Mindfulness in Schools
Mindfulness Cornwall is committed to supporting and facilitating the work of the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) and are privileged to have Ben Chalwin as part of our team.
Ben is central to the MiSP within the UK and can be contacted at email@example.com
Mindfulness in Schools – An Introduction
As Professor Katherine Weare observed in her award-winning research summary: Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People, schools who engage in mindfulness are likely to see ‘beneficial results on the emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and even the physical health of their students. Such interventions are relatively cheap to introduce, have an impact fairly quickly, can fit into a wide range of contexts and above all are enjoyable and civilising, for pupils and staff.’
‘Paws b’ is a 6 to 12 session curriculum for children aged 7 -11 and is offered formally as a series of PSHE lessons, and informally through integrating the learning and practice of mindfulness in all National Curriculum subjects and in the children’s everyday lives.
During the course children will learn about many things, including:
- Specific areas of the brain and how these affect our ability to focus, make good choices, recognise when we need to steady ourselves when our body or mind is busy or out of balance.
- Ways that mindfulness can support them in many day-to-day activities, including concentration and memory, behavioural self- management, and in relationships with family and friends.
- Ways to respond rather than react – and therefore make better choices and take best care of ourselves.
.b is a 10-week programme designed for use in schools with what we would call ‘conscript’ audiences for 11-18 year olds, although it can also be used equally effectively in other settings.
At its most simple .b is an awareness-raising exercise to give all students a taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so.
.b aims to help young people:
- To fulfil their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, both academically and personally.
- To improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others.
- To experience greater well-being (e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled).
- To work with difficult mental states such as depressive, ruminative and anxious thoughts and low moods.
- To cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams, relationships, sleep problems, family issues.
.b Foundations is an 8-week training for teachers and staff who wish to learn the foundations of mindfulness. .b Foundations is based on the core mindfulness principles found within Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) courses. However it differs in that it has been designed with school staff in mind. The training sessions (90 minutes) and recommended home practices are shorter than MBSR/MBCT and designed to be accessible, yet still effective, for busy educational staff.