Mindfulness is a powerful tool that supports children in calming themselves, focusing their attention, and interacting effectively with others, all critical skills for functioning well in school and in life
At Byron College we believe in a holistic approach to the education of the students in our care. The overall well-being cannot be achieved unless we develop a positive, resilient and healthy mindset. Embedding mindfulness is one important step and we have been establishing this as our morning routine at school.
What used to be a busy time in the morning has become a calming part of the day after the transition from home to school where we all just take time to pause and come back to being present. The positive climate that we create in school means that Mindfulness can only thrive.
Creating a safe place for our students to learn begins with creating some space for them to breathe. Here are some ways that we practice mindfulness at Byron College:
- Relaxing music to set the calm atmosphere
- Breathing exercises
- Muscle relaxation
- Mindful colouring activities
- Motivational quotes
- Quiet time
Within our primary classrooms we have created focus walls that are both calming in colour and mindful of the area of the classroom where children would focus most on during learning.
Studies show that the benefits of mindfulness include:
- Increased focus, attention, self-control, classroom participation, compassion
- Improved academic performance, ability to resolve conflict, overall well-being
- Decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, disruptive behaviour
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment
‘Learning to ride a bike’ is the basic principle. If you are not willing to be scared, stumble and perhaps fall off then you will never be able to achieve such a feat. Do babies just get up and walk one day? When we are childlike, we have that natural resilience and fearlessness to crawl, stumble and fall on the journey to learning to walk. However, as the world around us impacts on our mindset, suddenly we start to ‘fear’ the new, the unknown, the mistakes. These are the fundamental building blocks to success.
In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail, or if you are not the best, it has all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they are doing regardless of the outcome. They are tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues.
What we want to nurture in our students is the understanding that there is a journey to success that involves, at times failure and mistakes and that this is the fundamental part of building new connections in our brain and as a result developing new learning – just like when they learned to walk or ride a bike.
The brain is a muscle: it can strengthen and grow through hard work and effort.