Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, last week made a visit to St Paul’s Catholic School to attend a meditation workshop.
Alok attended a typical thirty minute workshop with pupils aged 9-11, but the meditation workshop, which is organised by local Reading charity ‘East West Detox’, is held in a number of Reading schools for primary school pupils of all ages. The workshops have been acknowledged by pupils and teachers to have been highly successful in improving concentration, creativity and reducing disruption amongst the children.
The full list of benefits that have been observed following the meditation workshops are:
• Physical relaxation
• Improved concentration
• Increased tranquillity and ability to deal with stress
• Improved awareness
• Improved creativity
• Reduced anger/impulsivity
• Improved interaction
• Improved sleep
St Paul’s school has performed well in recent years and is judged by Ofsted to be outstanding for pupil personal development and well-being, as well as in the care, support and guidance the school provides to pupils.
The workshop was led by Mike Sarson from East West Detox, which is run on a voluntary basis and involved the children in a range of meditation techniques and relaxation positions. Following the meditation session, Alok spoke to the pupils involved about the benefits they thought it had had on their concentration.
Alok Sharma said: “I was very interested to hear from many of the students that these sessions had helped them improve their concentration, behaviour and work. I understand that similar meditation sessions are held at other local primary schools, which have also resulted in better pupil concentration and achievement.”
Alok continued: “I have written to the Secretary of State for Education to make him aware of this excellent and innovative initiative at St Paul’s, which could perhaps benefit pupils at other schools.”
Head teacher, Julia Feeney said: “We are blessed to have Mr Sarson in our school teaching our children the techniques and benefits of guided meditation. The impact has been quite noticeable with the children saying that they meditate in their day to day lives. They say that meditation has made them calmer, helps them when they get cross or angry, has helped them improve their behaviour and helps them to relax. Parents tell us that children are using these skills at home. We look forward to continue this wonderful work with Mr Sarson and extending these opportunities to the younger children within our school.”
Mike Sarson from East West Detox said: “The range of benefits experienced by the children and the positive feedback I receive from teachers and parents, underpins the need to get meditation on the national curriculum.”
Photo: Mike Sarson leads the meditation session for pupils with Alok Sharma participating