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Making masks friendly to help pupils open up about pandemic

As talk of compulsory face mask wearing for teachers and children over 12 years in schools comes under greater scrutiny, Chroma, the UK’s leading arts therapy provider, will be working with schools to minimise pupils COVID-19 anxiety.

Throughout the pandemic, Ofsted-registered Chroma has been providing online workshops to encourage children to make masks enabling them to re-frame any negative associations they may have with them.

The therapeutic activity, which has now been extended to schools, has proven to be popular with children, allowing them to express their feelings and concerns about life under the threat of coronavirus in a safe, creative and accessible way.

Daniel Thomas, managing director at Chroma said: “Therapy sessions like these that have a real positive impact upon children’s mental health and wellbeing. Using the arts therapies via mask making offers children a route to open up about their experiences, insecurities and anxieties, especially around returning to school. In turn this means that teachers can focus more on teaching than dealing with the understandable fears children may have about masks and COVID”

“It’s been a very difficult time to children over the last few months and our work with teachers can be a brilliant way for children and their families to connect in a positive way while alleviating negative feelings their children may be experiencing having been forced to isolate at home. The sessions provide an opportunity to develop a sense of wellbeing as well as foster better communication.”

During the lockdown, Ofsted registered Chroma as an Adoption Support Agency, providing therapy services to children and adults up to 25 years old.

Ofsted inspectors evaluated the impact of Chroma’s services on children, young people and adult service users as well as test legal compliance, support improvement, and focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives (and where relevant other service users).

Daniel continued: “We hope our Ofsted registered status instils confidence in schools that Chroma provides a high level of therapy services to children of all ages and recognise that our therapists can teachers valuable support. Let’s face it – returning to school in September may be daunting for both pupils and teachers, both of whom will have to adjust to a new way of school life – and arts therapy, can and will help.”

Ofsted recognised Chroma has continued and will continue to strive to provide effective therapy services to children and adults to enhance their mental health and wellbeing.