Mindfulness at Locks Heath Infant School
Our Mindfulness Intent:
Our intent is simple and is three fold:
1) To help children recognise and be aware of their own emotions, and become confident in labelling and articulating these.
2) To support children in developing strategies to manage their own emotions and calm themselves through learned strategies.
3) To teach the children to begin to empathise with how others’ may be feeling, showing kindness and compassion.
Implementation of Mindfulness & Staff Training:
Leaders and governors recognise that society has much work to do to normalise conversations about child and adult mental health. We recognise that, as the hub of our community, we as a school have a significant part to play in supporting the adult population and in developing resilient children who are aware of their own mental health and who develop real strategies to positively impact upon their own and others’ mental strength.
Leaders and staff have witnessed a dramatic rise in challenges faced by adults and children in this area. Leaders anticipate that this need will only grow in nature and we feel that our community must be ready and properly equipped to a) proactively grow mentally robust and resilient children and b) be reactive in support and signpost those in need.
Locks Heath Infant School believes that all children should have a well-rounded education. Mindfulness is a modern life skill where children learn how to live in the ‘now’ and to be aware of the present moment. This enables our pupils to notice their thoughts and emotions, and identify a difference between impulses and actions.
Regular mindfulness practice can help us ‘step back’ from situations and act with clarity, wisdom and perspective, rather than simply reacting in the heat of the moment. We are more able to focus on solutions rather than problems and to manage conflict and stress more effectively.
Children at our school now take part in regular Mindfulness sessions in order to improve emotional health and well-being. Mindfulness activities focus on breathing techniques. Children learn to focus their minds through whole class guided breathing, guided relaxation and circle time or class discussions.
Research links mindfulness to an increased ability to concentrate during learning times and greater resilience in social situations.
Our Mindfulness initiative links closely to our Learning Values. These, along with our Mindfulness approach, enable our children to learn in an environment that encourages Never Giving Up, Everyone Caring, Seeking to find out and how we can best Work Together to become kind caring, compassionate and successful people.
Staff at Locks Heath Infant School have deeply reflected upon and explored many aspects of children’s mental health and how best we can adapt our whole school and individual approaches to meeting this need. Staff training and reflections have taken place in the following areas over the last 3 years:
- ‘Managing Strong Emotions’ Lorraine Lee (Child Psychologist, Positive Parent Trainer and Child Development expert) (2018/19)
- ‘Behaviour Management Toolkit’ Primary Behaviour Support (2018/19)
- ‘Mindfulness with children’ – Tom Cleary (BSc (Hons) Psychology, Dip.CBH, PGCE, MBPsS, GQHP, GHR Reg) (2018/19)
- ‘Trauma & Attachment’ EP Service (2019/20)
- ‘Social Emotional Mental Health’ – What can we do?’ Sian Cowley (HSLW, Mental Health First Aider) (2020/21)
- ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ – School Development Focus led by Julia Hayes (Year 2 leader) (2019/20)