All Blog Posts and News

Climbing as Mindfulness

Being in the moment

When people talk about mindfulness as being ‘in the moment’, it all seems rather straight forward and therefore easy to achieve – doesn’t it? But truly being in the moment can be much harder to achieve than one might think. But why? Well, probably without out us each realising, our mind, or should I say our attention, is in high demand – largely due to our 24/7 technologically-connected lives. Modern living is taking its toll and it’s making it difficult for us to switch off, find calm and be in the moment. And the evidence to support the belief that our lack of awareness of, or attention to, the present is a major cause of poor well-being that can negatively impact on our mental health.

So where does climbing come in?

Well, anyone who has climbed before – indoors or outdoors – will probably agree that when you are on the wall, working out your feet and hand placements, navigating a route, you tend to be pretty focused (for obvious reasons). Often time at the climbing centre flies by. You become more aware of your body: which muscles you are using (are getting tired), your breathing and level of sweat, which part of your feet or fingers you are using to gain grip and purchase. Very rarely, when on the wall, do you think about checking your phone or wondering what to buy from the supermarket for dinner. Some people describe this lack of attention to things other than the act of climbing itself as being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in flow’. Others call it a heightened state of ‘mindfulness’. They all pretty much mean the same thing, I think: being completely in the moment … consciously in the present.

So, with this in mind, it became more apparent to a colleague and myself at Derrymount – responsible for our Adventure School provision – that climbing might be a fantastic activity to help our students to not only develop their physical skills, overcome fears and barriers, develop self esteem through the effort and determination etc etc (and the list could go on for a long time) BUT the act of climbing could also (maybe?) have positive outcomes on mental health and well-being – if developed, deliberately, as a mindfulness exercise.

Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?

Anyway, it’s on a bit of a hunch and a ‘well we can at least try it’ attitude that prompted us to try and look into this a bit further. So, the plan …

The plan

In the second week in January 2020, we will be taking a group of young people on a weekly visit to Nottingham Climbing Centre where they will be introduced to climbing and receive a 1.5hr a week (for 7 weeks) period of instruction and opportunity to climb. We’ll encourage the students to be body aware, help them focus on the moment and try and gauge their thoughts, attitudes and awareness of themselves both before, during and at the end of the 7 weeks.

It’s going to interesting to see what impact climbing as mindfulness can have.

Thank you to Alpkit!

We are very grateful to the wonderful people at Alpkit for supporting our 7-week project. The Alpkit Foundation generously donated some money towards the costs of setting up this project, and for that we are very grateful.

NB. Anyone is free to make an application to the Alpkit Foundation, so perhaps a project idea you have might receive their support.

Related post:

Developing Through Climbing

M4 demonstrate team work and determination at Walesby

Students from M4 recently tested their fitness skills at Walesby Forest and took part in an assault course and laser quest activity.  A great day was had by all, with students demonstrating excellent perseverance and determination when faced with some challenging obstacles and working well together during laser quest, deciding as a team what tactics they would employ.

Big sleep out 2019

As part of our Adventure School activities we are planning to have a Big Sleep Out event in our outdoor classroom on Thursday 28th November 2019 (weather permitting) to support FRAMEWORK’s Big Sleep Out event. During this event a few selected young people who have agrees to participate will stay at school on the Thursday night and will take part in a variety of activities. By taking part in this event the young person will get an insight into how a homeless person sleeps in the evenings, as well as getting to experience some outdoor fun and learn new skills.

The young people would appreciate sponsors to help support them. This would also help boost their confidence during the event when it will be cold and wet outside. Please encourage family and friends to sponsor as well. Sponsor money can be sent to school.

Thank you for all your support

Big sleep out previous years

 

Big sleep out 2019 forms

Parent Carer Satisfaction Survey

If you are a parent or carer of a child or young person who has experienced the Education Health Care Plan annual review process in Nottinghamshire we’d like to hear from you!

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Integrated Children’s Disability Service is reviewing its current processes and documentation that support the Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) annual review and would like to hear the views of families who have experienced this process.

Your views are important as they will help us to understand the parts of the annual review process that are working well, and how we can further improve the Nottinghamshire EHCP annual review journey for parents/carers, the child or young person.

Tell us your views and opinions: Parent Carer Satisfaction Survey.

Please also let other parents and carers know about the survey if they have experienced the Nottinghamshire Education Health Care Plan annual review process. The survey will close on Friday 22nd November 2019.

Christmas Fayre 2019

Tuesday 3rd December 2019 2-4 pm

We would like to invite you to Derrymount’s Christmas Fayre at our Churchmoor Lane site.

We would like to offer you an opportunity to purchase a stall on the day to present any craft, games etc. For £10.00 per stall.

We do need your help, but mostly we would love for you, your family, and friends to join your children and have fun.

A coffee shop will be running so we would appreciate any cake donations.

We are also looking for donations of new items suitable for our tombola and new this year we are hoping to do a Christmas hamper so donations of new sealed Christmas food items would be greatly appreciated

I/We will help on the dayI will be attending on the dayI would like to purchase a stall for the dayI/We will provide cakes for the Cake Stall (on the day)


Christmas fayre invite to parents

Health services survey

From Nottinghamshire County Council:

We need your views about the Health Services for Children and Young People in Special Schools

Nottinghamshire County & City Councils are asking for the views of parents, carers, children and young people attending Special schools who use health services.  To do this we will be using co-production  as a way of working to bring together  families and professionals to review and shape provision. It ensures the following:

  • Honesty
  • Being listened to
  • Promotes positive working relationships
  • Strong communication
  • Improved services for families

This survey and following event is for parents, carers, children and young people who have experience of health services in special schools. We want to hear your views about services such as Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Continuing care or Health Support at home or school. We are interested in hearing what is working well, what is not working, and any changes you would like to for the future. You or your child may experience.

After this we will be hosting an Event on the 21st and 28th of November where  we will feedback your views and create a plan to improve  services for the future.

This consultation opened on the 26th of September and will close on the 18th of October. The online questionnaire should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. The link can be found below.  

Working together for Change Questionnaire

Cross Country Colwick Country Park 2019

Ten of our students took part in the annual Cross Country Relay Event at Colwick Park this week.  A fantastic effort was made by all, with each student completing at least one lap of the mile long course.

The students showed great determination and worked together as a team, competing against several other schools in the county. It was a great morning and many thanks to Nick Robb for organising and leading the event.

Well done everyone!!

Town House – work experience

 

A great opportunity for some of our year 10/11 students who currently access the home cooking option within school.

A taste of work experience at “The Townhouse” in Arnold under the guidance of head chef Louise and her staff. Our pupils sharpening up their skills in the kitchen prepping food from the mouth-watering menu to serve to the unsuspecting general public of Arnold!!

Jack added “It’s good, I enjoy working in the kitchen” whilst Daniel said “I really like working here, it’s not stressful”. “Very good not stressful what so ever” said Reeve and of course Lydia, “I like working in the kitchen however it drains my energy. The people are friendly”

Watch this space for further updates when they return to the Townhouse on 2nd October. A big thankyou to Alison the manager, Louise, Keegan, Esther & Linda. A mention to Mr Rowland for setting up this amazing opportunity.

R.Ashford/L.Holder

M4 visit Cromford Mills

Children in M4 recently visited Cromford Mills in Derbyshire to understand the role of Sir Richard Arkwright during the Industrial Revolution.

They enjoyed having a go at ‘carding’ and spinning thread from raw cotton.  They also listened to a worker, describing her life in Cromford.

By the end of the experience, they were all grateful that they didn’t live around 250 years ago as they would have completed five years work by now at the age of twelve!  School seems a far better option!

Derrymount School