We are thrilled to announce that from September, we will be putting mental health at the forefront, introducing a full and comprehensive mindfulness course throughout the curriculum, targeting every year group.
Aaron Cawley, who will be leading the course, is only too aware how much the last year has impacted young minds. “Last year has been a challenge for everyone; normality was distorted, leaving the majority of us feeling disconcerted, including our children. They have been stopped from socialising with their peers, carrying out their usual schooling and participating in their hobbies,” said Aaron.
Statistics from the Young Minds Organisation suggest that 67% of teenagers believe the pandemic will have a long term negative effect on their mental health. In response to this daunting figure, Cawley states:
“We cannot ignore the effect of the pandemic on mental wellbeing. While some degree of anxiety is understandable, at Worksop College we want to create a culture of prevention, in addition to the already growing awareness and acceptance around young people's mental health. This is why we are introducing a course on mindfulness into our PSHE programme”.
Mindfulness is the ability to be completely present and aware, preventing people from being overly reactive or overwhelmed our surroundings. It is a practice of stopping, noticing and being able to reflect on the chaos of our daily routines and how that may clutter our minds. Through managing breathing, thought patterns and emotions, mindfulness trains us to direct our attention to whatever is happening in the present moment, meaning we can react proficiently to our events. Brain imaging studies have revealed that practicing mindfulness adjusts the brain’s structure and function, improving the quality of thoughts and feeling.
Speaking on the benefits of mindfulness training, Dr Price said:
“Including mindfulness training in the school curriculum is imperative for the wellbeing of our students. Not only will it help them to identify worry, manage difficulties and cope with stresses, but it will also allow them to acknowledge the positives within their lives, and what is going well. It offers a clear understanding of self-esteem and optimism. In addition, it will train them to be aware of where they direct their attention, improving their capacity to concentrate. This means that their organisation and working memory will also develop. We are very excited to be introducing it to our school.”
We will deliver the full course to Year 9, and all years will receive some mindfulness training, beginning September 2021. To hear Mr Cawley explain the benefits in more detail, click HERE.