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Overview

Age From: 

5

Age To: 

12

Delivered To: 

  • Children/Students

Components: 

  • Component 1 : A positive school community
  • Component 2 : Social and emotional learning for students

Issues: 

  • Social and emotional skills

Special Student Group: 

  • Lower socioeconomic/disadvantaged

Overview: 

Mindful Schools is a universal wellbeing program which brings mindfulness to children to build attention, self-regulation and empathy. It teaches social and emotional learning skills that are grounded in mindful awareness and neuroscience. It will compliment and reinforce any existing SEL programs. Mindful Schools has 16 core lessons and 14 additional lessons which are approximately 15 minutes each. The program can be taught by an outside provider or by a trained teacher at your school. Lessons can be taught in 15-minute blocks or in short 2-3 minute segments throughout the day. Minimal resources are required.

 

Special Student Group: 

The program was developed in the US for lower socio-economic /disadvantaged schools where minimal additional resources were available. It is appropriate for all students.

Delivery By: 

  • Primary teachers and staff
  • Allied health professionals

Aims: 

The Mindful Schools curriculum supports the development of:

  • Better focus and concentration.
  • An increased sense of calm
  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Improved impulse control
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Developing skilful responses to difficult emotions
  • Increased empathy and understanding of others
  • Development of natural conflict resolution skills
Implementation/Delivery

State/s Available: 

  • National

Details: 

The Mindful Schools Curriculum is an adaptable program that uses developmentally appropriate language for explaining key mindfulness concepts and practices to children. It promotes strong connections between teachers and children, and improvements in student behaviour (attention, self-regulation, engagement, compassion).

Program Structure / Methods of Delivery: 

Program Structure

The 16 core lessons plans cover the following topics:

  1. Mindful bodies and listening

  2. Mindfulness of breathing – finding your base

  3. Heartfulness – sending kind thoughts

  4. Body Awareness

  5. Mindfulness of breathing – staying at your base

  6. Heartfulness – generosity

  7. Thoughts

  8. Mindful seeing

  9. Heartfulness – kind and caring on the playground

  10. Emotions – creating space or show me / tell me

  11. Slow Motion

  12. Gratitude – looking for the good

  13. Walking

  14. Mindful eating

  15. Mindful test taking

  16. Ending review

There are an additional 14 lesson plans available to expand on the program expanding on mindful listening, mindful breathing, heartfulness, thoughts and emotions.

An example lesson plan can be found here: http://www.mindfulschools.org/resources/sample-lesson/

 

Methods of delivery

The curriculum is delivered by a teacher who has completed our “Educator Essentials” training - they may be the class teacher or an external provider. If a classroom teacher is trained to implement the curriculum, it can be used every day, either once for 5-10 minutes, or several short times for 2-3 minutes throughout the day. Each session may be 2-20 minutes depending on style of implementation. If program delivery is facilitated by an external provider, they will run the program for 15 minutes with each class, 1-2 a week, and the class teacher will repeat some of the practices taught to the class daily, for 2-3 minutes at a time.

Mindfulness lessons can be part of the regular school day or integrated into after-school programs or small groups, depending on the needs of the school community. This program is very flexible and demands few resources. Students will be provided with course workbooks. Information sessions for parents may be available on request. 

Cost: 

External Mindful Schools Curriculum providers have individual fee structures for the delivery of the program. 

To train your staff as providers they will need to complete our 6-week online course "Mindful Educator Essentials".  The cost is $550 USD for those who have prior personal mindfulness experience and training (prerequisite). For those who don’t have previous mindfulness experience, the Mindful Educator Essentials can be bundled with the 6-week Mindfulness Fundamentals (regularly $125 USD) online course to satisfy the prerequisite at no additional cost ($550 USD for both courses). Discounts apply for groups of 5 or more and scholarships may be available for those who require financial assistance. 

Program Specific Audience: 

KMP

Professional Learning: 

  • Professional Learning Available

Professional Learning Compulsory: 

Yes

Formal Parent/Carer Component Provided: 

Yes

Other Elements: 

Professional Learning:

Research shows that teaching and modelling mindfulness to youth is most effective when it stems from a base of personal practice. Our teachers have all completed our 6-week online course, “Mindful Educator Essentials” (2-4hrs per week) . Prior to this training they are asked to establish a personal practice by completing our Mindfulness Fundamentals course or another 6-8 week secular mindfulness course such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction or the HeadRest NESA Accredited teachers course.

3 Staff PD sessions are included with the program – one at the start of the program, one during the program, and one on completion of the program. The amount of time and timing can be negotiated with the school staff to fit in with their schedule. It’s anticipated that each session would need to be approximately 30 minutes, but sessions can be tailored to suit. Staff working with the classes doing the Mindful Schools curriculum would need to participate in the PD sessions.

 

Formal Parent/Carer Component: 

Parent information sheets and parent information sessions may be available on request.

Evidence of Effectiveness

Evidence of Effectiveness Rating: 

1

Evidence of Effectiveness Description: 

Program has sound program logic, and effectiveness is somewhat demonstrated by a large randomized-controlled study on the implementation of Mindful Schools across 3 schools in 2012 involving 937 children and 47 teachers.

Competency 1 : Self Awareness: 

4

Competency 3 : Self-management: 

3

Competency 4 : Responsible decision-making: 

1

Competency 5 : Relationship skills: 

2

Identified Theoretical Framework: 

Yes

Identified Theoretical Framework Description: 

The Mindful Schools Curriculum is based on Mindfulness practices, in the lineage of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).  The techniques have been adapted to be appropriate and meaningful to children of school ages.

Survey/Audit Tools Available: 

Yes

References: 

Black, D.S., Milam, J., and Sussman, S. (2009). Sitting-Meditation Interventions Among Youth: A Review of Treatment Efficacy. Pediatrics 124, 532-541.

Burke, C. (2010). Mindfulness-Based Approaches with Children and Adolescents: A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emergent Field. Journal of Child Family Studies, 19(2), 133-144.

Jennings, P. A. et al. (2011). Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of Two Pilot Studies. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 46(1), 37-48.

Smith, A. Guzman-Alvarez, A., Westover, T., Keller, S., & Fuller, S. (2012).  Mindful Schools Program Evaluation. University of California at Davis: Center for Education and Evaluation Services. 

Author(s)/Contacts

Author(s): 

Megan Cowan, Richard Shankman, Kate Janke, Daniel Rechtschaffen

About the Author(s): 

Megan Cowan, co-founder of Mindful Schools. Megan has taught more than 3500 youth via Mindful Schools’ in-class direct-service program in the US, trained more than 2000 educators, mental health professionals, and parents in mindfulness practices and applications for youth, and led the Mindful Educator Essentials (previously known as Curriculum Training) domestically and internationally since its inception in 2010. In 2012, Megan was featured in “Room To Breathe,” the first feature-length film documentary on the effort to integrate mindfulness training into U.S. public schools.

Richard Shankman, co-founder and Board Member of Mindful Schools. Richard has been teaching mindfulness in schools, rehabilitation centers, schools and retreat centers for 30 years.

Kate Janke, former Director of Training. Kate has been teaching mindfulness in a variety of settings for 10 years, but mostly to school-aged children and teachers. She has completed several trainings on teaching mindfulness and neurobiology.

Daniel Rechtschaffen, former Mindful Schools Teacher, currently a workshop trainer for teachers who wish to teach mindfulness. Daniel has extensive experience teaching mindfulness to various age groups and settings, with a strong background in research on mindfulness. 

Contact Information: 

Contact Christina Costelo, Mindful Schools Community Engagement Manager for a list of local facilitators in your area.

Email: christina@mindfulschools.org

 

Mindful Schools Curriculum Providers in Australia:

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Jodi Bates, 0408 868 001
, jodi@jblifecoaching.com.au
 www.jblifecoaching.com.au

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

Central Coast & Surrounding Regions

Tanya Burke,
 0404 323 848, 
tanyamic2@gmail.com
John Herron,
 0406 026-242,
 jsherron@bigpond.com
Sandra  Hahn, 
0431 364 762, 
hahnsandra692@gmail.com
Lynn Jenkins, 
0413 978 555, 
lynn@lifematters.com.au www.lifematters.com.au
Camille Rae, 0456 102 773, camille.rae@det.nsw.edu.au

Mid North Coast
Trisha Mitchell, 0414 375 230, trishamitchell@bigpond.com

North Coast
Jodie Lunn,
 0413 759513,
 helloyogamojo@gmail.com
 https://www.yogaaustralia.org.au/yoga_user/jodie-lunn/

Sydney
Ewa Brzozwska, 96454800, Ewa.Brzozowska@det.nsw.edu.au
Padmini Howpage, 0404 880 160, p.howpage@menatlhealthspecialists.com.auhttps:www.mentalhealthspecialists.com.au
Vanessa Lansdown, 0424 364 248,
 vanessa_lansdown@hotmail.com
Maria Lorenzo, 0452 212 034, ms.mlorenzo@gmail.com
Rebekah Peterson, 0434 412 588, teal.eyed.tiger@gmail.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/Rebekah-peterson
Sophie-Anna Shumack, 0439 880 401, sophie-anna@qualiatherapy.com.au www.qualiatherapy.com.au
Tienne Simons, 0431 842 950, headrestschools@optusnet.com.au
Marina Shine, 0413 281 395, shinemarina@hotmail.com

Wollongong Area
Kathy Gaudiosi, 
0403 315 575, 
kathy@kinkouyoga.comwww.kinkouyoga.com

 

QUEENSLAND

Brisbane
Kristen Bland, 0481 727 732, krissybland@gmail.com
Joy Drumm, 0435 907 498, joydrumm@gmail.com
Andrew Holt, 0427 509 206, aholty@gmail.com www.andrewgholt.com
Debbie Russo, 0409 092 701, debbie.russo61@gmail.com
Madelaine Winstanley, 0407 112705, mwinstanley@gmail.com

Far North Queensland

Jenny Wilson, 0414 329 466, wiljjb@gmail.com

Ipswich area
Terry Skidmore, 0734 246 819, terryskidmore62@gmail.com

Sunshine Coast and Surrounds

Kathleen Buckley, 0497 824 733, hello@themindfulheart.com.au www.themindfulheart.com.au

Terry Grogan, 0481 088 637, terry.grogan@outlook.com

 

TASMANIA

Heidi Grieg, 0497 148 116, heidigrieg@gmail.com

Varuni Kulasekera, 0448 815 917, vkulasekera@mac.com

Sarah Manns, 0438 206 586, sarah@mindfulintent.com.au www.mindfulintent.com.au

 

VICTORIA

Melbourne

Pauline Answerth, 0403 273 390, paulineans@gmail.com

Maria Bailey, 0433 077 962, mariabailey654@gmail.comenkicentre.com.au

Freya Bennett-Overstall, 0416 377 985, freyanow2@gmail.com https://freyanow2.wixsite.com/mysite

Jana Cronin, 0478 22-1181, jana@amindfulsoul.com.au, www.amindfulsoul.com

Kate Eversteyn, 0431 467876, kate.eversteyn@childsafeguarding.com.au

Miriam Fathalla, 0404 309 018, miriam@thesequoiaschool.comwww.thesequoiaschool.com

Lisa Filkin, 0402 323722, lisa@yogabubbles.com.au www.yogabubbles.com.au

Julia Hall, 0423 972 433, julia@beingmindful.com.au

Anne Love, 0419 517 377, annelove95@gmail.com www.mindfulmoment.com.au

Amanda Spencer, 0407 553 301, amanda@pmacademy.com.au http://pmacademy.com.au/

North east Victoria

Fran Smyth, 0417 383 155, f.smyth@bigpond.net.au

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Northcliffe, Pemberton, Manjimup, Bridgetown

Gwen Wenli, 0419 774 323, gwenli@me.com www.bewithgwen.com

Perth

Hester Alkemade, 0488 612875, braadpan@iinet.net.au

Heather Dewatteville-Doe, 0405 701 554, windhorse22@gmail.com 

Fiona Gauntlett, 0412 020 687, fiona@mindfulness-seed.com.au, www.mindfulness-seed.com.au

Rachael Symmons, 0401 530893, rachael.sene25@gmail.com

 

ONLINE ONLY

John Swinburne, aabear22@gmail.com