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Mindfulness

Mindfulness at Becton School

Targeted pupils at Becton School are given the opportunity to experience and develop a mindful approach to living.  This is done through the delivery of the .b curriculum developed by the Mindfulness in Schools Project

Mindful approaches and practice are also increasingly becoming embedded across the school to underpin the therapeutic approach to education.

What is Mindfulness?

In simple terms it is a range of practices that help to develop a greater ability to direct our attention to our experience as it unfolds moment by moment.  By doing this we can respond skilfully rather than merely reacting to our experiences be they good or bad.

There is a large body of evidence showing how Mindfulness can have mental and physical health benefits as well as improving an individual’s experience of life. Mindfulness can also enhance performance in a range of areas and is increasingly being utilised in the worlds of business, sport and arts.

What is .b?

.b, pronounced [dot-be], stands for ‘Stop, Breathe and Be!’ This simple act of mindfulness provides the kernel of a ten lesson course for schools.

The .b curriculum is a set of ten lessons, each teaching a distinct mindfulness skill, and designed to do so in a way which engages young minds. The lessons typically include a brief presentation by the teacher with the help of lively, pupil-friendly visuals, film and sound images, and practical exercises and demonstrations to make the ideas vivid and relevant to their lives.

Putting mindfulness in a relevant context motivates pupils to become still and allows the teacher to lead them in some short practices – for example learning to sit still and watch the breath, be aware of different parts of the body, walk mindfully or become more aware of how the body feels under stress. It will typically end with an invitation to do some brief practices at home during the week. The whole course is supported by a student handbook.

This course in mindfulness is not therapy. It is delivered in a school environment by a qualified teacher who is also trained to teach mindfulness and has a well-established personal practice in mindfulness. At the most simple level .b is an awareness-raising exercise to give students a taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so. Objectives and outcomes are discussed in more detail on the MISP website

Why Mindfulness?

Mindfulness practices such as meditation can be beneficial in dealing effectively with the challenges of modern living. The practice of mindfulness has been clinically proven to reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and reduce the likelihood of relapse into depression.  In addition it helps in a range of performance and learning environments

Mindfulness practice has also been linked to increased creativity and productivity.  There is a growing awareness of the wide range of benefits that mindful practices can bring to individuals and groups.  This has led to the development of programmes to train business, military and sports personnel at the highest levels.

More anecdotally mindfulness can help in the development of positive, productive relationships and the development of personal insight that promotes increased resilience in the face of challenge.

Feel like having a go?

Mindful practice really works best when you have a regular approach.   This has been shown to adjust the pattern of brain activity in positive ways in only a few weeks.

However, anyone can have a go and can even gain immediate benefits of finding moments of calm and insight.

Below are two short practices that are part of the .b curriculum.

You can download or stream the files from:

Mindfulness in Schools Project

http://mindfulnessinschools.org/what-is-b/sound-files/

ITunes

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/misps-podcast/id791577495?mt=2

Becton School is on a journey to becoming a mindful school.  This means that a mindful awareness is beginning to underpin all interactions and actions of staff.  Pupils are increasingly encouraged to exercise mindful approaches to everyday actions and interactions as well as being given the opportunity to practice specific mindful practice such as mediations.

 There are also links to other useful resources for experiencing and researching mindfulness.

http://www.freemindfulness.org/

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/mindfulness/articles/