What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is noticing the present moment and what comes through our senses during any activity, including sounds, breathing, colours, textures and details we notice in our environment.
It is a willingness to understand what is going on around you. It does not ignore thoughts and feelings and pretend they are not there but it acknowledges them and does not allow us to get overwhelmed or carried away by them.
It is a way of looking after our mental health by giving the MIND space and time. It is like a gym membership for our mind. We accept that physical activity is good for our bodies and so we should acknowledge that our mind also need exercise to keep it healthy and happy.
Time to STOP and Think - TST
Our rigour is demonstrated through the routine practice of Mindful Moments at key points of the day, including before each assembly and allowing every break-time. It is an essential part of the day and where pupils learn to value the present moment. Applying the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) through curriculum work and assemblies educates our pupils about the brain and how to train their minds to manage anxiety, conflict and challenge. They understand growth mindset and how to develop grit and resilience, and through our Mental Fitness in Sport pupils learn the importance of mindset in training and in matches, regardless of level.
It is important that there are opportunities for our pupils to relax, reflect and grow in resilience and flexibility. This is why all pupils have one ‘Time to STOP and Think – ‘TST’ lesson each week for a term. There are also be opportunities in PSHE Education lessons to explore questions relating to our mental health.
Time to STOP and Think gives pupils the opportunity to SLOW DOWN and discuss any concerns with a teacher or in a group. This helps us decide on the healthiest way to deal with things that worry us. It is a form of Mindfulness because it is about slowing down and noticing the present moment through practising stillness and focusing on our breathing.
We encourage the pupils not to ignore their thoughts and feelings or pretend they are not there, but to acknowledge them without being overwhelmed or carried away by them. It is a way of looking after our mental health by giving our minds space and time.
What are the benefits of Time to STOP and Think?
- Pupils learn to be still and quiet
- Pupils learn to handle difficult feelings and emotions
- Pupils learn to focus and concentrate
- Pupils can cope with stressful situations more easily
- Pupils’ relationships with others improve
- Pupils feel more peaceful and sleep more easily