Pupils from nine Sheffield primary schools come together to enjoy wellness activities

 School children take part in a yoga workshop led by Jo Bertzeletos from Yoga Nature. School children take part in a yoga workshop led by Jo Bertzeletos from Yoga Nature.
School children take part in a yoga workshop led by Jo Bertzeletos from Yoga Nature.
Primary school pupils from across the city have been learning how to take care of their mental and physical health in a special project.

The 'Project in a Box' programme is an annual initiative led by Sheffield Children's University which sees a partner organisation develop a resource, with a theme of their choice, to engage children in interesting and challenging subject areas and activities.

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

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The team organised a range of one hour sessions, which were delivered over six weeks, on a variety of topics, including developing confidence and worrying less. Each session included a physical activity, craft activity and discussion-based activity.

The free resource was used in 30 schools across Sheffield. To celebrate the end of the project, more than 70 school children from nine schools visited the university's city centre campus to take part in a yoga workshop, happiness and self-confidence motivational talk session and a sensory poetry workshop.

Serena Noble, Widening Participation and Outreach Coordinator, who led the event: "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.

“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."

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Katie Hamshaw, Project Manager for Sheffield Children's University, said: "This valuable resource encourages good practice in schools when it comes to high quality learning outside of normal school time.

"We are 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."

In 2017/18, the Sheffield Hallam University delivered over 1,100 engagement activities to more than 56,000 local young people through their Schools and Colleges engagement programme.