There was much talk and speculation a few weeks ago about pupils having to spend more time on English and Maths to the detriment of creative subjects such as Art, Music, Drama when they return to school in September. This is due to fears of the lockdown impacting on progress. However, the article below suggests that our children might have little to fear regarding losing some school time. Pupils spend 200 days in school in Australia, which the article below focuses on. In England it's 190 days. This makes the following quote more interesting "Even if 10 weeks were removed, he said "students would generally still be getting more classroom time than students in countries like Sweden, Finland and Estonia", which consistently outperformed Australia in maths, science and reading scores." In the PISA results, which compares maths, science and reading results internationally, Finland and Estonia came above the UK in 2019.

(https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-17/will-missing-school-due-to-covid-19-matter-for-school-students/12154266)

I digress from my point. The current government has diminished the role of creative subjects over the last 10 years. This has no doubt had an impact on children's mental health. "The prevalence of 5-15 year olds experiencing emotional disorders (including anxiety and depression) has increased by 48% – from 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017."

(https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/new-figures-show-a-rise-in-young-peoples-mental-health-problems-since-2004/)

Creative subjects balance the left brain academic activities. They allow emotions to be processed in a healthy way. When I work with children, teaching them mindfulness and meditation, I encourage them to draw and colour in order to work through uncomfortable feelings. They might also create shapes with their bodies, one 5 year old moved his whole body during "star breathing" as opposed to simply using his hands, for example, or make sounds with me in a sound meditation. They might make a glitter bottle too, for example. If the time in school spent on creative subjects is further diminished, I fear even more for the mental health of our young people.

(https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/how-arts-can-help-improve-your-mental-health)

If you feel I could help an individual child or group of children please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

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Creative Subjects -Their Positive Impact on Children's Mental Health

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