Saxophonist Amy Dickson launches her campaign at Harleston Primary School

Amy Dickson visits Harleston Primary School as part of her Take a Breath workshops.

Amy Dickson visits Harleston Primary School as part of her Take a Breath workshops. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2017

Primary School pupils in a market town were visited by an award-winning saxophonist who launched her campaign to help youngsters deal with stressful situations.

Amy Dickson visits Harleston Primary School as part of her Take a Breath workshops.

Amy Dickson visits Harleston Primary School as part of her Take a Breath workshops. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2017

Amy Dickson, who won a Classic BRIT Award as Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2013, designed a programme to help equip young children with simple techniques to encourage them to breathe properly.

She visited Harleston Primary School last year to test her project on pupils and staff and returned to officially launch Take A Breath.

The project – which has been lovingly nicknamed Elephant Breathes by the primary pupils – is taught with the help of Miss Ellie the elephant.

The children learn an exercise to take gentle breaths in through the nose, all the way to the tummy and long breath out through the mouth.

Amy Dickson visits Harleston Primary School as part of her Take a Breath workshops.

Amy Dickson visits Harleston Primary School as part of her Take a Breath workshops. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2017


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The musician said the idea is the pupils will carry these breathing exercises into adulthood, where they could provide useful support when dealing with situations that may cause stress and anxiety, including exams.

She said: 'I am enormously grateful for the enthusiasm that Harleston Primary has shown towards our breathing awareness campaign, Take A Breath, which aims to build wellbeing and resilience in children.

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'The staff and students were wonderfully helpful while we were trialling it last year and we are all thrilled that it has now become part of a national program through Children and the Arts.

'Without the support of Harleston this could not have happened.'

Lee Richardson, deputy head teacher, said over the past few years the increase in mental health and emotional difficulties in children has been noticeable.

He said: 'Although in its infancy here, Elephant Breathes is already beginning to help children to think about how they can use breathing techniques to stay calm and take a moment to think clearly when they are anxious, upset or just needing some quiet, reflective time in a busy school.

'Of course, what we strive towards is for children to increase their self-awareness and to develop their emotional resilience.

'As part of our culture of nurturing children and developing emotional well-being, I am sure that Elephant Breaths will have a positive effect and is already becoming part of our school vocabulary.'

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