Mindfulness organises my brain and helps it to focus. Sometimes we pretend we are frozen butter and we gradually melt until we are lying on the floor. This helps you relax and be more prepared for the lesson ahead.
Mindfulness is a practice which improves our ability to think clearly by helping us all to learn to direct our attention to our experience as it is unfolding moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Mindfulness training has been proven to improve health and well-being. It helps us to think clearly and creatively and be less anxious, stressed and depressed.
Mindfulness teaching at St John’s builds upon the foundations laid by the E4L curriculum. The programme of lessons seeks to help the children to train their minds not to be distracted or follow thoughts that take them away from the present moment. It helps children to become aware of and then offers strategies to help support worries or stress that may arise.
We teach units of work on Mindfulness in Form 2, Form 4 and Form 6. All lessons and assemblies in Forms 3 - 6 begin with a mindful moment, consisting of approximately one minute of mindful practice. Sometimes music will be involved, often there is just silence. In this moment, the children are encouraged to bring their full attention to experience the present moment. These practices steadily build in participants the ability to train their minds to respond to thoughts rather than react. As a skill in the classroom this promotes readiness for learning while also equipping children to avoid unhelpful mental habits, making way for calmer, kinder and more rational thinking about life.
The course aims to make us feel happier and more fulfilled; get on better with others; concentrate and learn better; cope with any anxieties and stress that we may have and to perform better in music, art and sports as well as academic subjects.