respect that this programme promotes along with the ability to learn how to relax and trust others in a safe environment and to be in control in a positive way are vital skills that we all need.

If you have any further questions please speak to your class teacher or Janice Harris (lead for positive touch at Bluecoat School).

Why not ask your child to do positive touch with you?

Here is a reminder of the order of the different moves:

  1. Eye glasses
  2. Cat grip
  3. Baker
  4. Scoop
  5. Forehead stroke
  6. Hair dresser
  7. Sliding board
  8. Climb down the rope
  9. Bunny hops
  10. Hearts
  11. Butterfly
  12. Bear prints
  13. Ice-skating
  14. Brushing the horse
  15. Sweeping the snow