2020-2021 was a school year like no other. From working with young people through the pandemic Tim Abbott knew that students needed a moment to look back and reflect on the stressful year that had passed, in order to move on positively into the year ahead.
Refresh was created to do exactly this.
What is refresh?
The refresh session brought together four state schools helping hundreds of young people to process their emotions through four activities:
- Lamentation - asking the question “what do you want to let go of?” students were encouraged to express their sadness and disappointment onto a piece of cardboard and leave it in a basket.
- Discovery - in this activity students were asked to consider “what do you want to hold onto?”. To help inspire positive memories, seven statements were written onto acrylic mirrors, encouraging the young people to think about new skills they had learnt, or a stronger connection they had built with someone.
- Hopes and Dreams - “what do you hope for?” As students considered this question they wrote their hopes for themselves and the world onto slips of paper.
- The Storm is Passing - For the final activity the students chose a Charley Mackesy postcard with a positive message about persevering, and were asked to write something positive from the past year on the back to encourage them through difficult times in the future.
What did the students think?
- “It’s nice to have a safe place to write about what I never want to say out loud.”
- “Refresh is a very therapeutic way to let go of feelings and it has a very positive safe atmosphere.”
“One Year 8 girl spoke powerfully about how one of the calming techniques was one she was already finding helpful in managing her panic attacks. But we hope most of all that many of these young people’s experiences of Refresh will echo those of another student who, as they were walking out, said to the friend next to them, “After that, I feel so much better.””
Run a Refresh Session in Your School?
Could this be the story for your local school? Check out Prayer Spaces in Schools.
Prayer Spaces enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore life’s questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way.