From Monday (November 8), thirty three North West primary schools, including some in Lancashire, will begin a mental wellbeing challenge ahead of Anti-Bullying week, which starts the following Monday.
The RTT 5-Day ‘I Can’t to I Can’ mental wellbeing challenge was created by the Rapid Transformational Therapy Training School and aims to provide children aged 7-10 with a series of mind hacks to help build confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
According to The Childrens’ Society UK, young people are 50% more likely to have a mental health problem than they were three years ago, which RTT suggests is due to the ongoing pandemic, concerns about climate change, and the pressures of social media.
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RTT says the 5-day Challenge was created as a response to anxiety pandemic amongst young people during these uncertain times, and it will "give them the mental stamina to cope with these challenging times and skills to support them throughout their life if they learn to practice them daily."
One Lancashire school taking part in the challenge is Penwortham Middleforth Church of England Primary School in Preston.
Joe Noblet, a Year 6 teacher at the school said: "I have opted to participate in the RTT five day challenge with my Year Six class as right now, more than ever, for all pupils across the country; mental health is a priority. The activities and resources provided should not only provide a growth mindset for this academic year, but hopefully continue further as they progress through to secondary school, and beyond"
Available online, the free resource is based around the RTT concept of the inner cheerleader, an encouraging driving force which it says everyone is born with.
RTT say the inner critic can then kick in as young as five which is why the skills taught in ‘I Can’t to I Can’ are key and it takes just a week to instill positive new approaches in children aged 7 to 10.
Commenting on the challenge, Dr Sian Peer, therapist and Director of the RTT School said: "As a parent myself, I know how crippling anxiety can be for a young child. We wanted to share some of the incredible mental wellbeing tools that are the cornerstones of RTT to help primary school children understand and manage their emotions. The 5 Day Challenge provides teachers with a daily lesson plan over a week, each building on the learning from the previous day. There are videos, fun exercises and ideas to do at home making the whole experience interactive and memorable."
Although most schools will participate in the challenge during the week commencing November 8, the resources are going to be accessible to schools on an ongoing basis.
Schools interested can visit www.rtt.com/method, and everything needed to run the 5 Day Challenge is available online once a school signs up.
Each day focuses on a different power for the children to develop, with day one focusing on bringing the cheerleader within us to life using the 'power of imagination', and day two looking at how our cheerleader speaks to us through the 'power of words'.
Day three considers how we get stuck in circular thinking and how this affects us with the 'power of looping thoughts' and day four is about learning to create positive neural pathways through the 'power of repetition'
Finally day five is a group activity, where each student decides which feature they like best from their day one inner cheerleader and recreates this element on a separate piece of paper, before coming to the front of the class to stick it to a pre-drawn Class Cheerleader outline.
Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) describes itself as "an innovative and critically-acclaimed therapeutic approach drawing upon powerful tools and techniques to offer fast, long lasting results", which draws on Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Its personalised approach works with clients to reframe any negative beliefs, habits and emotions, many of which they been carried from childhood, putting an end to negative self-talk so that they can approach life in a positive way.
There are currently 10,000 registered RTT therapists globally and many specialise in specific areas working with children and adults, which include anxiety, confidence/self esteem, depression/low mood, eating disorders, addictions, sleep issues, autoimmune conditions, physical pain, phobias and OCD.