Conference aims to create a movement of ‘peaceful’ primary schools

A conference taking place in London in May will explore how primary schools can be transformed into peaceful communities that not only provide effective environments for learning, but help children develop into well-rounded human beings

The one-day event, organised by Spiritual England with the support of Winchester University and Quaker Life, takes place on 18 May and offers a programme of talks and workshops aimed at teachers and educators.

A range of speakers will address topics such as: investigating value-based schools, the impacts of health on pupil attentiveness, and methods of engaging with children about peace. The conference is part of an effort to tackle concerns over the increasing pressures faced by young people today.

“Children are bombarded with information, advertising and are under all sorts of pressure in our global and media driven society,” said Spiritual England’s director Anna Lubelska.

Spiritual England hope that as well as gaining knowledge and skills, participants will benefit from the opportunity to network with others who share similar goals. The event will encourage teachers to value children by listening to their needs and ideas, and to integrate peace and mindfulness practices into the classroom.

Participants will also explore ideas for creating calmer learning environments such as providing quiet spaces and enhancing building design. “We believe that there should be dedicated spaces at the heart of our schools where students can be quiet and reflect,” said Anna Lubelska.

Some schools have already put policies in place to create more peaceful environments, such as Bohunt School in Hampshire where lesson bells have been scrapped.

Following the conference it is hoped that similar regional gatherings will be arranged and there are plans to send out information packs to schools with further ideas and advice.