Revisiting the Worry Tree

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14 November 2017

By Naomi Corfield, Wellbeing Leader, St Francis Xavier School, Frankston.Students at St Francis Xavier School and Worry Tree

The Worry Tree at St Francis Xavier School, Frankston, is used regularly by our school community. Teachers take students to the Worry Tree as a whole class, small groups or individually – depending on the need and focus.

Teachers often refer children to the Worry Tree to place their anxieties for the day so that they can focus on their learning. One Grade 4 student said, ‘Wow that really cleaned up my brain!’.

The Worry Tree is offered as a listening tool if students need to talk about their problems but don’t want to share them. There is a letter box in the front office where students can post a letter to the tree – sometimes the tree responds!

The Worry Tree is not only used for negative problems but can be a place where our school community can sit and reflect, meditate or pray. It is a good reference for students to give them another option when feeling upset or lonely, anxious or frustrated, worried or confused.

Parents and visitors stop by the tree upon entry to our school. Some have been seen touching the tree, which prompts a moment of thought.

At St Francis Xavier, we offer weekly Mindfulness classes as a specialist subject. A Grade 4 student said, ‘Why would I watch TV to relax when I can do this?’. These classes also incorporate the use of the Worry Tree.

Mindfulness teacher, Ms Vanessa Tavoletti:

During our Mindfulness sessions, we often have guided meditations in front of the Worry Tree, practise Yoga positions or meditate with our very own Zen Gardens. 

The Worry Tree provides a space for students and the school community to stop and be present. 

The touch and feel of the Worry Tree has a grounding affect as you leave your worries with the tree and start afresh. 

Students absolutely love being outside in front of, or near, the Worry Tree as it has a calming energy and allows the students to become clear, calm and go forth to enjoy their day. 

Read more about the Worry Tree and the artist who created it.