PRO­GRAM SHAP­ING YOUNG MINDS

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - AMANDA ROBBEMOND

IT’S be­ing touted as the “es­sen­tial” part of school cur­ricu­lum for the 21st cen­tury: mind­ful­ness.

At Benowa State School, the Smil­ing Minds pro­gram sees chil­dren us­ing tech­niques to teach self­aware­ness of their mental and phys­i­cal state-of-mind. Pupils take part in five to 10minute ses­sions each week.

In­clu­sion and well­be­ing teacher Tr­ish David said the mind­ful­ness cur­ricu­lum was help­ing chil­dren to self­mon­i­tor and self-soothe – tools they could use in the fu­ture when fac­ing par­tic­u­lar si­t­u­a­tions.

Ms David said they im­ple­mented the pro­gram into their school with re­search show­ing there were ris­ing num­bers of kids with mental health prob­lems .

“The ev­i­dence is that there are enor­mous ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness,” she said. “Stu­dents are find­ing it re­lax­ing, they’re feel­ing clear. (One stu­dent) said it was like a ‘shower for my brain’.”

Pic­ture: JERAD WIL­LIAMS

Benowa Pri­mary pupils Max Bart­ley, Mis­cha Scott, Noah Morton and Bam Thor­burn with teacher Emily Wil­liams dur­ing a Smil­ing Minds ses­sion.

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