Next term we are offering the Mindful Attention Programme (MAP) to the children in Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune. MAP is a nine session programme, delivered weekly by the teacher over the course of the term. The sessions are fun and develop skills which enable children to pay attention more effectively, cope with day to day stresses and strains, and get on better with each other.
Mindfulness involves paying more attention to what is happening right now with an attitude of curiosity and kindness. By learning to focus a little more on what is happening now and how we are feeling, we can learn to manage day to day difficulties and enjoy ourselves more.
In particular, the children are learning to focus their attention on their breath in class and they will have the opportunity to practice short guided meditations at home if they wish. These are available from www.psychologyforchildren.com. The meditations last around ten minutes and ask the children to simply focus their attention on something very simple, such as sensations in their body, or the sounds around them. If you would like to try one of the meditations for yourself, please take a look at the website. The Body Scan is an excellent meditation to help children relax at bed-time.
The programme has been organised by Derbyshire Educational Psychology Service and has been run in over 70 schools in Derbyshire and Derby City over the last 18 months accessing over 5000 children. The evaluation of the programme is very positive from teachers and pupils moreover, research data collected shows a positive impact on children’s wellbeing and resilience. We have been given an opportunity for some of our staff to be trained and to deliver the programme in school over the forthcoming weeks, when we will then assess its impact.