A mindfulness initiative being run at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School Clifton Gardens has reminded students they should take care of their mental wellbeing as carefully as their physical health.
Over six weeks’ worth of hour-long morning lessons, children have explored building confidence through power posing, inner calm through meditation and gratefulness through mindfulness.
Activities included mindfulness games, some of which encouraged students to share their dreams with the group and write letters to their 21-year-old selves. Another had them pop bubbles as a reminder that all thoughts are temporary, and the negative needn’t be engaged with.
Senior students said they believed the sessions had helped prepare them to transition into high school. Many said they had found the concept of their ‘inner critic’ and ‘inner coach’ particularly helpful in learning to cope with stress and change.
‘You need to create your own inner coach,’ explained Scarlett , Year 6, ‘so when your inner critic is saying ‘no, you can’t do this, you’re going to make a fool of yourself,’ then your inner coach can say ‘you can do it, go.’ You have to listen to your inner coach not your inner critic.’
‘The skills we learned in the program will also help us control our nerves. Say you were at a workplace and someone’s being really angry, instead of shouting you can just take a deep breath and have a calm talk with them.’
‘I don’t think it should be just people our age learning about these things’ said Charlie, Year 5. ‘I’m sure adults are learning about it now, and it’s just very helpful to have in life.’
The school also organised a session for parents, which taught them the basics of the program so they could support their children in putting it into practice.