The visit of a ‘Listening Yurt’ to Abbey Grange C/E Academy this week came at a very opportune time.
Chaplain Kay Brown said, “The purpose of the Yurt (aka a Mongolian tent) is to let young people express their perspectives on Leeds, school and their inner lives. As these last two weeks have been a worrying and confusing time for young people, it was really valuable to create space for discussion and listening.
“They talked about a huge range of things, but every discussion featured leaving the EU. Our students value and celebrate diversity and it’s important they have space to reimagine what that means for our city going forward”.
In the Yurt (provided by Leeds Church Institute) students were taken through a guided meditation, with images of the city, and then sat in silence with a water feature at the centre. They then discussed together and wrote their reflections on what makes them ‘mad, sad and glad’ about living in Leeds – which ranged from local niggles such as litter and graffiti to big ideas like racism and homelessness.
Kay Brown said, “Perhaps surprisingly for 14 year olds, many valued the experience of being focussed and still. One said ‘it was good to be able to sit and think about things you don’t usually get time to think about’. And another added that the listening was ‘relaxed and gave you the chance to take in the words’.
“Students rated highly the experience of being listened and the fact that ‘everyone had a chance to explain their ideas’. I’d recommend this for any school or community wanting to explore listening in a different sort of way.”
To find out more contact Helen Reid at LCI: helen [at] leedschurchinstitute.org.