We’ve teamed up with Operation Centaur to provide ‘equine assisted learning’. This is a really special opportunity to address bullying behaviour in the classroom and beyond.
Real Horse Power can make a huge difference to the lives of the young people taking part. A class of students can tackle difficult behaviour by focusing on cooperation, teamwork and inclusion.
It’s just one of the many creative ways we inspire children to learn more about themselves by engaging directly with the natural world. Last year alone The LookOut, Hyde Park received more than 5,000 primary and secondary school children to discover wildlife in the heart of the park.
How horses prevent bullying
Bullying tactics do not work with these impressive and powerful animals. Instead, horses respond to cooperation, negotiation and acceptance. Students have to explore the different roles each of us play in a group and how cooperation helps complete tasks. They see how social relationships can affect the horses through practical problem solving whilst being protected by recognised ethical guidelines.
Who it’s for
Classes of up to 30 pupils from years 7 to 9 can take part. It’s most suited to classes where some challenging behaviours are evident, so they can benefit from external guidance.
Analysis after our successful pilot programme demonstrated that the therapeutic use of horses resulted in positive changes in participants’ attitudes and behaviour towards bullying. We expect students to gain a greater awareness of how their own behaviour affects others, while having an opportunity to work together to complete practical tasks.
Dr Liefooghe and Operation Centaur
Dr Liefooghe is a chartered psychologist, licensed by both the British Psychological Society and the Health Care Professions Council, and a psychotherapist registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. He has published widely on trauma, bullying and relational approaches to human functioning. He is also a reader at Birkbeck, University of London, and a life-long horseman.
Kusuma Trust is an independent grant making organisation that facilitates and increases access to quality education and other life opportunities for children and young people, with a focus on the most disadvantaged.