Well done to YogaBugs Franchisee Karen Williams celebrating her 1st Year with YogaBugs!

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We would like to say a BIG congratulation to Karen Williams our YogaBugs Teesside Regional Manager, who is celebrating her first year With YogaBugs in style by securing 45 hours per week in schools and nurseries in the Teesside area for the new school term in September.

Since Karen joined YogaBugs in August 2014, she has been off to a flying start with so many Head Teachers and PE Co-Ordinators loving the YogaBugs’ ethos and recommending her to others in the area – she is proud to be stretching the imagination of so many children in schools and nurseries in her territory.

Please see below a fantastic testimonial from one of the schools Karen is currently working in….

“The days Karen comes in to work with our nursery children are always so exciting for us all – children and staff love her!  She has a really good manner with the children and always tries to link with our curriculum which has been lovely to see.  As this year is progressing we can see how well the children are responding to the exercises she does with them, now she can say the name of one of the familiar postures and the children respond by getting themselves into the correct position.  We are all big advocators of YogaBugs in Nursery and Karen is doing a marvellous job with the children”.

Kate JukesNursery Teacher at Green Lane Primary Academy, Acklam. 

When we caught up with Karen and asked her what made her choose YogaBugs this time last year this is what she said…

“Following eleven years as a primary school teacher and after having my two children, I began looking for a better work/life balance that would allow me to combine my love of working with children and my desire to run my own business. When I came across YogaBugs I knew it was the right thing for me! Children can be introduced to the benefits of yoga whilst most importantly using their imagination and having fun I love seeing the impact that YogaBugs can have on children who take part in our classes”.

Karen has truly taken her first year with YogaBugs by storm, and we cannot wait to see the growing impact that she will have on schools and nurseries in her area in the 2015/16 new school term!

Well Done Karen,

Keep up the great work!

If you would like to find out if your area is available and how to become a successful YogaBugs’ franchisee like Karen, Please contact Lisa Applebee-O’Connor on 0121 777 7792 / franchise@yogabugs.com.

YogaBugs – Impact and Change

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‘Impact & Change’ is a game changing product produced by YogaBugs

Did you know… every governmental report on children’s health highlights the need for what YogaBugs offers and with schools being given funding to improve Primary School PE, YogaBugs is always on top of the game.

Unlike other children’s activities YogaBugs franchisees benefit from offering a bespoke child development programme, called Impact and Change, to schools and nurseries. This is results driven and adds extra value for Ofsted.

This programme contains class plans around key texts and best of all can be tailored toeach school and at the end of the programme a report is produced detailing the individual and group improvement of the children involved.

YogaBugs is perfectly placed in the Education sector offering a programme that develops children both emotionally and physically which is why schools keep booking us. Want proof? Check out what our customers say here!

You do not need to be a yoga expert to become a YogaBugs franchisee, you just need to be motivated and ideally come from a previous sales background, have a good  head for business and a desire to inspire children to be physically and emotionally active. If this sounds like you, get in contact today!

Educational Underclass is an unacceptable label

Every child deserves an equal chance

Every child deserves a chance

 New research from the Orwellian sounding Centre for Social Justice has stated that children from the poorest homes risk becoming an educational underclass. The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) study was produced by a panel of educationalists, chaired by Sir Robin Bosher of the Harris academy federation. The report damningly states that ‘an abysmal start leaves children unready for school.’ The report goes on to demonstrate this by stating that some children arrive at school in nappies and behaving like toddlers. The Think Tank Director Christian Guy drew his conclusions from the report identifying that ”White, working-class boys are in danger of becoming an educational underclass,”

The report which is heavily critical of parents identifies broken homes and disengaged parenting as the cause of this ‘educational underclass’. The study talks of the impact of family breakdown on children and how much they can be damaged by instability in their home life. The lack of a male role model in families is also described as a factor affecting pupils’ behaviour. ”Emotional neglect” from disengaged parents is also a damaging factor for children’s development, says the study.

So lets say a big well done to the Centre for Social Justice for identifying there is a problem that school’s already knew was there. So what have they done about it. Put pressure on the government. Started campaigns targeted to inspire these parents who they are blaming? No. They have created a label. A label that now writes children off at the age of 4.

This phrase educational underclass is truly damaging. I am not saying that there are not issues that need addressing and that parents have no responsibility for ensuring their child is toilet trained, can communicate and concentrate when they start school. The report identifies that there are  700,000 children living with parents who are “dependent drinkers” and 335,000 with “dependent drug users”. This is scary and action must be taken. However, this is not the fault of the children, yet it is the children that are being socially labelled in such a negative way.

Sometimes semantics are really important. Britain historically divides itself through class. Surely the Centre for Social Justice have a responsibility to take this into consideration, and word their reports with more social sensitivity. Their phrasing of educational underclass immediately creates barriers to improvement as marks children out as being different.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “This government is taking decisive action to support disadvantaged pupils and close the unacceptable attainment gap between them and their peers. We are increasing the pupil premium to £2.5bn a year and doubling the number of disadvantaged two-year-olds eligible for free nursery places to 260,000.” I think this can only be a good thing as we cannot ever provide to much funding to our children. Yet, no amount of funding in the world can recover the damage if a child is labelled so negatively.

But this educational underclass has already been created and labelled. Sadly it is here. At YogaBugs we never write children off. We know that within just 10 weeks we can make a big impact and bring about positive change with every child. Over the course of a school year, our ‘Impact & Change’ programme would lift every child out of this disgustingly labelled educational underclass.

So Sir Robin Bosher and Christian Guy, perhaps you need to get in touch with YogaBugs because we will not allow an educational underclass.

 

 

 

School sport handed £150m funding boost

The government has announced new funding for school sport and PE worth £150m a year for the next two years.

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As revealed by the BBC on Tuesday, ring-fenced money will be given directly to primary schools in England.Schools will be able to pay for extra coaching sessions to improve the quality of sports and PE provision.Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We can create a culture in our schools that encourages all children to be active and enjoy sport.”He added: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games marked an incredible year for this country and I will always be proud that we showed the world what Britain can do.

“I want to ensure the Games count for the future too and that means capitalising on the inspiration young people took from what they saw during those summer months.”

The Government says the new scheme will involve:

  • Lump sums for schools – a typical primary school with 250 primary-aged pupils would receive £9,250 per year, the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach’s time
  • A greater role for sporting and voluntary organisations, including sport’s National Governing Bodies (NGBs), who will increase the specialist coaching and skills development on offer for primary schools
  • Tougher assessment of sport provision by inspectorate Ofsted to ensure the funding is bringing the maximum benefit for all pupils, with schools held to account for how they spend the money
  • Sport England investing £1.5m a year of lottery funding through the County Sport partnerships to help schools link up with local sports coaches, clubs and sports governing bodies
  • More primary teachers with a particular specialism in PE via a new teacher training scheme.

The long-awaited policy is the result of months of talks in Whitehall, and comes after widespread calls for more investment in school sport to help build on the legacy potential of the 2012 Games. Despite record investment in elite and community sport in the last six months, the government has been criticised for making cuts in schools sports.

In 2010, £162m of ring-fenced funding for the national School Sport Partnerships (SSPs) was abolished, provoking an outcry. The network enabled well-equipped ‘hub’ secondary schools to lend PE teachers to those that needed them, especially primary schools.

Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford said: “This money is extremely welcome but we would be in a much better situation had the government not taken £162m away from SSPs in 2010 and left the structures that were in place to crumble.

“David Cameron wanting praise for putting money back into school sport is like a burglar returning stolen goods and expecting to be hailed as a public hero.”

Last month a four-year long Ofsted report concluded there was not enough strenuous, physical activity in many of England’s school PE lessons, with teachers tending to lack specialist training, and a minority of schools playing competitive sport at a high level.

Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the umbrella organisation for the sport’s governing and representative bodies in the UK, said: “It’s a policy that will tick a lot of the boxes. There’s investment, there’s ring-fencing, there’s NGB involvement and there’s measurement, all of which were at the top of the list for sports bodies. There was a glaring gap in the Government’s Olympic legacy plans and this policy addresses that.

“This is an acknowledgement that PE and sport should play a central role in every pupil’s experience and that the skills they give children are as important as being able to read, write and add. It also recognises that it makes sense for schools to draw on the expertise of governing bodies as early and as deeply as practical.

“Ministers should encourage heads to embrace the wide variety of physical activity on offer to them so that every child can find something that they like.”

Lord Coe, the prime minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, said: “When I stood up in Singapore in 2005 I spoke of London’s vision to connect young people with the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport.

“Today’s announcement does just that and by focusing on primary schools we have the opportunity to make sport and physical exercise a habit for life. I am particularly pleased to see the proposals around initial teacher training and continual professional development because I know from my own experience what an impact teachers and their engagement can have on the lives of young people.”

Baroness Sue Campbell, chair of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “This is a landmark day for PE and school sport and now the work really begins to make sure this impressive investment benefits all young people.

“For many years we have been championing the need for greater investment in primary school PE and school sport provision, and it is welcome news that the Government has now recognised this as a priority area.

“If this funding is to reach every young person it is important to recognise that schools will need support in how to maximise its impact. Funding will need to be used in a way that makes high quality PE and sport sustainable, and embeds both within school life. Primary schools in particular will need support to achieve this.

“Investment in teacher training at primary school level is desperately needed. For too long a child’s first experience of physical education has been delivered by teachers who lack the confidence and in some cases the competence to deliver PE well. We hope this investment will address that.”

The new support for primary school is funded by the Department for Education, Department of Health and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, said: “We must harness the sporting spirit of 2012 for all our young people. We have listened to teachers, and to Ofsted, who have said that sport provision in our primary schools is far too often just not up to scratch.

“That is why we are putting money directly into the hands of primary head teachers to spend it on improving PE in their schools.

“By providing this money and reintroducing competitive sport back into the heart of the curriculum we can achieve an Olympic legacy in our schools we can be proud of.”

Article sourced from: www.bbc.co.uk/sport

Is fast food having an impact on your child’s learning?

The news keeps highlighting the fact that more children are becoming obese and we in a country are in dire need to get children to exercise more in their daily life, weather it is in school hours or out. It has now come to the attention that fast foods could be a major contribute in to the lowering of children’s IQ. This gives us the best reason to make this a high priority to get children eating more healthy foods and to get them into fun activities.

Children who are given more fast food meals than children who are given more fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly cooked homemade meals, will grow up to have a much lower IQ than the children who eat more healthier according to a study. Childhood nutrition has long lasting effects on IQ, previous intelligence and wealth and social status are taken into account, it found. The study examined whether the type of main meal that children ate each day had an impact on their cognitive ability and growth.

It looked at 4,000 Scottish children aged three to five year’s old and compared fast food with freshly-cooked food meals. The study, undertaken by an academic at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that parents that gave their children meals prepared with fresh ingredients more often, which positively affected their IQ. Then those parents that gave their children fast food, which led to lower IQ. Dr Sophie von Stumm, from the department of psychology at Goldsmiths, said: ‘It’s common sense that the type of food we eat will affect brain development, but previous research has only looked at the effects of specific food groups on children’s IQ rather than at generic types of meals.

‘These children score lower on intelligence tests and often struggle in school.

‘Schools in less privileged areas must do even more to balance children’s diet, so that they can achieve their cognitive potential. ‘It shows that the freshness and quality of food matters more than just being full, in particular when children are young and developing.’

By the age of eight the ‘junk food’ children had IQs up to two points lower than their healthy counterparts, according to the researchers from the University of Adelaide.These children were tested five years later and had IQ scores that were as much as five points lower than their healthier-eating peers.

The researchers suspected that the negative effect of eating junk food so early in life may BEEF-BURGERnot be altered by future healthy habits because brain development is hindered.

Do you believe this? are we really making our children dumb?
What parents need now is good advice, ideas and tricks to help children to become better and healthier eaters.

Do you have any special tricks, ideas and thoughts please share.

 

Why Yoga Is So Great For 8 To 12 Year Olds!

 

Last week, we reported the results of a new study, released by Harvard Medical School, proving the mental and psychological effects of yoga for teens. Our own evaluation of our Impact & Change programme (covering children in Key Stage 1 and 2) showed very similar results with children at Key Stage 2 demonstrating a remarkable 38% improvement across the 9 areas we monitored – confidence, self-esteen, ability to listen to and follow instruction, co-ordination etc.In this article we look at why children from the ages of 8 to 12 years benefit so much from yoga.

During these years, children mature very rapidly, with their interests, general knowledge, powers of thinking and reasoning all developing considerably. They want to be interactive, to take responsibility, to have a say in how things are done, to debate, question and argue. They are expected to behave in a more mature way, although their bodies and minds are going through a turbulent time as they get ready for the onset of puberty.

A key consideration when working with this age group is how to present the concept of ‘yoga.’ For some children the terms connected to yoga may be strange and alienating, while others may think it’s airy fairy nonsense.Peer group pressure carries a big influence at this age, and it is easy for this age group to be put off yoga related activities because they’re not regarded as ‘cool.’ Thankfully there are an abundance of well-known and highly successful people who have an established yoga practice, from footballers like Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale, to actors like Jake Gyllenhall and Jennifer Aniston, through to singers like Madonna and Lady Gaga.

What yoga gives children at this age is a series of techniques and exercises that they can use to increase their control, over their bodies and minds, and ultimately their lives. For children interested in sport, yoga will improve their concentration, focus and mind-body co-ordination, so improving their overall performance. It will also provide the foundation for healthy habits that stengthen and protect the body.For academically minded children, yoga will improve their concentration and provide tools to help them manage anxiety around exams. Creative children will be interested in how yoga will enhance their fluency and flexibility of thought.

In practice, all children derive these benefits, with the additional advantage that through the practice of yoga, they develop their social skills. As they learn to relate better to others, so they gain more poise and self-confidence. This helps to provide the foundation for a happy and successful life.

We’ve designed our Yoga’d Up programme specifically to help children to navigate this period of their lives with more ease. Weaving a full range of yoga postures into games and partner activities, children get a great work out as well as learning practical techniques for calming and focusing. So if your school doesn’t have our Yoga’d Up programme, you can now tell them all about the benefits!

New Study Shows Benefits Of Teen Yoga

Readers of this blog will know about the remarkable changes our Impact & Change programme has brought to children in the UK’s primary schools. (For more information, see this story). So we were delighted to learn about a new study proving the mental and psychological effects of yoga for teens.

Harvard Medical School has just released a study about the psychological benefits of yoga on teenagers in 11th and 12th grade. Published in the April issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the study concluded that yoga may “serve a preventative role in adolescent mental health” by providing teens with beneficial ways to deal with stress and trauma, instead of falling into the dangerous and destructive behavioural patterns so common in high schools across the States.

51 high school students took part in the study.  They were randomly assigned to either regular PE classes, or Kripalu-style yoga classes that included asana, pranayama, relaxation exercises, and mediation. The students were given multiple tests and questionnaires, before and after the 10-week program, regarding their levels of anxiety and stress, their anger management abilities, and their mindfulness and resilience in the face of challenges. The results show that students who took yoga were better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs than those in the regular PE classes. Since mental health disorders often form in the teenage years, learning effective healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress is essential during this time.

Although the study was small, its results are nevertheless promising.It’s great to see further evidence of how yoga teaches young adults positive ways to react and deal with life’s challenges.

New Study of YogaBugs School’s Programme Shows Remarkable Results

Today YogaBugs, the UK’s leading provider of children’s yoga, published the first evaluation of its Impact & Change programme for schools. The study evaluated results from 1,122 children who participated in its Impact & Change programme from across 50 different schools. Nine areas related to emotional and physical aspects of learning were analysed. Remarkably the results from children at Key Stage 1 showed an overall improvement of 39% across the nine areas evaluated, whilst children at Key Stage 2 showed an overall improvement of 38%.

In addition the study found:

  • The overall improvement made by boys was 39% by whilst the overall improvement made by girls was 38%;
  • Before the programme, children at Key Stage 1 scored an average of 5.7 out of 10 for confidence, with this rising to 8.1 when the programme ended;
  • There was an overall increase of 37% in the ability of children at Key Stage 1 to concentrate and listen, rising to 41% at Key Stage 2;
  • There was an overall increase of 39% in the ability of children at Key Stage 1 to work co-operatively, respect and relate well to others whilst the overall improvement made at Key Stage 2 was 36%;
  • There was an overall increase of 41% in the fitness of children at Key Stage 1 whilst the overall improvement made at Key Stage 2 was 34%.

To ensure a full cross section of children were included in the study, the results from a total of 1,122 children were analysed. 591 boys and 531 girls took part. 651 were from the Key Stage 1 age group and 471 were from the Key Stage 2 age group. To measure whether financial background made a difference to skill levels, a cross-section of schools from low-income areas (£10,000 or less), mid-income areas (£25,000 – £35,000) and high-income areas (£50,000 plus) were selected. The results were consistent across the three income groups.

The purpose of the Impact & Change programme is to increase children’s emotional, physical and social development whilst also providing schools with tangible evidence of its results and benefits. At the start of the 10 week programme, the YogaBugs teacher delivers a short programme to the class teacher, giving them the skills to use breathing and relaxation techniques with children on a daily basis. This helps to reinforce the weekly programme of YogaBugs classes which are based on key texts such as “Giraffes Can’t Dance” and “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt” to take children on a magical adventure. These stories provide stimulus for the imagination and are central to the YogaBugs vision.

Classes follow a clear structure with exercises to warm up at the beginning, followed by an adventure into which yoga postures are weaved and a period of relaxation at the end. The class teacher assesses the children’s social, physical and behaviour skills before and after the course. At the end of the programme, the school receives a full report highlighting the changes that have resulted in each of the nine areas assessed.

Fenella Lindsell, founder of YogaBugs explains why the Impact & Change programme has been so effective:

“Many of us practice yoga for the physical benefits we gain in terms of improved mobility, flexibility, strength and stamina but we may not have realized quite how much yoga helps us mentally and emotionally.  We’re really excited by the results that have been gathered from our Impact and Change Programme and feel it is an ideal time to highlight them to more schools nationwide.  The Healthy Schools Programme underlines the importance of emotional well-being.  A child who is confident and happy will be an easier and more responsive child to teach and the child will enjoy learning more as a result.”

Commenting on the success of the programmes, Mark Goode, YogaBugs CEO said:

“YogaBugs programmes have been carefully and specifically designed with the purpose of improving children’s emotional and physical literacy. They target nine main areas based on developing social, emotional, physical and behavioural skills. Our goal is to improve the overall well-being of every child. What is remarkable is that regardless of a child’s background or gender, the YogaBugs programme achieved major improvements across all the nine targeted areas.”

 

Inspiration Corner: How Incorporating Yoga Into The School Curriculum has Improved Learning Outcomes

Excitement was high at YogaBugs Mission Control today when we learnt of a news report about a school in California, Kipp Summit Academy, which has incorporated yoga into its daily curriculum. The Head Teacher tells how he saw the benefits early on; since the programme started, suspensions are down 60% and test scores have risen! Here the kids talk movingly about why they enjoy their daily yoga classes:

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Headstand Goes To School runs these classes. Their evaluation of the benefits of the programme mirrors the results of YogaBugs own Impact & Change programme which include:

  • Increased concentration and focus
  • Reduced stress
  • Greater physical fitness and flexibility

A number of independent research studies support YogaBugs the outcomes we’ve found:

  • A 2009 University of Sydney study found that yoga reduced impulsive behaviour and ADHD behaviours in students enrolled in schools for disruptive behaviour;
  • A 2008 study by Powell, Gilchrist and Stapely found that a combined yoga, massage, and relaxation program gave students improvements in self-confidence, social confidence, communication and contribution in class;
  • A 2004 study by Jensen and Kenny found that yoga improved attention and emotional control in ADHD students. There was a reported reduction of mood swings and temper outbursts;
  • A 2003 study by California State University, Los Angeles found that yoga improved students’ behaviour, physical health and academic performance, as well as their attitude toward themselves;
  • A 2003 study by Leipzig University reported that yoga reduces feelings of helplessness and aggression, and in the long term helps emotional balance.

If you’d like to find out more about our Impact & Change programme, check out this link.

Olympic Torch Carrier Nominee, Fenella Lindsell, On Why PE Doesn’t Need To Be Competitive

In this week’s Scrubbing Up, BBC’s Sports and exercise medicine expert, Dr Andrew Franklyn-Miller asks whether the opportunity to encourage children to be more active is being missed in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics. He warns that the physical competence of future generations is being put at risk because of a failure to give PE the same priority as other subjects in the school curriculum. Contrasting the support available for children who struggle in maths or English with the approach taken to physical development, cardiovascular fitness and co-ordination, Dr Franklyn-Miller argues that there should be compulsory tests for key physical skills at each of the key stages as children progress through school.

With one in three 10 and 11-year-olds in England overweight or obese, childhood obesity is a serious problem. However the problem goes far beyond childhood obesity and the associated poor health outcomes. Recently Sally Goddard Blythe, Director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester, concluded that up to half of children were not ready for school at the age of five because of their “sedentary lifestyles”. This was because pre-school children found it difficult to grip pencils properly, sit still, stand up straight and even catch a ball after failing to develop key physical and communication skills at a young age.

We’ve written previously about the critical links between the development of motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination and the development of literacy and numeracy skills. The development of fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination is similarly essential to sporting success. To reach age appropriate targets in the development of left and right brain activity, children need to practice mid-line activities such as crawling, marching and balancing. For some children, developing these skills is particularly challenging so making this fun is key.

That’s why YogaBugs developed its 10 week Impact & Change course for primary schools. This course has been devised to improve children’s physical, emotional and social development whilst giving schools real results. At the beginning and end of the programme, we evaluate the children on skills such as flexibility, balance, co-ordination and concentration. At the end of the course, the results are sent to the school with a full report showing their improvement. The course combines story-telling and magical adventures with yoga inspired moves so that children are encouraged to develop essential developmental motor skills.

We’re concerned about the physical competence and health outcomes of this and future generations and that’s why we’re absolutely committed and passionate about changing children’s lives. Our number one priority is nurturing a love and appreciation for physical exercise and healthy living in our young children. Competition can come later!