Groups of pupils at Northdown Primary School, Margate, have been trying out a new skill this term – the martial art of Tai Chi.
Three groups of youngsters, ranging from six to 11 years old, have been taking part in Tai Chi sessions led by Tamar Hirschfeld from Ramsgate-based company Tai Chi Way – which offers classes in Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, Meditation and Chinese Philosophy (Tao Te Ching).
Organised by the school’s ACE mentoring programme lead, David Read, the sessions have been immensely popular with the children. David said: “Tamar has presented her lessons with reference points in the animal kingdom, simplifying the tai chi moves for our children.
“All our participants have reacted well to tai chi, helping many to ground themselves and use the breathing exercises to regulate their emotions. The mindfulness elements Tamar brings to our sessions help our children focus and learn to regulate themselves.”
Finding a quiet spot tucked away in the school’s music room, the pupils followed each careful movement with focus and precision and were intrigued by the slow nature of the martial art.
Monika,9, said: “It helps the way my body moves even though I can’t see as well” whilst Aimee-Louise in Year 5 described it as “calming and fun.”
However, it was not only the movement that intrigued the pupils: Isatou, also in Year 5, was particularly struck by the musical instruments used as part of the sessions, saying: “I like the Tibetan bowl – the ringing sound fills up the whole room.”
More information about the ACE project can be found at https://www.northdown-tkat.org/about-us/ace-ambassadors/