Lessons in mindfulness offered to Fife primary pupils
Primary school pupils in Fife are being offered mindfulness lessons in a move to boost their mental health.
Four schools in the region have signed up for the Do-Be-Mindful Initiative, which includes exercises on breathing and listening, as well as strategies for managing emotions and improving relationships with others.
Louise Smith, who leads the initiative, said mindfulness had the potential to raise attainment in schools by nurturing children’s ability to focus their attention – a life skill she described as fundamental in learning
She said: “This is not an airyfairy thing. It is backed up by scientific evidence. Initially the research was all about adults and mental health, looking at mindfulness as a way of helping with anxiety and depression.
“Then there was a move to looking at how mindfulness affects young people, and the benefits were pretty phenomenal.”
She added preliminary sessions with children affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had shown positive results.
“What is quite unique is that all the parents belonging to the school get access. The reason for opening it up to parents is there’s a huge focus on closing the attainment gap in Scotland.”
Jacqueline Price, acting head of Fife Council’s education service, said: “We know that young people can face challenges and emotional health is not separate from their general health and wellbeing.”