Sanctum at Thurstable – Day 5

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After five action packed days and over 650 visits by young people Sanctum signed off with the last lesson of the day and a great bunch of Year 9’s. Then came the sad task of taking it all apart and returning the room to it’s original state.

Students visited as half classes for half a lesson – groups who visited for the first half of a lesson discussed their experience of Sanctum with their teacher during the second half of the lesson. Feedback has started to trickle in from these groups. Here are some samples from their responses.

Some echoed feedback we’d often heard from students about how they felt weird at first, but liked it in the end.

  • Sanctum really helps to clear your mind and think about things going on. I thought it would be rubbish but it turned out to be really good.
  • It was a bit weird at first, then it was OK.

I particularly liked this punchy reflection in four syllable sentences:

  • Scary at first. Then you calm down, Then you relax.

A few expressed confusion, or at least widely contrasting feelings:

  • I found it boring, but good if you’re into RE. Some activities were relaxing.
  • I though Sanctum was alright but it was a little bit confusing. In a way I thought it was a bit pointless but I enjoyed the comfort of it all and being able to think by myself.
  • Quite boring and sad. I was able to concentrate and I loved the beanbags but it was a bit slow for me.
  • It made me feel upset, like a bit sad, but it felt happy to let your worries and feelings out and at the end made me happy and felt good.

Many people commented on how it made them feel peaceful or calm, something that was noticed by some subject teachers having classes after they’d visited Sanctum.

  • I think Sanctum is good because it lets you relax and makes it easier for you to let your worries go.
  • I liked Sanctum because I think it was peaceful.
  • It let me express emotions, forget bad memories and share what I had deep down with others so I didn’t keep emotions bottled up. I really think Sanctum is good.
  • I really liked Sanctum and think we should have it permanently at the school. When you come out you feel extremely relaxed and calm and it’s a great feeling!

Over the week every activity has had people affirm that it helped them, and most activities have had a few people who said they didn’t really understand them or find them helpful, so it seems we’ve got the balance about right. One person said it was “all goddy and stuff” but in response to open ended questions about how Sanctum made people feel many others spoke of the place being spiritual or that it helped them to think about God in a good way.

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