An independent school in Nottinghamshire is embedding a mindfulness programme throughout its new curriculum.
All year groups at Worksop College will receive at least some training, while year nine students will be offered a full programme.
The move follows a survey by Young Minds which found that more than two-thirds (67%) of teenagers believe the fallout from coronavirus will have a long-term negative effect on their mental health.
“We cannot ignore the effect of the pandemic on mental wellbeing,” said Aaron Cawley, who will be leading Worksop’s initiative when it starts in September.
“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.”
Cawley, who is also an Old Worksopian, came to be interested in mindfulness when injury left him unable to take part in his regular sports.
Part of his plan is that, as well as being an aid in difficult times, the mindfulness course should equip pupils with the tools to better maintain good mental health all year round.
“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,” he added.
Aaron Cawley explains more about mindfulness at Worksop College
Headmaster Dr John 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.”
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