Guest blog from Olivia Truscott, a sixth form volunteer for Grow.

Over the past term, we have started a year 5 workshop series called Grow, looking at building resilience, understanding emotions, and managing change and disappointment. We have had an amazing team of 6th form students from local Hitchin schools volunteering to help us run these workshops. Olivia was one of those volunteers and here are her thoughts and reflections on being involved:

Recently, I have worked with Phase in local primary schools running workshops, which focus on growth and building resilience. Originally, I signed up thinking it would be a great opportunity to get involved with the local area outside of school, but it also has provided me with a new range of skills and confidence I didn’t think I could ever have.

Photo by sydney Rae / Unsplash

Arriving at the primary school for the first workshop, I was slightly nervous. What if the children didn’t listen and I couldn’t control the group? What if they asked a question and I wasn’t sure how to answer it? I sat down with my group to find the children were eager to listen, learn and talk about their own experiences.

An example from our second session, which was all about how to deal with change, a boy in my group discussed how his brother recently changed schools and it put pressure on his family as he was nervous and upset about the change for quite some time. He worried he wouldn’t be able to make new friends etc. However, after he actually went into his new school, he managed to make new friends on the first day and enjoyed himself – all the stress was gone. The group discussed how much happier the boys’ brother was and came to the conclusion that not all change has to be bad even if it feels scary. This is a super helpful thing to remember as the children will soon be moving into secondary school themselves!!

Overall, the experience has been quite memorable and I’ve really enjoyed gaining an insight on how younger people view their emotions and their outlooks on situations. As well as helping the children understand more about themselves, I also think it has helped me gain an understanding too as they all had such different opinions on topics that it made me question other ways in which I can overcome negative emotions. I’m rather looking forward to the final session!!

We are so thankful for Olivia and all the other 6th form students, who have been so so fantastic at engaging with and supporting the year 5 students!

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