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Mindfulness at Gateway School

This year at Gateway we have introduced a Mindfulness course for our Year 5 and 6 pupils. Why have we done this and what is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is when we are able to focus on the present; what we are currently doing and why. Our mind naturally wanders, so by using different practices we are able to increase the amount of time we can stay focused on what is currently happening around us. This sounds easy but I’m sure you can appreciate that it isn’t!

Children today have to cope with a lot of pressures. These include testing, friendship issues, sporting success, online issues form various media applications, family issues...all of this while trying to work out who they are and how they are going to make their mark on the world.

The mindfulness course the children are working through is an eight-week course designed for primary aged children. The course has three main focuses. It helps children to:

Understand how the brain works and why we have negative thoughts
Recognise when they are feeling stressed and why
Arm them with strategies to help them cope with these situations and prevent them from getting worse

I have been really impressed with the reaction that children have had to the course. A lot of children are using these techniques to help them in situations that make them ‘wobble’. I have heard of children using a practice in the lunchroom line-up, at the start of lessons, before tests, at home and in the changing room before a game.

I would like to think that the skills learnt in this course are not only used for the present but can be used throughout our children’s lives whenever they need them. 

To quote a Year 6 pupil:

‘Mindfulness has really helped me and I will use it more for when I am stressed, worried and nervous. It should hopefully really help me for the rest of my life. I think I'm quite good at mindfulness now. It has made me think a lot about what my brain actually does, and how it functions. I really enjoyed this mindfulness course, and will tell other people about it and see if it helps them.’

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