This year a new workshop was integrated into our Senior curriculum: Learning to be Mindfulness. We are proud to say that we are currently the only school in the island that is teaching their students this coping mechanism that allows us to reduce stress, increase attention span, and manage our emotions. Mindfulness is currently taught and practiced by Fortune 500 companies, professional sport teams and many other institutions to improve performance, among other things.
Delia Román, a Robinson parent, was the instructor of these workshops for a four week classroom-based curriculum called .b (pronounced ‘dot-be’). Seniors learned about mindfulness twice a week as part of Mindfulness involves training our attention to experience the present moment with greater curiosity and kindness. This helps us to not only appreciate what is going well but to respond more skillfully to life’s inevitable challenges.
You may or may not have heard of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a life skill, and the interest in the practice has arisen as a result of the growing body of rigorous research evidence regarding the potential benefits of mindfulness for young people.
These include randomised control trials and neuro-scientific studies. As Professor Katherine Weare observed in her award-winning research summary: Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People, schools that engage in mindfulness are likely to see ‘beneficial results on the emotional well-being, mental health, ability to learn and even the physical health of their students.’ At its most simple, .b is an awareness-raising exercise to give all students a
taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so.
Here’s a letter from our instructor, Delia Román:
.b aims to help young people:
• To improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others.
• To fulfill their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, both academically and personally.
• To experience greater well-being (e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled).
• To work with difficult mental states such as anxious thoughts and low moods.
• To cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams, relationships, sleep problems, family issues.
he feedback from students who take part in .b is very positive. I would encourage you to follow the link to the testimonials page of the Mindfulness in Schools Project website where you can hear students speaking movingly about
their experiences of developing mindfulness skills having taken part in the .b program.
Should you be interested in reading further about the body of research evidence about the potential benefits of mindfulness for young people, please do have a look at the following document by Professor Katherine Weare.
Further research studies regarding the benefits of mindfulness for young
people can be found on the Mindfulness in Schools Project Website: mindfulnessinschools.org – Research
Finally, if you are interested in learning more about mindfulness yourself then please let me know, as greater parental involvement is one of the things we wish to explore in the future.
With best wishes,