.begin eight-week mindfulness course


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Why learn mindfulness?

High quality evidence shows the benefits of an eight-week mindfulness course, benefits include:

  • a reduction in stress, burnout and anxiety
  • a reduction in the sense of task and time pressure
  • an improved ability to manage thoughts and behaviour
  • an increase in coping skills, motivation, planning and problem solving
  • an increase in self-compassion and self-care

For more information please read Professor Katherine Weare’s paper Evidence for Mindfulness: Impacts on the Wellbeing and Performance of School Staff.

What is .begin?

.begin introduces you to mindfulness over eight weeks via group sessions of approximately 90 minutes per week.

The course is delivered via video conferencing, allowing real-time interaction with your group whilst being led by a highly experienced MiSP instructor.

.begin combines the convenience of a live online course that you can complete in the comfort of your own home with the intimacy of live, face-to-face delivery.

What will I get from .begin?CPD Accreditation

.begin is an introduction to mindfulness for the purpose of supporting participants in terms of their own understanding of mindfulness and general wellbeing. .begin does not involve training to teach mindfulness to young people or adults.

If you are interested in teaching mindfulness to your pupils, those who complete the .begin course and continue to practise mindfulness on a regular basis can then qualify for further training to teach the dots curriculum (for 3 – 6 year-olds),  Paws b curriculum (for 7 – 11 year-olds),  .b curriculum (for 11 – 18 year-olds), or The Present curriculum.

MiSP is accredited as a CPD provider by the CPD Standards Office, and .begin has been rigorously assessed as providing 13 hours of CPD.

Read feedback and testimonials from previous course participants.

What are the prerequisites?

Applicants must:

  1. Be employed by a school or work within an educational setting on a regular basis or be the parent or carer of a child still in education. Please note School Governors and those who volunteer regularly in a school (including parent volunteers) are eligible to apply. You are also eligible to apply if you have an interest in supporting your own wellbeing even if you do not work in an educational setting or do not have a child in education.  If you are unsure whether you are eligible please email enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org.
  2. Be over 18 years of age
  3. Be able to commit to the dates and times of the online sessions
  4. Have access to a computer or laptop with a webcam and have a good broadband speed capable of running Zoom, click here to check technical requirements.
  5. Understand that this course is not intended as a therapeutic intervention. Should you have any concerns regarding your mental or physical health, please see your GP or other medical advisors. A member of the MiSP team may contact you to discuss your application and ensure this is the right time for you to be doing the course.
  6. Whilst .begin is designed for participants who have not previously taken part in an eight-week secular mindfulness training course, applicants who have already done an 8-week course and wish to take .begin as a refresher are still very welcome.
  7. Understand that .begin does not involve training to teach mindfulness to young people or adults. It is an introduction to mindfulness for the purpose of supporting participants in terms of their own understanding of mindfulness and general wellbeing.

As an online course, it is crucial that participants attend the training …

  1. … in a quiet space where they will not be interrupted
  2. … having checked all technology is working to a quality that allows for full engagement with the taught course. This will include attendance on a pre-course Zoom orientation and checking session.
    NB: Participants are expected to keep webcams on during the course.
  3. … away from any distractions, and fully committed to engaging in all taught sessions and activities

Applicants from outside of the UK must: Meet the above prerequisites and be able to speak and understand English to an Upper Intermediate Level, ie be able to interact fluently with native speakers, communicate effectively and understand everyday language.

How much does .begin cost?

A supported place on a .begin course will be automatically offered to all those working or volunteering regularly in a state-funded school in the UK, the cost is £175 per person. If you work for a local education authority or charity you may also be eligible for a supported place on a .begin course, please click here to read the Terms and Conditions.

Otherwise, the price is £225 per person.

Discounts for group bookings may be available. For more information, please contact enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org

You will need to obtain a copy of the course reader, “Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

This course meets the conditions of an exempt supply of education provided by an eligible body and therefore is exempt from VAT.

If you wish to discuss group training requirements please contact enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org

Find out more before you .begin

We run regular Information Webinars to support anyone interested in finding out more about mindfulness, .begin and our other courses. Click here to find the date and time of the next webinar.

Upcoming courses

18th Sep 2024 - 20th Nov 2024
24th Sep 2024 - 26th Nov 2024
.begin (daytime course)
3rd Oct 2024 - 5th Dec 2024

“Not only has the .begin course given me a new perspective on, and greater understanding of, mindfulness – it has also provided a different way of looking at life.”

“Within eight weeks I had not only found .begin had impacted upon my own life, but also helped me to think of ways to help my students.”

“The best thing about .begin is that it is offered online and you still have the sense of being on a course and connecting with other participants “

.begin was my first experience of an interactive online course and I was extremely impressed, I looked forward to each session.”

Frequently asked questions

I would love to share some of the practices and ideas with my colleagues/students. Is that OK?

We hope that you have enjoyed the eight-week course, and have also experienced some of the potential positive changes that mindfulness practice can support, especially in terms of mental and physical health. Where such changes have been noticed, there is a natural tendency to want to share this learning with students, colleagues or even family members.

One of Mindfulness in Schools Project’s (MiSP’s) main aims is to bring mindfulness to young people and those who work with/ care for them. However, at the heart of this is a fundamental need for this to be done with integrity and safely. We are therefore very clear in our Terms and Conditions for taking part in a .begin and .b Foundations course that these do not in any way train participants to teach mindfulness to young people or adults.

Just as you wouldn’t ask someone to teach a child to swim if that person couldn’t swim strongly themselves, you wouldn’t expect someone without a long-established practice, and extensive training, to teach young people or adults mindfulness. Training to teach mindfulness to adults takes a minimum of a year’s training through approved routes, and involves a great deal of time learning how to lead both practices and enquiry (the discussions that take place following the practices) with skill and safely. Individuals have different responses to mindfulness practices and children, in particular, need to be guided skilfully and competently so that they can access the benefits of mindfulness and not be put off by poor teaching.

MiSP’s own training pathways to teaching dots (ages 3-6), Paws b (ages 7-11) or .b (ages 11-18) curricula require completion of an approved eight-week mindfulness course, two or three months to embed individual practice, followed by a further four or three days’ training (respectively). Again, a great deal of time on these courses is spent exploring how to lead a practice and enquiry, as well as gaining extended understanding about the theory behind these practices.

Having said all that, if you have managed to maintain your personal practice (during sessions and in your own time) during and beyond your eight-week course, and therefore have an experiential understanding of its intentions and possible outcomes, you may choose to explore how it is to lead an adult friend, colleague or family member in one of the simpler practices from earlier on in the course. These practices could include the ‘.b’ practice – ‘Stop, Feel Your Feet on the Floor, Notice the Breath, and Be’, or maybe some gentle mindful movement such as stretching, and observing the breath in the body. If you are comfortable with this, you may invite a group of children or young people that you know well to join in a very short practice too.

You might also like to know that there are two freely accessible videos on Youtube. These talk you through the theory behind, and then lead you through the practice of, two simple key practices:

Playing Attention 

Beditation (which you will know as the ‘Body Scan’)

These are intended for use as part of the .b curriculum, but can also be used as an opportunity to ‘dip your toes in the shallows’ of mindfulness practice. Indeed, you can play these to children and young people in your class if you think they will enjoy it. However, we would recommend that you keep any discussion of the experience afterwards minimal and as light as possible until you have been trained in how to guide enquiry with children.

Certainly, there should be no attempt to lead longer practices or any that involve working with difficulty in terms of thoughts, emotions or body sensations. These are more advanced practices and need to be guided skilfully by an experienced and well-trained mindfulness teacher.

If you have any further questions about this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch support@mindfulnessinschools.org

As a UK charity, we try to support schools who wish to have members of their staff trained in MiSP’s classroom-based curricula, but who need financial assistance to do so. If you’d like to know more, please check the criteria for a Supported Place on training. We are also able to offer awards from our Early Career Teachers’ Support Fund.

Can I apply for the Teach .b/Paws b/ dots course before completing my eight-week introduction to mindfulness course?

To ensure there is time to continue to explore and deepen the practices you have learned on your eight week mindfulness course, we require at least two – three months’ embedding period (depending on previous mindfulness experience) between the completion of your eight-week course and starting a Train to Teach .b, The Present, Paws b or dots course.

However, you can apply to attend the Teach .b, The Present, Paws b or dots course once you reach the end of your eight-week course, provided you commit to ongoing regular practice – both formal and informal. For more information on what this involves, please see the prerequisites for Teach dots, Teach Paws b, Teach The Present, or Teach .b

How do I find out more about mindfulness?

MiSP delivers Information Events across the UK, please click here to find one near you.

I am new to mindfulness, is .begin the right course for me?

We certainly hope so. .begin is taught online, but face-to-face in real-time by highly experienced mindfulness practitioners who are skilled in delivering group sessions. Hugely experienced in mindfulness and its many benefits through their own practice and training, they also understand the demands of working in education.

While .begin is intended as a general introduction to mindfulness for personal well-being, mindfulness is not for everyone. In particular, people who have recently experienced trauma or bereavement, or severe physical or mental illness, should consult with their GP or other medical advisers before undertaking any form of mindfulness training or practice.

For more information, please read the following article by Ruth Baer and Willem Kuyken.

If you wish to discuss any concerns you might have about the .begin course in this respect, please contact enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org

Do I need to work in education to apply for .begin?

To be eligible for .begin, you have to either work or volunteer in a school, work/volunteer within an educational setting on a regular basis OR be the parent or carer of a child still in education . Please note School governors and those who volunteer regularly in a school (including parent volunteers) are also eligible to apply.

Will the technology for the online courses work for me?

You need a reasonable broadband internet connection and a computer or laptop with a webcam and microphone. The platform we use is Zoom, so for precise technical requirements, click here. As general guidance, if Skype or Facetime work on your computer or laptop then you should be fine.

If you have any concerns, we offer a free one-to one technical check once you have booked a course.

What is the time commitment for the 8-week .begin course?

After a 30-45 minute orientation, .begin takes the form of eight weekly sessions of approximately 90 minutes. There will also be home practice of around 20 minutes per day.

Will I receive a certificate on completion? Will it count towards CPD?

Having completed the course, you will receive a certificate. This could form part of your professional development records.

MiSP is accredited as a CPD provider by the CPD Standards Office, and our  .begin course has been rigorously assessed as providing 13 hours of CPD.

What if I have other questions?

Please read the terms and conditions for booking and attending a .begin course and if you have any questions feel free to contact us at enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org