By Ms. Laura Goebel, School Psychologist
We’ve just introduced a new initiative within the Learning Resources Department, and its focus is on mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active and open attention on the present, including our surroundings and feelings. Practicing activities that promote mindfulness have been shown to help children focus and self-regulate their emotions. It also boosts overall social-emotional growth.
To encourage BISC students to embrace the present moment, we’ve created a weekly program in the Primary School called Mindful Minutes Monday. Each Monday, I visit classrooms to engage children in 10 minutes of activities that bolster mindfulness. The activities follow Yogarilla™, an exercise and yoga card deck that children follow to perform a pose. While the children pose, I describe imagery and guide them to pay attention to their thoughts. Kudos to Ms. Kelly, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Kaplun, Mrs. Wheeler-Ozanne, Ms. Robson and Mr. Smith for becoming the first Primary School teachers to take advantage of this opportunity!
We’ve also created a Mindfulness Group as part of our Groups program for the Secondary School. The Groups program gives middle and high school students the chance to regularly meet with peers about a variety of topics, from divorce and grief to making friends. Geared towards students who want to learn more about accessing mindfulness, the Mindfulness Group aims to help students apply mindfulness techniques to every facet of their lives. The activities are based on the Learning to Breathe curriculum. We listen to scripted mindfulness teachings and practice paying attention in the moment through breathing exercises and short discussions.
We’re pleased to offer this initiative at all levels of the school and look forward to observing how it helps students succeed academically, socially and personally.
Follow the Learning Resources Department on Twitter at @LearningResBISC.