Fenwick Primary School’s MISP

Promoting Wellbeing and Connection for Pupils, Staff and Families

Fenwick Primary School has been successfully using the Massage in Schools Programme since 2019 and have seen the positive benefits on pupil and staff wellbeing. Using MISP regularly across the school provides children with the skills and techniques to give and receive positive touch in a respectful and nurturing manner. MISP supports the social and emotional experiences and outcomes outlined in the Curriculum for Excellence HWB (Health and Wellbeing) benchmarks.

The programme fosters a sense of respect, empathy, and connection among our pupils. Using the MISP it enables children to develop essential social skills, such as cooperation and communication, while also enhancing their emotional literacy by promoting self-awareness and emotional regulation.

Recognising the importance of parental involvement we have organised a number of workshops for parents.  These sessions have allowed parents to learn about the principles and practices of the massage programme, enabling them to actively participate in their children’s learning and wellbeing journey. Feedback from parents have been very positive: 

  • “We will be doing more massage at home following this session”
  • “Felt good to bond a bit more and is something I will take away and do at home”
  • “My son says he enjoys this in school and it has a calming effect”

The Early Childhood Centre (ECC) at Fenwick Primary has introduced the Mini Massage Programme in its nursery classes. Following another successful parent workshop where parents explored the advantages of positive touch, children in the nursery have begun to incorporate these techniques into their weekly routine, fostering a nurturing and supportive environment. 

Judith Ross, Fenwick Primary School, East Ayrshire

the year ahead for MISP

We look forward to bringing the MISP to many more schools and families this year and hope you will engage with this life enhancing peer massage programme, reaping the many benefits of positive, nurturing, safe touch. Used successfully in schools around the world, we feel privileged to be part of the MISA International family, helping children and their families be uplifted by the practice of massage and nurturing touch activities.
You can participate in the Massage in Schools Programme by inviting a MISP instructor to your school, organisation or to run family MISP sessions. Perhaps you’d like to become a MISP instructor yourself, making a real difference to children’s lives. We have a range of training courses and workshops you can access. Get in touch for more information:

20th Anniversary Celebration

Not long now until our MISA Scotland 20th anniversary celebration event and courses at the end of September….exciting!!  We so look forward to welcoming the founders of our Massage in Schools Programme, Sylvie Hetu and Mia Elmsater, to these celebrations from the 28th – 30th September in Kilmarnock. We hope you will join us at some or all of the events and if you need an overnight stay, we can recommend the Premier Inn and the Park Hotel (celebration event will be held here on the 30th). Here are the details:


Thursday 28th September 2023 – Touch & Move to Learn Course, 9am-12.30pm, Kilmarnock (venue tbc), £45, delivered by Sylvie Hetu – Open to all MISP instructors, educators and parents.     

Touch & Move to Learn training is a continuing education course that focuses on active learning and how movement/using our bodies can enhance learning and integration, connecting the body and mind and providing all learners with a form of exercise. These activities will focus on the school curriculum and how we can use touch and movement to improve engagement in all areas. Participants receive a certificate of attendance. 

Friday 29th September 2023 – Mini MISP Course, 9am-4pm, Kilmarnock (venue tbc), £95, delivered by Sylvie Hetu – Open to MISP instructors, IAIM instructors and those working in Early Years settings.    

The Mini MISP is designed for 2 & 3 year old children and may be seen as a follow on from Baby Massage and before the MISP (designed for 4-12 year olds). Mini MISP focuses on simple peer massage strokes accompanied with short stories. Training will be tailored appropriately for children of this age and stage across the day. Participants will receive a Mini-MISP instructor certificate. 

Saturday 30th September 2023 – MISA Celebration Event , 10am – 3pm – Free and open to all, includes a buffet lunch!

This celebration event will include a keynote speaker session led by Sylvie Hetu on epigenetics and brain plasticity in relationship with the MISP, talks and activities led by MISA Scotland, the MISP co-founders and others from our MISP community. 

The courses and celebration event are being subsidised by MISA Scotland. Please get in touch soon to book your place! Email Dougie Mirfin, dougie.mirfin@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or Isabel Fraser, isfraser@aol.com


Dunlop Primary School

Parents join children for Massage.

Wonderful massage and great delivery from kids

MISP Comments from families...

  • Lovely to have massage from your grandkids.
  • Lovely to see all the kids faces, so proud sharing what they've learned and nice to be a part of it. Very chilled.
  • Wonderful massage and great delivery from kids.
  • Love the whole idea and course, so important! Great for bonding, thank you!
  • Very impressed with the session and the enthusiasm of the children, thank you!
  • The format is great for the children.
  • Very relaxing and very fun for both of us, thank you!
  • I had concerns about how much 'choice' the children really have about whether they want to take part or not but I feel very reassured and again it's lovely to experience, feel the calm atmosphere and hear about the science. Thank you!
  • Loved the session.
  • Very much enjoyed by both mum and child. Great initiative to have in schools.
  • Would be useful to have the cards shared. I will use at home.
  • Lots of fun and really special to be a part of, thank you!
  • Absolutely, fantastic session, will continue at home.
  • What a lovely activity to do and I will try this at home for bedtime routine. Thank you!
  • R has enjoyed putting her skills into action at home. I have loved being the recipient, thank you!

Additional Stats

  • 20 families were represented with a total of 19 evaluations collected.
  • 100% said that the format to deliver the course was effective and the content was relevant. 18 said they 'agreed strongly' with 1 person saying they 'agreed'.
  • 95% (18/19) said that they 'agreed strongly' at being able to transfer learning into practice at home. One person said that they had 'no opinion either way' (grandmother).

MISP Instructor Comments

  • Heart-warming to look around a packed room and see so many adults being able to join in the MISP routine with their children. It was lovely to see so many calm and relaxed faces when the adults were being taught the routine by their children.
  • The adults then got to try out the ‘Weather Massage’ and the children laughed and enjoyed the massage being returned by the adults. Nice family bonding time was experienced without the need for I.T.
  • There was so much love and happiness in the room and everyone left feeling really positive about themselves and the MISP. Was a wonderful experience for everyone and it reminded me as an instructor, why this programme is beneficial to the health and wellbeing of many!

MISP Relaunch

Finally, the world looks like returning to more of a norm after the pandemic. However, it has become apparent that many children have forgotten how to interact and socialise appropriately with their peers. This has been witnessed in schools across the country. It seems that many children have been deprived of elements of play, connection and how to show kindness and respect with one other. Some children appear to be developmentally behind where they should be in relation to their age and stage.

MISA (Massage in Schools Association) feels that there is a requirement to reintroduce and relaunch the Massage in Schools Programme in order to address many of these issues. Schools have started teaching the routine in some parts of the country including East Ayrshire Council. Early research suggests that children are craving fun active learning, safe touch and opportunities for health and wellbeing to be improved. We know, as MISP Instructors, we have the programme and the tools to help and support this!

We are calling on all MISP Instructors in Scotland to help us relaunch the MISP. In order to do this, we are inviting you to a free Refresher Course and information sharing day at the Park Hotel in Kilmarnock on Saturday 15th October from 11am until 2pm. This will give us an opportunity to take part in the MISP routine as well as Touch and Move to Learn activities. We can also explore options for supporting MISP instructors to bring the routine back to life across Scotland. There is an added bonus of lunch being provided for those that attend! The board at MISA Scotland cannot face this challenge alone. We need your advice, guidance and creativity to help us all to move forward again.

Please let us know if you are able to attend by replying by emailing isfraser@aol.com. We hope to see you on the 15th October!

With warm wishes,

Isabel, Jac, Dougie & Fiona
The MISA Scotland Committee


Zoom meeting & mini workshop with Emma Snellgrove

Wednesday, 24th March  6.30 – 8pm

We’ll be having our annual get together meeting and stroke review via Zoom this year. We’ll miss seeing each other in person, but it might give more instructors the opportunity to attend. As well as catching up on all the Massage in Schools news in Scotland and Internationally, we are so happy to be joined by guest speaker, Emma Snellgrove (read her bio below). The pandemic has given us a chance to get to know ourselves better and Emma’s mini workshop session will support our mental and physical health & wellbeing.
Emma is delighted to offer a simple and cohesive workshop that will support a personal enquiry to your experience of intimacy. She will guide you through a journey using myofascial release techniques which involves a series of stretches that bring you into motion, to bring you into the now, by listening to the physical and emotional guides in the body. We have to move to learn. We will end with simple refreshing breath work that will revitalise your senses and calm your nervous system.
Zoom link will be emailed to you two days before the meeting
We hope you can make it to our virtual meeting! MISP Instructors, please email Isabel, isfraser@aol.com, to register for you free place.

Emma Snellgrove biography:

Emma has been working in dance theatre, education, body work,  film and tv since 2008. Her work in dance and teaching has taken her across the world working with creatives mostly focusing on embodiment in the context of performance, body work and therapy. Emma started a podcast last year called Sex, Faith & Money. She decided this would be the best platform to promote awareness on the interconnectedness of these themes. She invites guests on who have insights and skills to impart to the listeners. Emma believes that each person is an authority in their experiences and sharing them, will support her listeners to go deeper in their own unique capabilities.
Emma has been a member of MISA since 2018. She decided this program would complement her mission to support the empowerment and autonomy of young people by bringing awareness to their physical and emotional well-being through touch. As an artist Emma appreciates how fragile and powerful young people’s creativity is; using the program designed by MISA is a brilliant entry point to generating that relationship with self.

MISP online

Massage in Schools Programme online!

MISP Instructors are running fun, engaging and creative massage sessions online for children and families to access easily. These are run as a block of 4 sessions and are for children aged 2 – 12 years old along with their parents/carers. MISA Scotland are funding some of these sessions so they will be free for families. See the first pilot study of these online sessions here.

To find out more and to book your place, please contact Isabel Fraser, isfraser@aol.com, 01968 661335

Feedback results for online teaching – instructor, Clare Houston