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Children’s physiotherapist and PosturePad creator, Lorna Taylor teamed up with the Nunney First School for some observation sessions. They involved every Reception child using a PosturePad (a multi-use wedge cushion). “We know that correct posture is important and were interested in something that might help our youngest learners become better achievers,” said head teacher Ms Howlett. Read on for the results.



 

As a physiotherapist, Lorna understands the long-term benefits of good posture and has concerns about modern living on children’s back health. Comfortable children concentrate and are ready to learn, rather than being distracted because of constant fidgeting.

Here are the benefits staff noted when using the PosturePad:

  • Children sit straighter and are comfortable
  • Fidgeting and restlessness is reduced
  • Pupil concentration is improved
  • Greater respect for personal space
  • Pencil holding for early writing skills showed improvement

Reception pupils reported:

  • Using wedges was more comfortable and “better” than sitting on a hard floor or carpet
  • Having a straight back meant they could look at the teacher and “learn properly”
  • They valued having their own floor space, as well as using the wedges on chairs
  • The wedges meant they didn’t need to remind themselves of each other’s “bubbles of personal space”
  • Their work was neater which made them feel proud
  • They liked having their own cushions and wanted to take them to all classes

Summary of observations:

  • Better quality learning takes place without distraction from ‘off task’ movement
  • Improved focus and concentration extends to other environments
  • Better understanding of their own personal space helps children consider others
  • Children develop an awareness of other factors affecting their ability to learn effectively
  • Children start to learn how they can improve their own learning behaviour
  • Children demonstrate a conscious self-esteem and notice progress in others
  • Improved manipulative skills start to be transferred to other areas of learning

The Nunney First School considered using Pupil Premium to purchase the PosturePad and recognised they had seen “unquestionable improvements”.

Lorna said, “I am so pleased to have worked with such an innovative, eager and receptive school. The sheer number and variety of improvements that PosturePad has bought to children and their teachers is overwhelming. As a physiotherapist, I knew of the benefits children’s posture has on health, comfort and concentration but was less aware of the impact it could make on learning. To hear from teachers and pupils of the improvements in self-esteem, concentration and respect for personal space is brilliant. The PosturePad can be used for outdoor learning too – another great passion of mine!”

With thanks to Nunney First School and Lorna Taylor for writing this post. Lorna is a paediatric physiotherapist with over 12 years experience. She is also committed to the well-being of adults who work with children and has created a range of practical ‘Jolly Back’ products to help improve posture for both adults and children.


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