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Mindful May

This Term, the School Wellness team decided to dedicate some time each Monday in May to explore some different mindful practices- Mindful Mondays!

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention to the present moment, without judgement. These practices are for both staff and students, with the goal of being aware of where your attention is, and therefore, being able to make a decision about where you want it to be. The students are encouraged to “Be where your feet are”.

To introduce mindfulness, start by recognising what being mindful consists of. Being mindful at its most simple involves three steps:

  1. Focusing your attention on a particular target
  2. Noticing when your attention has wandered away from the target
  3. Bringing your attention back to the target

The first Monday of May consisted of introducing Mindful May to the students. A quote from Emma Murray was shared during Homegroup stating “When I… then I’ll …” for example, “When I get to the end of term, then I’ll relax” or “When I get to the bottom of my to-do list, I’ll be satisfied”, encouraging staff and students to instead stay present and to not always be looking to the future.

Each Monday a different Mindfulness practice is going to be explored in Home Group. Each session will begin with Anchoring (sometimes called ‘Grounding’).

Anchoring

  1. Stop and simply notice the feeling of your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Take three breaths, focusing your full attention on how that breath feels as it moves in and out of your body.
  3. Draw your attention once again to your feet and notice how they feel firmly planted on the ground.
  4. Recognize that you are here and you’re doing okay.
  5. Now you’re centered and focused, and ready to continue on your way.

This week, students were encouraged to Count Backwards:

  • Start at 100, and with every breath, you count backwards by one, so you inhale 99, exhale, 98, inhale, 97 exhale 96, and you work your way back down to zero.
  • What is going to happen is, inevitably, you are going to wander. At 85 or 78 or 69, you will lose track of something, you will start thinking about your to-do list, thinking about what you have due for homework, or maybe a discussion you had with a friend, and you will lose track of the count.
  • The practice of mindfulness is recognising when your mind wanders and bringing it back to that count—back to that moment.

Each Monday, we will share the activity our students and staff are attempting, and we encourage our community to to have a go, and attempt to be present more often.

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