Children needing some time out during the school day now have their own peaceful space.

CHILDREN needing some time out during the school day now have their own peaceful space.
Epping St John’s School, in Epping, has revamped an area where vulnerable students can go to relax and step away from the hustle and bustle of school life.

The Hive has been in operation for some time, but it has been relaunched with students outlining how they would like to utilise the area.

Ian Jose, SENDCo, said: “We spoke to students about what they would like to do when they get their social time at school. They said they wanted to read, listen to music and do some mindfulness colouring to help them to relax.

We have filled the room with books and students will be encouraged to write book reviews to go on display on the wall. We are also getting some pet fish to make it a really welcoming area which they make their own and take responsibility for.”

A noticeboard in the Hive features leaflets and information to help students to cope with exam stress and how to stay safe and happy on the internet and with social media.

A homework club will be held in the Hive four days a week after school and a student of the week will be celebrated.

Mr Jose said: “Before now, students with special educational needs might have wandered around the school feeling frustrated during breaktimes. Some do not like to eat in front of others or struggle to cope with the noise.

“Now, they can spend their time in the Hive. Within about five minutes of opening, students had been in and taken leaflets, asked for advice and dropped notes in the Worry Box.

“One student who has been a school refuser started to come into the Hive for one hour a day and now comes in for three hours a day. He looks after the fish and is making use of the Hive. He now knows he has a responsibility in school to look after those fish and it is encouraging him to come into school every day.

“We are looking to develop the area further and to add a reflection room, so students of faith have somewhere to worship.”

Executive head Stephen Hehir said: “The Hive area is a wonderful space for all students at Epping St John’s to find out more information on how to manage their time, how to cope with exam stress, how to cope with friendship issues, or simply a place to talk to a dedicated member of staff who will listen to them.

“Well done to all students and staff who make the Hive a safe and happy area for all!”

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