Everyone can benefit from meditation and mindfulness from tiny tots to older ‘young people’ there is great value to be had from the practice at all ages and stages.
I was part of the first group to be trained in the ‘.b’ programme in 2011, Tonbridge, Kent by creators Richard Burnett and Chris Cullen as part of the Mindfulness in Schools Project.
.b pronounced ‘dot be’, stands for ‘stop, breathe and be!’ It’s 9 lesson course for young people aged 11-19. The programme was written by experienced classroom teachers and mindfulness practitioners and evaluated positively by Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Since it first started it has been successfully rolled out to schools across the UK and Europe.
In November 2014 I went to Loretto College, Omagh to do a morning workshop with 150 14/15-year-old girls (year 11). Their Teacher wrote to me after:
“Just a wee note to thank you for your beautiful thoughts yesterday with the Year 11 group. Itwas a delight! I know the breathing exercises will be revisited by the students as a means to cope with present realities. Many thanks again – Donna”
In July 2015 i went to the Queen’s School for Girls in Chester to teach mindfulness as part of their yearly wellbeing festival. It is such a brilliant, progressive school! They quoted me in their wellbeing brochure:
I also gave a talk to 100 16-17 years olds at St Mary’s College, Magherafelt (2016) and I spent a day with teachers at Knockbreda Primary School, Belfast (2016).
Young people get stressed too!
Mindfulness is a proven way to help kids (and adults) manage stress – here a few recent articles from the news media.
Even the Government wants mindfulness introduced in schools: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/10694775/Why-does-the-Government-want-to-teach-mindfulness-in-schools.html
The Daily Mail say it helps improve concentration: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2579267/Lessons-meditation-Schools-teach-pupils-mindfulness-help-concentrate-deal-stress.html
Evidence from research studies here: http://www.mindfulnet.org/page7.htm
It is based on the knowledge that adolescence is a vulnerable time for the onset of mental illness: 75% of mental disorders begin before the age of 24, and half by age 15. By promoting good mental health and intervening early, particularly in the crucial childhood and teenage years, we can help to prevent mental illness from developing and mitigate its effects when it does (Department of Health, 2011).
I will be part of this project delivering mindfulness training in schools in September 2018. They are looking for more MBCT qualified teachers who can deliver this training, find out more.
If you are interested in me coming to your school to talk to students or doing a course with a group of young people I’m happy to discuss. Please contact me on email@example.com
I really believe the .b course is excellent, check out their site to find out more about it and to find a teacher in your area mindfulnessinschools.org
I am not currently teaching .b or Paws.be as my adult classes and corporate work is keeping me busy, but I may in future.
I also posted a blog post on Facebook listing local ‘mindful kids’ teachers, as a resource for parent who kept asking me about it! Check it out here.
A teacher talks about ‘Caring for our children, caring for ourselves’, Mindfulness Bell, Spring 2014
More inspiration for mindfulness in schools watch this young American boy talk about how mindfulness helped him: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/everything-we-do-matters/7602