Elizabeth College is delighted to be part of the UK National Mindfulness in Schools Project. With two fully qualified mindfulness teachers, Elizabeth College has added ‘cognitive mindfulness skills’ to the PSHE programme for all our Year 7 students.
The Mindfulness in Schools Project is designed to help young people to manage difficulties and flourish. Mindfulness helps train your attention to be more aware of what is actually happening, rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen. Mindfulness teaching is designed to empower students to bring greater curiosity to whatever it is we experience. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founding father of secular mindfulness, described this skill as ‘being alive and knowing it’.
Mindfulness will be added to the Year 8 PSHE curriculum after Christmas, with plans to roll out the programme for the rest of the Upper School throughout the academic year.
If we can support our students to recognise worry, manage those difficulties, and develop a more mindful awareness, we can help them to appreciate what is going well so they can really thrive. Mindfulness can help you to develop a greater awareness of relationships and how to manage them, and a richer understanding of things like self-esteem and optimism. It can also help us to understand and direct our attention with greater awareness and skill, improving concentration and the ability to plan.
The intention is to expand the mindfulness curriculum as sessions have already proven to be popular. It is envisaged that the approach will grow and move up through the year groups so that mindfulness teaching will become fully embed within the school’s culture.
Jacqui Pendleton, Head of PSHE & Life Skills at Elizabeth College
Elizabeth College is proud to be the only school on island which is part of this important project and to be able to deliver evidence-based mindfulness resources to our students. The Mindfulness in Schools Project is designed to help young people to manage difficulties and flourish. It is a national, not-for-profit charity, established in 2009, that aims to improve the lives of children and young people by making a genuine, positive difference to their mental health and wellbeing.
To read more about the Mindfulness in Schools Project's aim to teach to the next generation of schoolchildren how to support their mental health and wellbeing please follow the 'A Million Minds Matter' link above.
Peter Graysmith, Chaplain at Elizabeth College