Mindfulness for children
I am sure many of you may have read in the recent press of the pressures that our young people are facing in this world. With this in mind, schools are researching ways into which we can provide children with the lifelong skills to take them forward in the world without worrying or becoming anxious. St George’s has always placed a lot of emphasis on supporting our children’s pastoral/emotional needs as well as their academic needs. As you are aware our academic results this year were the best ever; this was partly due to the maturity of our children emotionally as well as academically. As a school we are trailblazing in many academic areas including Maths Mastery, Power of Reading project and we are now leading the way in line with a number of Bromley schools in a programme called Mindfulness.
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Mindfulness is a gentle technique which focuses on simple breathing exercises. It involves us directing our attention to our experience as it unfolds, moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Rather than worrying about what has happened or what might happen, it trains us to respond skilfully to whatever is happening right now, be that good or bad. It provides children with the tool to strengthen and protect themselves from anxieties or difficult emotions. Mindfulness training has been proven time and time again to improve health and wellbeing. It also helps people of all ages to learn more effectively, think more clearly, perform better and to feel calmer, less anxious and depressed. Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and it is now increasingly being used in business and schools to improve concentration, well-being and satisfaction. It is used in sports training to improve performance. Recent research has shown using it with young children in schools enhances learning. In years 5 and 6 we will be using an app called the “Smiling Mind” after lunch each day. This is free to download and I know some children have gone home and used it before bed or when they have felt they needed some quiet time.