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Mindfulness Updates

Wellbeing Award Status 2019 2022

Wellbeing Award for Schools

At Higham Ferrers Junior School we are committed to promoting and protecting positive emotional wellbeing and mental health.

In partnership with Optimus Education, we are working towards gaining the nationally recognised Wellbeing Award for Schools.  The award focuses on promoting the emotional wellbeing of both staff and pupils. 

We aim to:

  • Promote mental health as part of everyday school life
  • Improve the emotional wellbeing of staff and pupils
  • Identify mental health problems early and offer appropriate support
  • Ensuring people know the importance of mental health awareness
  • Include opinions and suggestions from parents, pupils and staff

We believe that feelings of wellbeing are fundamental to the overall health of an individual, enabling them to successfully overcome difficulties and achieve what they want out of life.

Currently within school, we promote and explore mental health and wellbeing through SMSC (social, moral, spiritual and cultural) lessons, P4C (philosophy for children), mindfulness sessions, Building Learning Power sessions, Tuesday Newsday, assemblies, wellbeing calendars, workshop/assembly from ‘The Happy Child Agency,’ charity and Mental Health awareness days. We also have a learning mentor and family support worker who support and provide guidance sessions and activities for children.

This term children in Year 3 will be learning about mindfulness once a week as part of a 9 week -based curriculum called Paws b.

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 (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.

The classroom-based mindfulness curriculum being offered - ‘Paws b’ - is a classroom-based curriculum for children aged 7 -11 and is offered formally as a series of lessons which often sit well alongside  National Curriculum subjects and in the children’s everyday lives. The Paws b course was created by experienced primary school teachers, mindfulness experts and research scientists.

During the course they will be learning about many things, including:

  • Specific areas of the brain and how these affect 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 and friends.
  • Ways to respond rather than react – and therefore make better choices and take best care of themselves and others.

The feedback from children who have previously 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.

You can see a summary of feedback about Paws b from over 1500 students here:  

Should you be interested in reading further about the body of research evidence around mindfulness for both young people and school staff, you may find more information here.

If you have any questions about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours,

Mrs Spencer-Smith

Main Contact

The name, postal address and telephone number of the school, and the name of a person to whom enquiries should be addressed is:

Mrs Victoria Bull
Higham Ferrers Junior School,
Saffron Road,
Higham Ferrers,
Rushden, Northants.
NN10 8ED

Tel: 01933 312748

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