Mindfulness Club for KS2 at Blackheath High Juniors
As part of the many clubs and societies offered at Blackheath High Junior School, the Mindfulness Club for KS2 offers something completely different, where the pupils can learn about taking care of themselves using the Paws b mindfulness curriculum.
Paws b is a classroom introduction that gives 7-11 year-olds a taste of mindfulness, so that they know about how useful it can be to them, and return to it later in life. It is different in a number of important ways to adult mindfulness and the course time is much shorter. Each lesson is between 30 and 60 minutes and there are eight lessons spread throughout a series of weeks. Learning objectives are stated clearly and children learn through direct experience. Paws b is an education and is not designed to address serious mental health or behavioural problems, though it can often help children experiencing emotional stress.
Although mindfulness has its earliest roots in Buddhist practice, Paws b is a secular course which is now taught in therapeutic and clinical contexts. It is not a curriculum that involves yoga, however, mindful movement is explored in some lessons to meet a specific objective, techniques and skills learned are transferable so a pupil might then do a mindful stretch in the middle of another lesson to help themselves refocus. Mindfulness practice involves becoming aware of what is actually happening in the mind and body in the present moment.
The curriculum is often experienced by pupils as being a calming and relaxing experience but that is not its main focus, instead Paws b is about helping children to experience and ‘be with’ whatever is happening to them in any moment, even if that is agitation, anger, stress, sadness, the urge to fidget, etc. At the heart of mindfulness is learning to ‘befriend the difficult’, as well as appreciating the pleasant.
Comments from Yr 6 pupils last year:
I really enjoyed learning the petal practice. It helped me relax for my swimming galas. I really enjoyed this course!
Learning about the different parts of the brain and how they are used was really helpful
I learned a lot of different techniques and they have helped me and reminded me how to stay calm when things get tough for me. I now know a lot more about how my brain works, it was really interesting
I didn't know breathing mindfully could be so helpful to me, and fun
Mindfulness books to read with 7-11 year olds
The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth
The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
The Way To Start a Day by Byrd Baylor
What Does it Mean to be Present? By Rana DiOrio
Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Lauren Alderfer
If you're interested in finding out more about Mindfulness In Schools Project, please visit this link here.