Cooler, calmer –thanks to Tai-Chi

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A RASTRICK school is reaping all the benefits of practising Tai-Chi.

Staff and pupils at Carr Green Primary School have been taking part in a pilot scheme by Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) which supports children’s emotional wellbeing.

For the last three weeks they have been taking part in sessions runs by Marsha Clarke, from Tai Chi Tigers.

Lesley Bowyer, head teacher, said the staff and children were both enjoying the classes.

“It does seem to be helping children to stay calm and is reducing stress. The added benefits are increasing concentration, balance and co-ordination,” she said.

“One boy told me it had helped him to play football better because his co-ordination was better and he felt like he was concentrating and just generally playing better. The children do say they feel ready to learn and calmer after the session.”

Seven-year-old Lucy Roebuck said she was finding some of the positions hard. “My legs hurt when I do some of them but I find it easier to learn,” she said.

George Kelly, also seven, said: “I like a lot of the routines but I do find the ones where I have to stand on one leg hard.”

The purpose of Tai Chi is to focus the mind solely on the movements which helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity.

Instructor Marsha Clarke is half way through the project with Carr Green and is pleased with how things are going.

“I did some training with the staff so they understood the principles and the benefits of it for the children in school.” she said.

“It gives them exercise for the body and the minds and gives them something to focus on. Over time it is going to help with balance and co-ordination. It’s a physical exercise but at the same time calming and very relaxing.”

She said the children were very enthusiastic about Tai-Chi and felt it was giving the children confidence.

“It will be up to the school when they want to do the sessions. But it is ideal to do every day for about ten minutes or so and it can fit into different areas of the curriculum.”

* Should Tai-Chi be on the timetable for every school? Write to the Echo with your views. Email