Children from Northampton National School in Kinvara took part in a Well-being Day last Friday. With the support of funds from the European Erasmus Plus programme, children were able to experience activities delivered by experts in key areas of well-being and mindfulness.
Catherina O Sullivan’s work allowed children to explore well-being through art and creative expression. Alan Daly, a vastly experienced physio with Galway hurling and ConnauCht Rugby, delivered lively and interesting sessions on exercise and nutrition.
Thomas Baker from Yerman’s Puppets fascinated the children while exploring other forms of emotional expression in an often hilarious but thought provoking manner. Fr David Cribben explored the idea of mindfulness and well-being with the children with a view to their spiritual awareness. Frances Forde from Jigsaw in a very informative session with the older children, explored the services available in the future to cater for their physical and mental well-being.
Visiting teachers involved in the project from Poland, Portugal, Spain and Belgium mingled in the school during the day getting to know the children and swapping ideas with a view to implementing similar programmes in their own schools.
Local TD Ciaran Cannon called in to lend his support to the project and commented on “the importance of the rural school in maintaining communities and most specifically the immense difference these types of programmes can make to the mental and physical well-being of these communities into the future.”
Principal, Shane Mc Donagh commented that staff was, “delighted with the positivity the day has brought to our school community and looking forward to further developing the project with our European partners over the next two years as part of the Erasmus Plus initiative. We shouldn’t wait until they are teenagers to tackle the issues.
Building a strong foundation for physical and mental well-being in the early years ingrains good practices in their lifestyles.”
Some websites receiving special mention during the project were www.beingmindful.ie, www.headstrong.ie/jigsaw and you can follow the progress of the project through links on www.northamptonns.ie .