Simply Mindfulness is a group of primary and secondary school teachers and occupational therapists in Norfolk, qualified to teach mindfulness in schools. We offer the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) ‘.b’ (dot be, for children aged 11-18) and ‘Paws b’ (pause be, for children aged 7-11) programmes as part of the PSHE curriculum, or as lunch or afterschool clubs. We also provide mindfulness workshops for school staff, and the 8-Week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Life Course, as developed by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, to promote teacher wellbeing.
Mindfulness, when taught through structured, evidence-based programmes, gives students and staff the skills to recognise difficult thoughts and emotions. Learning strategies to move the attention to the present moment can stop the cycle of depression, anxiety and fatigue that is so prevalent in modern society. The combination of psychoeducation and practical skill training in mindfulness courses has been shown to improve happiness, reduce stress and anxiety and encourage better sleep. Learning mindfulness in a group of peers encourages healthier relationships within the classroom and between work colleagues, making your daily social environments a more compassionate place to be.
Mindfulness is often reduced to simple phrases of “be in the moment” or “focus on your breath” which can seem trivial when delivered without context. However, the formal programmes offered by Simply Mindfulness help you understand why mindfulness is important. The Paws b and .b courses are taught using film clips, child-friendly visuals to prompt discussion, and numerous practical opportunities for learning the mindfulness techniques, and even enjoy some fun ‘mindful eating’! Mindfulness techniques could be especially beneficial for children facing SATS tests, GCSEs and A-levels.
The World Health Organisation states that by 2030, mental health will be the biggest “cause of burden” out of all health conditions, including heart conditions and cancer. Our aim is to educate adults and young people in basic neuropsychology, and to teach the skill of mindfully directing attention to healthier ways of being. Not all children or teenagers will adopt mindfulness techniques immediately. By making young people aware of their mental health, and teaching them that mindfulness techniques exist, we are equipping them with knowledge to return to mindfulness in the future. Ultimately this will help everyone live a healthier and more fulfilling life.