What is Mindfulness?

The term mindfulness refers to the ability to direct the attention to experience as it unfolds, moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance.
(Kabat-Zinn, 1996).

The aim is to develop coping skills used throughout school and beyond which can support children in responding more helpfully rather than simply reacting to what is happening in their lives.

With our busy lives our minds are often very active thinking about all of the things that we need to do or things that have already happened.  You could say that our mind is a bit like a snow globe.  We might walk through the park on the way to work without seeing the baby ducks on the water, we might walk home from school without noticing the changing of colour of the leaves.  We might not notice that we are feeling tired or that we are feeling a bit low.  If we could perhaps be more aware of how we feel and what’s going on around us right now we might increase our wellbeing.

Mindfulness helps us to be more in the moment, in the here and now.  It helps us to be more in tune with and to appreciate ourselves, the world around us and our lives.  It helps us to “take a break” from our wandering mind, to focus our attention on the activity at hand and to just “be.”

To find out more about the mindfulness project please take a look below.

We have very exciting news!

We are taking part in the Derbyshire Mindfulness Research Project.

This project is being funded by North Derbyshire, Hardwick and Southern Derbyshire Central Commissioning Groups (CCG).

Derbyshire Educational Psychology Service are working with the Mindful Attention Programme (MAP) to deliver Mindfulness in schools.

This means that children in years 5 to 8 will access the Mindful Attention Programme (MAP) in class.

The Mindful Attention Programme involves 45 minute sessions once a week for 9 weeks.

There are also some short daily practices (3-5 minutes) in school.

There are also some activities you can do at home with your child to help them to practice their Mindfulness and for you to support them with this, these activities can also help you to gain understanding of Mindfulness for yourself.

For the research project questionnaires will be used before and after the MAP programme to see how Mindfulness has had an impact on wellbeing, resilience and academic progress.

We are all very excited to learn these new skills!

There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that mindfulness programmes for children can be highly effective in making important changes, including: reducing stress, improving wellbeing, cultivating empathy and increasing emotional control.    Information on a variety of research studies with adults and children can be found at www.psychologyforchildren.com

Mindfulness when well taught and practiced regularly has been shown to improve:

​Mental health and wellbeing•Mood
•Self esteem
•Self regulation
•Positive behaviour
•Academic learning

Practising Mindfulness techniques can help you to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment with curiosity and kindness.  Developing the skills and attitudes that make up Mindfulness enables children and adults to notice more and learn about how they react to everyday situations.  These skills can support them in responding more helpfully rather than simply reacting to what is happening in their lives.

You will need to find somewhere comfortable to try this out, perhaps put a blanket on the floor, lie on the sofa or your bed.

As best you can try to place your attentional focus where requested and explore the sensations with curiosity – what does it actually feel like right now?

Each time your mind wanders, gently bring it back. Minds always wander – that’s not a failure. Just try to continue to be kind and encouraging to yourself.

Children will be taught skills such as:

  • Breathing techniques
  • Body scans – to notice sensations
  • Mindfulness of sounds
  • Over-riding auto pilot
  • Letting thoughts go
  • Combatting thoughts with kindness
  • Noticing feelings