Mindfulness in Schools
Since 1967, the average age of onset of major depression has slipped down from 31-33 to 13-15 years of age, starting now as young as 4 years old (N=4041; Zisook, 2007, American Journal of Psychiatry). School teachers are noticing a gradual growth in the number of children with personal, social and emotional needs.
There is clearly a need to provide support for the physical and mental wellbeing of young people, as well as support for head teachers and school staff, undergoing high work pressure. Randomised control trials have shown the effectiveness of mindfulness in reducing a wide range of physical and mental health conditions in adults and young people. MRI scans studies suggest that mindfulness meditation alters the structure and function of the brain in key areas involved with concentration, empathy, thoughts and feelings, and decision making.
“There are many reasons why the development of mindfulness for teachers and school staff is a welcome move. Mindfulness has the capacity to improve staff occupational wellbeing and job satisfaction, improve performance, and reduce the wasted expenditure and human misery represented by the many days of stress related sickness and attrition from the teaching profession. The evidence base for the beneficial impact of mindfulness on the young is growing rapidly and students clearly need teachers skilled in mindfulness to teach it.”
Katherine Weare Evidence for Mindfulness: Impacts on the Wellbeing and Performance of School Staff Mindfulness Midhurst specialises in delivering evidence-based mindfulness courses to the general public, in the workplace and particularly involved in the implementation of mindfulness in schools. Each school is different and the implementation will therefore start with an initial consultation to assess the context and needs of the school. We will then offer a package which includes courses for school staff, pupils and parents, as well as ongoing support and interventions until mindfulness is embedded in the school.
All courses are evidence-based and secular: - The adult course is based on ‘MBSR’ (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). It has been carefully designed, using a combination of classical mindfulness teaching and modern psychology. - The ‘Paws B’ curriculum for children is a six to twelve session mindfulness course taught to 7-11 years old. It is taught with striking visuals, film clips and activities. This course was designed by experienced classroom teachers and senior mindfulness teachers at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.
Mindfulness in Schools Project is the teacher training provider for this course. Mindfulness can support a sense of well-being and give children essential tools to navigate skilfully through adolescence and adulthood.
It has been shown to help with self-esteem, emotional self-regulation, metacognition, compassion, coping with stress, wellbeing and concentration.
Sandrine Cranswick Founder Mindfulness Midhurst Mindfulness Teacher and Supervisor