Story Massage is now included in the well-being curriculum at a primary school in Manchester. Jo Heald, well-being co-ordinator at Bowker Vale Primary School is a winner of our Best Practice Award for her inspiring work introducing Story Massage sessions in classes, at a school club and with parents.
At Bowker Vale Primary School, Story Massage is used for pupils from nursery to Year 6. The children all have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of Story Massage as part of the Healthy Schools project and Well-Being Curriculum. Here is a short video showing some of the ways in which it is it used to encourage friendships and promote respect for each other within the school.
Story Massage in the Classroom
The teachers at Bowker Vale School run regular sessions in the classroom as part of the well-being curriculum so children have an hour of Story Massage every week. The children are encouraged to write their own stories using the ten basic strokes. Story Massage is also used widely in literacy lessons and teachers have noticed an improvement in creative writing and vocabulary since the sessions began. “The children say that Story Massage brings the stories alive,” says Jo, “They say it’s relaxing and it helps to retain information such as dates, numbers and names in history subjects.”
Story Massage Club
Children who have enjoyed Story Massage in the classroom can join a Story Massage club which is run by Jo for pupils from Key Stage 1 and 2. The club lasts for an hour a week. Children write their own massage stories on themes such as the seasons or events.
“There is much fun and debate around choosing which Story Massage stroke should accompany the words,” says Jo, who is pictured below with some members of the Story Massage club received her Best Practice Award. “The children learn to listen to each other and take turns in making decisions. They are learning important lessons in forming respectful relationships whilst having a lot of fun.”
Bower Vale Story Massage Club have kindly agreed to share their Spring Story Massage:
Spring at Bower Vale
The flowers are blooming, spring has arrived (The Fan)
We are all excited for the chocolate egg hunt (The Bounce)
The clues for the eggs were hidden in the tulips and daffodils (The Circle)
The children race to the clues.(The Wave)
The children are overjoyed to see that there are footprints in their playground. (The Drum)
The footprints were curiously big. (The Bounce)
The Easter bunny hopped merrily across the playground. (TheBounce)
The sun shines and there is a gentle breeze making the blossom drift down from the tree like confetti. (The Sprinkle)
The bees buzz making their way through the Vale Trail. (The Wave)
The eggs are scattered around tricky obstacles under the bright blue sky. (The Wave)
Finally the children unwrap the scrumptious heavenly chocolate. (The Fan)
Yum Yum! (The Calm)
Story Massage Workshops for Parents and Children
The school has recently started Story Massage sessions for parents and children on Friday afternoons a as part of the school Well-Being Curriculum. “We’ve had some wonderful feedback,” says Jo, “Parents have commented how it helps with bedtime routines and brings peace to the family home. I have worked with children for many years and I can truly say that Story Massage is a fantastic resource to use with children with the most challenging of behaviours.”
More about Story Massage
Story Massage combines the benefits of positive touch with the creativity of storytelling. Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of the Story Massage programme. These strokes have a child friendly name, such as The Circle or The Sprinkle, and an easy to recognise symbol making it fully accessible for all ages and abilities.
Would you like to train in Story Massage?
Have you been inspired by Jo Heald’s work in introducing Story Massage as part of the Well-Being Curriculum at Bowker Vale Primary School? Would you like to train to use Story Massage in your school or organisation? There is a one day training course that is held around the country for individuals and groups. On these days we teach you how to share the ten Story Massage strokes and work with you to adapt familiar stories and create some sensory stories of your own. Ideal for Teachers, Early Years Practitioners and those working in Special Schools. We also offer online trauma and in-house training options. All the information is here: Story Massage Training