MINDFULNESS FOR SCHOOLS
Mindfulness is being used in school and colleges to help both teachers and students to improve their concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy. We offer mindfulness training for both in a variety of ways.
We acknowledge that in a classroom that none of the children have chosen to be there and most of them would probably rather be somewhere else! The attention spans are more limited especially in younger children. Therefore we like to include a variety and sense of fun to the mindfulness sessions.
When asked to place their attention in their feet, or in their hands, or onto their breath, not only can they usually do it, but it also interests them that they can do it. Children can sustain their attention, even if only for very short periods of time, say between 30 seconds and a minute. This holds their interest and extends their curiosity. They acknowledge these exercises as being of value. They understand that a mind which is usually very scattered and that it can be more ‘collected’ and concentrated – it is something they enjoy.
Mindfulness helps with two of the three core values in the government’s Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme – self-awareness and managing feelings, and specific objectives include being able to: manage strong feelings such as frustration, anger and anxiety, be able to promote calm, recover from setbacks and persist in the face of difficulties.
(Katherine Weare, Professor of Education at the University of Southampton.)
The benefits include:
- Better concentration
- Improvement in exam results
- Decreasing the risk of depression in later life
- Cultivating values like patience, empathy and tolerance.
- Encouraging students to see the world through a different lens
- Developing self awareness
- Being able to manage anxiety, anger frustration
- Learning how to recover from setbacks and persist in the face of difficulties
- Addressing attention deficits and improving behaviour
- Promoting calm and optimistic states