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Story Massage

Last academic year, we launched Story Massage (peer-to-peer massage) sessions to great success. The teachers have been training on this fabulous programme. The programme was developed by Mary Atkinson (PGCE, MA) and Sandra Hooper (B Ed) and encompasses all ages and needs.  More information and videos of sessions taking place are available at

For further information, see Peer Massage

What is Story Massage?

This is a creative, interactive, and imaginative way of storytelling involving simple massage strokes.  The children are taught ten simple massage strokes and they are matched to the story being told.  The teacher leads the session by telling the story and demonstrating the strokes on another adult, a cuddly toy or their own hand.  Adults will NEVER deliver the massage to pupils. 

The idea is this is peer massage and part of the approach is that each session each child asks their partner for consent to do the massage. 

All pupils have the right to refuse a massage and their permission must be gained before a massage can take place.  The pupil’s response is always respected and they may opt out at any time if desired.

The gentle non-intrusive massage strokes can focus on the child’s shoulders, arms, hands, feet, back and head. The child remains fully clothed and there is no use of oils.


Children of all ages and abilities benefit immensely from this activity with improved calmness, concentration, and social skills, along with increased self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Story

Massage also encourages children to contribute to their peer’s wellbeing. The sharing of positive touch through storytelling offers endless possibilities, including a reduction in stress and anxiety, positive effects on learning and supporting self-regulation and communication skills.


When is Story massage done?

The daily sessions will follow lunchtime and are anticipated to last no longer than five minutes, helping the children calm and regulate themselves ready for the afternoon’s learning. Previously, we found the sessions had a significant and positive impact on the children’s readiness to learn for the afternoon.

If you have any questions regarding the programme, please speak to your child’s teacher or email