On Friday, Dec 1st, Lee-Anne Fairbanks joined the PTO meeting to give an interesting presentation about mindfulness and how they’re incorporating some practices at Bell School, designed to help keep children focused on the ‘here and now’.
After receiving a grant from the FMPS last year, seven staff from Bell School have now either completed or are working through an on-line training program (Mindful Schools) on ‘mindfulness’ and it’s benefits, including keeping children focused and happy. Thanks to a donation from the PTO, they’ve also started developing an internal resource centre of books, card games and devices like breathing balls which they can use with the kids. The trained teachers are able to lead short ‘lessons’ (10-15 minute long modules) which are focused on areas such as breathing, listening and being kind.
Benefits of practising mindfulness include:
- Better focus and concentration
- Improved self-regulation (appropriate behaviour/reactions)
- Heartfulness – being kind to yourself and others
- Decreased stress and anxiety.
Lee-Anne had the following suggestions for extending the lessons (and benefits) at home:
- Develop your own practice
- Have your child teach you the techniques they’ve learned
- Utilise apps like the ‘calm app’ to guide you through simple meditations, of between 2 and 30 minutes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calm/id571800810?mt=8)
- Look into resources to help you with your practice, such as activity cards, the breathing ball or books like ‘Sitting Still Like a Frog‘ (which has been very popular amongst parents).
To finish, Lee-Anne shared this wonderful film, ‘Just breathe’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVA2N6tX2cg