Dear ASW Elementary Parents,
I am writing to you as one of your child’s school counselors. I am a teacher of classroom-based mindfulness techniques, having trained with Mindfulness in Schools Project.
You may have heard of mindfulness or read some of the recent media coverage about it. A great deal of this media interest has arisen as a result of the growing body of rigorous research evidence regarding the potential benefits of mindfulness for young people. These include randomised control trials and neuroscientific studies.
As Professor Katherine Weare 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.’
The classroom-based mindfulness curriculum I offer is called ‘Paws b’. ‘Paws b’ is a 6-12 session curriculum for children aged 7 -11 and is offered formally as a series of PSHE lessons, and informally through integrating the learning and practice of mindfulness in all National Curriculum subjects and in the children’s everyday lives.
During the course they will be learning about many things, including:
The feedback from children who have taken part in Paws b is very positive. They report enjoying the lessons and find the learning supports them in a broad range of situations from being able to concentrate and focus more easily in school to helping them feel calmer in exams and competitions. Many have described sharing the learning with other family members and finding it helps them with their relationships with family and friends.
I would encourage you to view the ITV News item http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2013-12-08/new-mindfulness-techniques-used-in-schools/ where you can hear pupils speaking movingly about their experiences of developing mindfulness skills:
Should you be interested in reading further about the body of research evidence around mindfulness, you may find the following document by Professor Katherine Weare: http://mindfulnessinschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MiSP-Research-Summary-2012.pdf Further research studies regarding the benefits of mindfulness for young people but also school staff can be found on the Mindfulness in Schools Project Website: mindfulnessinschools.org - Research
If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact either of ASW’s elementary school counselors.