Watching from the other side of the world, Rebecca Quinn was horrified at what was unfolding in Northern Ireland.
The teacher had left her home in Donaghmore in 2019 and travelled to Australia with her husband Eoin to explore a new life, but was shocked to see how her former pupils back home were faring, particularly after the news broke about the Transfer tests.
"I'd seen the news at home with the 11-plus and it really affected me personally. I knew a lot of children at home, from my own family and friends, who were affected," she says.
The 30-year-old had retrained as a yoga teacher after making the move to Brisbane in Queensland and had just launched her own business when the news came that Northern Ireland would be re-entering lockdown after Christmas.
It was then that she came up with the idea of helping children back home manage their stress levels by delivering a series of children's yoga classes via Zoom. Following her own teacher training, she knew how useful yoga could be for developing healthy bodies, minds and spirits, so she designed a course that included breathing, yoga poses, mindfulness exercises and relaxations and incorporated yoga therapy exercises which tackles issues such as stress, depression, asthma and self-esteem.
"I'd seen the profound effects yoga has on children after just one class here in Oz, so when I watched the news from home about how the pandemic is affecting children's lives, many of whom I taught in the classroom, including the stress surrounding the transfer test, I was heartbroken," Rebecca says.
"I felt I had to try and help in some way, even from afar, so I reached out to parents I know to try it out and the results have been so positive."
Rebecca admits she was lucky to be living in Queensland when the pandemic hit - she was able to continue working during the Australian lockdown last spring and life has been relatively normal since those early days, compared to the UK.
"We did have a three-day lockdown recently, but they have been very strict with the likes of internal borders in Australia, closing them on and off, so I've been extremely lucky. We've been able to live life very normally and everything has been open," she says.
"It was strange when I was trying to get my head around what life at home has been like.
"I thought to myself, how can I help in any way? I knew I had these skills that I'd developed over here through my training and experience and I knew the effects that yoga had on children, so I just decided to bite the bullet and give it a go and see who's interested.
"It was my first time teaching online and I didn't know what to expect, but I was so happy I did it. I've just finished a four-week series of classes and it has been so positive. And after hearing that the schools were staying closed for another while, I decided to offer another four weeks to see if they were interested. The kids almost all signed up again, and a lot more signed up too - I love it, I really enjoy it and the kids do too.
"I've been delighted with the response. In fact a primary school from Rostrevor has also contacted me wanting me to take the whole school for yoga as part of their online learning, which is something I'd never thought would be possible. Just being able to reach that number of children is amazing."
Rebecca says she had been teaching in Northern Ireland for around eight years, and had a full-time role as a teacher with St John's Primary School at Kings Island, but after their 2018 wedding, her husband Eoin suggested going to Australia. While she initially laughed at the idea, it did strike a chord inside.
"I always did want to do a bit of travelling, but I'd thought that that time had passed for both of us," she says. "But I felt I wanted to try something different and I thought I would give it a go. It was very scary to make that decision, as I loved the job I was in. But I had it in my head that I did want to try something new outside the classroom - I wanted to get into some aspect of children's wellbeing."
Rebecca says she came from a sporting background and had done yoga here and there throughout her life.
"In club football back home, I would have done a little yoga for injury prevention. But coming out here, I definitely did start doing yoga a lot more for my own personal benefit.
"I'd seen how incorporating yoga into my daily routine impacted on my mental, emotional and physical health since I started a year and a half ago."
One of Rebecca's first friends in Australia was a yoga teacher who had trained with Lorraine Rushton from Zenergy, the leading provider of teacher training for children's and teen yoga. Rebecca took the plunge, went on one of the courses and found she loved it.
"From then, I thought, gosh this is what I want to do," she says. "I went on all her courses, and a couple of months ago, I decided to give it a go and set up my own business, Be You Children's Yoga."
Rebecca had initially been teaching yoga at schools in Australia, when the idea of teaching children in lockdown back home took root.
"Online teaching had never come into my head - I thought, I don't know how I could do that," she says.
Rebecca has designed classes targeted at two age groups - 4-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds.
"At the beginning of lessons I check in with them, although I don't go into too much detail with them. I never push them to talk openly," she says.
"But I have a wee chat with them, and they let me know they miss their friends, they miss school, they miss being with their friends at school. It's a big thing for them right now, not being able to do anything, especially outside with the colder weather.
"There are the home schooling elements as well and they've chatted about how different it is. I think they're just struggling in general in so many ways.
"I definitely love teaching children, but within the classroom, I always had a feeling I wanted to do more, especially in terms of emotional and mental health. I knew the benefits of physical exercise and how good it could be.
"For me, after doing that first course I'd seen how it helps children holistically - hitting the physical needs, getting their little bodies stronger, hitting emotional and mental needs, social needs, helping them know who they are inside."
The course covers mindful movement, balance poses, breathing exercises and ways of self-calming which the children can use at any time.
"The children are learning all those tools through yoga, and you're able to educate them in their bodies and their minds," Rebecca says.
"I've incorporated yoga therapy within the lessons, and that is able to deal with the top 20 issues faced by children, from stress, anxiety and depression to asthma, coughs, colds, bedwetting, weight issues, confidence, self-esteem and digestive issues.
"If parents say to me that their children are suffering from anxiety, I'm able to incorporate practical exercises to help them. I've seen the effects and how it works and it's just amazing.
"I've had feedback from the children and a lot said they really loved it and look forward to it every week. Some say the classes energise them and they feel really calm and relaxed after the class.
"And they said it helped them prepare for home schooling - we do the classes at 10am their time and they're feeling ready to go and do those couple of hours of work, not feeling stressed and anxious and uptight."
Rebecca says she has seen huge differences in the 9-12 age groups even in just a few weeks.
"You just know they need it and they're really gaining from it," she says.
"They're able to tell me how they feel, how their bodies feel inside and I'm able to educate them about bodies and minds. They're learning tools that they can incorporate into their everyday lives, strengthening their backs, working on their digestion."
Kitty Rose Greensword (12) from Dungannon is one of the local children who is currently benefiting from the weekly online sessions.
"Yoga with Rebecca has really helped me relax more. I'm so busy with school work but it helps me when I feel overwhelmed. Everyone in the class is listened to carefully and we all have a lot of fun!" she says.
Meanwhile, Tomas McDermott (11) says he loves taking part in the online yoga classes.
"They help me wake up in the morning and I feel ready to do some home schooling after yoga. I feel like I am able to concentrate better on my work," he says.
"Yoga helps me feel calmer and more focused for the rest of the day. I have learned ways to help me relax which I can use when I feel anxious."
Hannah Donnelly (11) says: "I really loved learning the fun yoga dance but my favourite part of the classes is the relaxation part because it makes me feel calm and really helps me to switch off."
Rebecca is planning to bring back all she has learned when she and Eoin return home at the end of the year, but children can benefit in the meantime by joining her weekly Zoom classes.
"It has been a rollercoaster couple of years but thankfully we are here at the minute and loving what we're doing. It was very much worth it - the best thing we've both done," she says.
Be You Children's Yoga and Wellbeing can be found on all social media networks, or contact Rebecca for more information directly by email email@example.com or visit her website www.beyou-childrensyoga.com