What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is all about learning to direct our attention to our experience as it unfolds, moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Rather than worrying about what has happened of might happen, it trains us to respond skilfully to whatever is happening right now, be that good or bad.
The Paws b Curriculum for 7-11yr olds has been developed as part of the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP). It teaches Mindfulness in a highly practical way over 12 sessions covering 6 themes. It is influenced by adult mindfulness courses such as MBSR and MBCT. It is currently being evaluated by the University of Bangor.
The objectives of Paws b complement the requirements for PSHCE and RSE as well as directly supporting skills around attention and concentration.
Paws b aims to give children mindfulness as a life skill. Children use it to:-
Feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled
Get on better with others
Help them concentrate and learn better
Help cope with stress and anxiety
Support performance such as music and sport
Professor Katherine Weare (Emeritus Professor, Southampton and Exeter Universities) observed in her award-winning research summary: Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People, schools who engage in mindfulness are likely to see ‘beneficial results on the emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and even the physical health of their students. Such interventions are relatively cheap to introduce, have an impact fairly quickly, can fit into a wide range of contexts and above all are enjoyable and civilising, for pupils and staff.’
is an exciting and active classroom-based curriculum for children aged 3 -6 years and is offered formally as a series of 30 sessions which often sit well alongside other subjects and in the children’s everyday lives. There are also ‘Have A Go’ practices and activities for the children to try in school and in their own time.
The Dots course was created by experienced teachers and mindfulness experts as part of The Mindfulness in Schools project www.mindfulnessinschools.org
During the course children will be learning about many things, including:
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, carers and friends.
Ways to respond rather than react – and therefore make better choices and take best care of themselves and others.