Educating for Peace in the Outdoors

Jackie Zammit from CEQ’s project Peacemakers reflects on how their work has had to adapt during the pandemic:

During this tricky time we have been able to develop a new area of work. Peace Outdoors is a short course for primary children, which helps develop the skills and understanding needed to nurture Peace Within and explores how this can ripple out to Peace Between and Peace Throughout.

The key resource is a rope labyrinth. The ritual of walking a labyrinth is said to quiet the mind and bring feelings of peace and harmony. In December we braved the cold and piloted a few activities with a Year 4 class in Birmingham. 

The chance to run around and engage with the worms was welcomed before we entered the labyrinth. Once we did, the children responded well. They said that it was calming, and fun.

When asked to think of something that was on their minds to focus on as they entered the labyrinth, one child said, ‘I thought about my mum and what I am going to get for her birthday’, whilst others said, ‘I’m thinking about dad because he is sad he has lost his job’, and, ‘I am thinking about my sister who is going to have a baby but is not eating enough’. 

Children were able to say what questions they think would be useful to place in the labyrinth, if they had a worry on their mind. This is what they came up with…

  • What are you thinking about?
  • What are you worried about?
  • How will you let your worry out?
  • Are you OK?
  • How are you feeling?
  • Who could you tell?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • Why are you thinking about it?
  • Who could you ask?
  • What can you do about it?

Our initial pilot has been encouraging and we look forward to trialling the course further, when we can.