School children practise wellness with Sheffield Hallam

Primary school pupils from across Sheffield have been learning how to take care of their mental and physical health in a special project at Sheffield Hallam University.

The ‘Project in a Box’ programme is an annual initiative led by Sheffield Children’s University, in which a partner organisation develops a resource for schools to use, with a theme of their choice to engage the children in interesting and challenging subject areas and activities.

This year, Sheffield Hallam’s Widening Participation and Outreach team developed activities with the theme, ‘Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds’, with the aim of helping school children develop self-confidence, acceptance of others and resilience.

The team developed a range of one hour sessions on a variety of topics, including developing confidence and worrying less, with each session involving a physical activity, craft activity and discussion-based activity.

The free resource was used in 30 schools across Sheffield.

The project culminated in a celebration event at Sheffield Hallam, at which more than 70 school children from nine of the participating schools visited the University’s city centre campus to build on their learning by taking part in a yoga workshop, happiness and self-confidence motivational talk session and a sensory poetry workshop.

Serena Noble, Widening Participation and Outreach Coordinator, led on the event: “We were thrilled to welcome so many pupils from our participating schools to Sheffield Hallam.

“When Sheffield Children’s University approached us about creating the six-week project, we were really keen to focus on a range of topics relating to mental health and wellbeing, including confidence, resilience and staying calm.

The event provided a really good opportunity to celebrate the knowledge the children have developed through the sessions. Hopefully, the children can now go on to use the skills they have learned with us in the wider world – inside and outside of the classroom.”

Katie Hamshaw, Project Manager for Sheffield Children’s University, said: “Working in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to develop and deliver the Sheffield Children’s University Project in a Box has been fantastic this year.

“This valuable resource is offered exclusively to Children’s University schools and aims to improve staff skills and knowledge, engage children and young people in interesting and challenging subject areas, and encourage good practice in schools when it comes to high quality learning outside of normal school time.

“We are particularly pleased that this year’s project focused on mental health and wellbeing, giving children and staff an opportunity to develop specific life skills in areas such as mindfulness and confidence.”

Sheffield Hallam University is a leader in widening access to higher education to people from all backgrounds.

In 2017/18, the University delivered over 1,100 engagement activities to more than 56,000 local young people through the University’s award-winning Schools and Colleges engagement programme.

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