A warm welcome to our information packed newsletter which includes great articles on MISP in Kosovo, MISP Progress Report feedback, Anti-Bullying Week information and SAVE The DATE for the first ever MISA International Conference! (Yes it will be in London next year!).
We have also now set up an account with Easy Fund Raising. You can help raise vital funds to continue MISP’s work in EWNI with your online Christmas shopping!
Quick and simple to do, please take 5 minutes to visit the website and register.
- Go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk
- Search for Massage in ‘Cause’ and Massage in Schools Association will come up and click on it.
- Register your details
- Add the reminder ‘add on’ to your browser or app (optional but recommended)
- Start shopping online! Debenhams, Argos, Ebay, Amazon, Clarks, John Lewis to name but a few and help raise some much needed funds to promote our vital work further.
Don’t forget we are active on Facebook and Twitter – find us – follow us – share with us – stay in touch!
Thanks so much for continuing to support the essential work of spreading connection, inclusion, compassion through respectful touch,
Kate Norfolk, MISA EWNI Chair & Director
MISP in Kosovo
Earlier this year, Sarah Greenwood put a post on MISA EWNI Facebook page about her work in Kosovo with her charity Phoenix Aid and asked if any MISP instructors would be interested in volunteering. On a bit of a whim, I contacted Sarah and approximately six months later found myself on a flight to Pristina.
Sarah had arranged for me to introduce MISP to children attending education classes at The Ideas Partnership centre in Fushe Kosove. The families in this neighbourhood are predominantly Roma and Ashkali and face a lot of challenges due to poverty and discrimination. The Ideas Partnership provide education to enable children to catch up and attend state schooling alongside a whole range of other projects (for more information on this amazing project visit www.theideaspartnership.org).
Things didn’t go exactly to plan – on our first day in the centre our arrival coincided with a visit from a local TV crew. Understandably the children were rather more excited by the prospect of being on TV than us so our session had to be cut short (although we did make a very brief appearance on the resulting TV item!). Other challenges included fact that the children were aged from 2.5 – 7/8 years old, there were different children there each day (as it isn’t compulsory to attend the staff have to spend time working with parents to send their children to the classes) and most obviously, the language barrier.
Given these difficulties and the limited time I had available I decided to use mini-MISP with the children. The children quickly grasped the idea and by the end of our third and final session, were able to do the routine. I left with the children and teacher saying they would continue to practise the routine every day and requests to come back again next year.
Justine Merton MISP Instructor & MISA EWNI Director
Anti-Bullying Week 2016!
From the 14th to the 18th November a majority of schools throughout the UK will focusing their efforts on Anti-bullying week activities. This years theme is “Power for Good” and there are many resources available www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/ for you to download as well as a link for children to nominate a member of school staff for the ‘Power of Good’ award.
MISP Instructors are encouraged to create and use existing positive touch activities to create a focus for all ages during ABA Week.Why not login to the members website and look on Resources, Positive touch activities. What about organising a whole school or year group positive touch activity and help to promote the ‘Power for Good’ theme?
Please don’t forget to share with us your ABA week activities and stories, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Wadsworth (MISP Instructor)
MISA International News!
Save the Date! We are happy to confirm that the first ever MISA International Conference will be held on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th May 2017 and the Trainers meeting on Monday 8th May 2017. The events will be at the Kairos Retreat and Conference Centre, in Roehampton, London.
More details to follow…….
There will be the 8th Training of Trainers intensive in Czech Republic from 29 April to 4 May 2017, so if you know of any MISP Instructors interested in becoming a MISP Trainer, please contact us.
MISA International Managing Director
MISP Progress Report
This touching and inspirational feedback from Diane Stephenson really shows the huge benefits that MISP can bring into any educational setting. Diane works at Marchbank Free School and has implemented MISP throughout the school from Years 1 to 6. Marchbank opened 3 years ago and focuses on children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH). Diane trained as a MISP Instructor in May last year and has achieved a huge amount of progress in only a year.
What are the main benefits of the MISP to the children and others in your school / organisation? Include comments from parents or others who may be involved.
The children use the massage as calming session after lunchtime break to settle them ready for afternoon lessons. It is used every day with year 2 – year 5, and on alternative days with year 6.
It has helped with peer relationships and making new friendships as the children are encourage to change partners each new session.
At times the children have requested the Weather story as an alternative routine and find this just as beneficial.
There has been a noted reduction in negative behaviours from pupils at the beginning of afternoon sessions, as pupils knew when and where they should seated and wait patiently for everyone to settle ready to begin.
It has been noted by our first Ofsted inspection (May 2015) that they children appeared relaxed and appeared to be enjoying the sessions and they believed it to be beneficial for our SEMH pupils.
Professional visitors from other schools, parent/carers who visit with new pupils for our school before the start often arrive in the afternoons and are surprised to see a calm, settled classroom with pupils giving each other massage. It is then explained how it benefits everyone and how it has changed the afternoon sessions to become more focused and pupils are ready to learn as they have calmed and become focused after their running around and play at break time.
The pupils often comment that they give their mother’s in particular a massage when they are ‘stressed’ and it helps, we believe it helps them to bond (something positive, when we first meet parents and child that it not always evident).
The pupils have themselves stated they feel calm and enjoy the time to relax. Last year the year 6 pupils would often request massages at break time from peers.
At my recent appraisal the HLTA and Senior Management admitted that they were sceptical about the introduction of massage into the school but can now see the benefits for the children and themselves.
Pupils are ready to learn, have made friendships with some they have struggled to accept. They agreed the whole school is calmer, the children now understand what acceptable areas to touch and appear more relaxed.
For the classroom, afternoon session begin with a calmer, quieter atmosphere and for some pupils who find tasks difficult, massage sessions has the option not to participate or use a cushion, this is very rarely seen.
It allows teachers additional time to prepare for lesson or mark work as it is delivered by myself, but the children can now follow the routine with only the sound of relaxing music in the background and need no reminders when to change movements.
As the whole school (47 pupils) follows the routine it is seen as a consistent approach across all year groups and continuity from year to year.