Years 3 and 7 are currently receiving lessons on mindfulness from Mrs Katie Seaman, a parent at Holmwood and a trained mindfulness teacher.
There is a large and rapidly growing body of research to evidence the benefits mindfulness can provide. For children in particular these include improvements in wellbeing and mental health, concentration and cognition, social and emotional learning and behaviour.
The curricula being used are those of the Mindfulness In Schools Project (MiSP), the most established provider of world-leading curricula for classroom-based mindfulness. The materials are based on rigorous research in clinical psychology and neuroscience, and designed to be fun and engaging.
Mindfulness is a way of life or an approach to living, rather like “being healthy”. It utilises mindful meditation practices to strengthen awareness in the same way we might do exercise regularly as part of being healthy. The core features of mindfulness are:
- Intentional present moment awareness
- Paying attention to our physical, mental and emotional experience in this moment with an attitude of curiosity, kindness, patience and compassion.
- Using regular mindful meditation practice to strengthen this awareness and further develop these attitudes
- Acceptance of your experience as it is, without judgement or striving
Year 3 is receiving the Paws B curriculum – a 12-week mindfulness course for 7-11 year olds. During the course they will be learning 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 themselves and others.
Year 7 is receiving the .breathe curriculum – a four week course designed for the transition years of 9-14. In particular, .breathe explores issues around:
- Working with concentration and focus; exploring how we can work with a wandering mind.
- Why humans worry, and how to support ourselves when we do so.
- Sleep: why it is important and what to do if we struggle to sleep well.
- Being with others: the opportunities and challenges of working skillfully with friendships and other relationships, both in person and online.
Each session includes learning about key areas of the brain and how they support us in our everyday activities, some introductory mindfulness practices, animations, discussion and exercises to try at home in their own time.
At the end of the courses, the children will each receive a certificate and will be asked for anonymous feedback which will be shared with the school. For more information about the benefits, research and impact of mindfulness in schools, please visit the MiSP website at www.mindfulnessinschools.org.Categories: News Year 3 Year 7