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Three-quarters of primary teachers say pupils anxious about school

And a third of parents say that children learning to manage anxiety is more important than school work


Three-quarters of primary teachers say that their pupils have experienced anxiety about school life. 

And three in 10 parents of primary-aged pupils feel that learning how to manage anxiety is more important than school work.

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A poll of 777 primary teachers revealed that 77 per cent believed their pupils had experienced anxiety about school life.

And, of 1,049 primary-school parents questioned, two-thirds said that their children regularly feel anxious about school life.

The majority of parents – 56 per cent – practise calming techniques with their children to lessen daily stresses.

The research was commissioned by school communication platform ClassDojo, to coincide with the global initiative A Mindful Moment.

Tomorrow, the scheme will see students from around the world set aside 30 minutes at 11 am, to take part in a range of mindful activities, to learn relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, and to raise money for mental health charities.

Chivonne Preston, chief executive of the Mindfulness in Schools Project, said: "Events like A Mindful Moment are a great, light introduction to some of the themes of mindfulness, and will hopefully raise awareness of the potential benefits that can be obtained from regular practice.

"Mindfulness is a skill that can help individuals flourish, and in the same way that you would learn any new skill, mindfulness is best learnt over a sustained period of time, from a teacher who practises it themselves and knows how to teach it."

The initiative comes at a time when hundreds and thousands of 10- and 11-year-olds are preparing to take their Sats later this month.

It also follows a letter sent to all MPs by the NAHT headteachers’ union and the Child Poverty Action Group, alerting them to the anxiety felt by many pupils over their families' financial situations.

They state that pupils are often "embarrassed and ashamed", and that school leaders are concerned austerity is having a negative impact on pupils' ability to learn and enjoy school.

Education secretary Damian Hinds said: "I want school to be a place where pupils develop a love of learning and gain the knowledge and skills they need to prepare them for adult life.

"I know many young people can feel worried about exams and school work, especially at this time of year, but it should never be something that has a disproportionate effect on their wellbeing.

"Learning how to cope with life's inevitable pressures is part of growing up, and I've seen how calming the practice of mindfulness can be where schools choose to use it, so I'm pleased to support this Mindful Moment."


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