We use cookies to improve your online experience. To learn more please refer to ourPrivacy & Cookie Policy.

Sorry but this form will not work without cookies enabled. Please adjust your browser settings to enable cookies to continue. For more information on how to do this please see ourPrivacy & Cookie Policy.

  • A Warm Welcome

    Situated in the heart of a thriving expat community, our school is home to families from all over the world


  • Academic Success

    Delivering oustanding results at every level in our school

    Young students reading book

  • Helping Others Thrive

    We believe passionately in learning, and our modern approach to education continues to help our students shine

    Teacher helping student

  • Be Ambitious

    Inspiring academic success & developing social, intellectual and confident children

    Classroom scene

  • Support & Guidance

    We look forward to seeing you at the British International School, Puxi and welcoming you and your family to our special community

    Young children in class

  • News & Views

    Stay in touch with all that is taking place in our school and our community

    Boys playing badminton

  • Get in Touch

    We like talking about education and children. You can get in touch with our admissions team by phone,skype or e-mail, or by calling in to see us

    Older students with laptops

Just Breathe...

23 April 2015

Following on from our recent sessions from Clive Leach and our visits from the wellbeing healthcare professionals at Shanghai United, my blog post this week is on mindfulness and preparing for exams.


  • The 7 - 11 breathing technique

Last week my blog post covered how the whole family can help exam stressed students. At school Clive Leach was helping set up a programme of coaching and professional development for some key members of staff who will lead the mindfulness programme going forward.  Mindfulness is not a quick and easy fix taught in one session, it is something that has to be embraced and practiced constantly to have the most benefit to the individual. However, in the run up to exams I did want to pass on some simple techniques we are sharing with our students to help them.   

Heart focused breathing is simple breathing to avoid stress and control emotion and is an important part of mindfulness and the positive education that we are promoting. Breathing techniques are scientifically proven to help individuals think more clearly by reducing stress. Last week in a Year 11 assembly I added to the smiling mind meditation techniques that Clive demonstrated to students and parents, by showing and practicing the 7-11 breathing technique. Shown above is a simple graphic to demonstrate this technique from one of many websites.  This simple, yet effective technique helps you calm yourself when under pressure and is also commonly used when people hyper-ventilate.

There is clear research that has been carried out by the HeartMath Institute in the United States that has shown that controlling stress through mindfulness breathing techniques helps not only reduce anxiety, but also has a direct impact on improving test scores. Having control of your anxiety and having positive emotional responses to stressful situations is something that can significantly affect your performance. Therefore for students practicing the 7-11 technique, make sure you control your physical state and concentrate on the positive. For a student in an exam this may mean move on and answer other questions, answer what you can remember by making it directly relevant to the question or by thinking creatively. It will definitely be better than writing nothing. 

For the brave that know they have studied a topic and are simply panicking, controlling the breathing , clearing your head and being in the moment by telling yourself you do know, may release the information. This is true mindfulness and can work in any situation, in and out of school, blocking out the clatter of negative anxiety and stress. No promises can be given that in the short term this will work but certainly controlling your stress and anxiety by breathing can only be a good thing and the more you practice doing it, the quicker and easier it becomes.

This is something that adults and children of secondary age can continually work on in any place and of course being positive, organised and well prepared mentally and physically reduces the tension in the first place. So do please encourage your children to stay focused in the coming weeks and months and develop further good study and mindfulness habits.  Taking control of your body and using your time effectively can take away some (exam) stress and can only help improve your chance of success.

- Chris Share, Head of Secondary


Virtual Tour

The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

4th Floor, Nova South
160 Victoria Street
LondonUnited Kingdom

General Enquiries +86 021 5226 3211

Admissions +86 21 6221 7542