At Sutton Valence Primary School we believe in teaching and learning more theraputically. We ensure we are hydrated with water bottles readily available on tables and have water readily available around the school.
We ensure the children have regular Brain Breaks and practice Mindfulness. We share our feelings and each class has an 'Emotion thermometer' that measures not only the children's feelings and emotions but also the teacher's.
We teach PSHE weekly in school and teachers hold regular 'Circle Time' slots in class. Furthermore, all pupils have access to a class worry box or time to talk to an adult about issues or concerns should they need to.
An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of your hands when you wash them.
Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment and allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. Put your feet firmly on the ground (preferably without shoes) and connect to the ground, therefore feeling your feet grounded to the calm.
When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.
Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: 'Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?’
Any time that’s convenient, try a little mindful listening.
We get used to a lot of the sounds that are around us and quickly tune them out. If you live in the city, there might be police sirens, train announcements and people sneezing. In the countryside there could be trees rustling, birds calling or a gate creaking. What can you hear right now? Or, put on some music and really listen to it for a short period: try to hear the music without thinking about it.
Any time during the day, take a moment to focus on your breathing. Breathe in, then breathe out; in for two, hold for three, breathe at four. Focus your attention on how this feels, where you notice the air moving, how your chest and abdomen rise and fall.
Practice a little mindfulness meditation while you eat. When you take the first bite of any meal, just take a moment to really pay attention to the taste. Look at the food carefully, feel the textures in your mouth, smell it and notice how your body reacts to it. You don’t need to keep this up all the way through the meal, but use it every now and then to focus your attention.