Calm instead of storm

Karitane School pupils do some exercises as part of a new programme called Calm Seeds, which teaches a combination of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and positive and cognitive psychology, to give children tools to deal with anxiety and stress.

The initiative is run by local parent Sam Diprose, who has a background in social work, animal behavioural science and alternative health practices.

She has been visiting the school once a week for the past six weeks to run the programme.

"I developed the programme because I felt there was a need for young people to have access to evidence-based practices to help them not just survive, but thrive.

PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR

"The children really like it because it’s teaching them about their brains and how to apply simple strategies to make life easier — how to calm down when the stress response happens."

She plans to offer the programme to other schools next year.

Principal Nicola Philip said the whole school had participated in the "popular and enjoyable" weekly sessions, and they were having a positive effect on pupils.

"It ties in with the school’s curriculum focus this term — healthy body, healthy mind. The children are exploring ways to be healthy and stay healthy."

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