.breathe curriculum (ages 9-14)

What is .breathe?

.breathe is a four-session programme aimed at the school ‘transition’ years of ages 9-14. It can be taught as part of a broader Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) curriculum or as part of a ‘transition-specific’ programme in Years 5-9.

As part of this, .breathe offers an opportunity for both the teacher and students to ‘dip their toes in mindfulness’, exploring the ways in which this might support them through the highs and lows of adolescent life.

In particular, .breathe explores issues around:

  • Working with the capacity of attention; exploring how we can work with a wandering mind.
  • Why humans worry, and how to support ourselves when we do so.
  • Sleep – why it is important and what to do if we struggle to sleep well.
  • Being with others – the opportunities and challenges of working skilfully with friendships and other relationships, both in person and online.

Each session includes:

  • Exploration of the function and structure of key areas of the brain involved in daily experience
  • Introductory mindfulness practices
  • Animations
  • Discussions
  • Exercises they can try in their own time

Sessions are designed to last between 30 minutes and one hour, to be delivered once a week for four weeks during the period leading up to the end of the final years of primary school or during the first years at secondary school.

Frequently Asked Questions …

How is .breathe different to MiSP’S Paws b and .b courses?

.breathe is very much a ‘dipping your toes in mindfulness’ course, consisting of a few very simple mindfulness practices (mainly guided through animations and pre-recorded guided practices), neuroscience and social and emotional learning,

Whilst .breathe is a stand-alone programme it can provide a useful segue following on from Paws b at primary school or into .b at secondary level – a ‘dipping your toe’ in mindfulness before the more extensive mindfulness training in .b and Paws b.

For those who have already been taught the Paws b course, .breathe provides a link between Paws b (primary level) and .b (secondary level). While some key themes seen in Paws b and .b are explored, there is also more specific content and activities around issues known to be of particular importance to transition years.

Who can train to Teach .breathe?

Anyone involved in working with students between the ages of 9 and 14 years can train to teach .breathe. For example, they could be a primary school class teacher or a member of staff from the secondary school working with this age group or someone leading sessions as part of the school’s broader Personal, Health, Social and Economic Education (PSHE) curriculum in Years 5-9.

In addition, those involved in a school’s ‘transition’ programme for those moving from primary to secondary school would be particularly well-suited to the course.

Please note: Only those attending the one-day MiSP Teach .breathe training course are then approved to teach it.

The Teach .breathe course involves training to teach the curriculum to pupils, but not to provide any form of teacher training for adults (i.e. training others to teach the .breathe course).

How do I train to Teach .breathe?

.breathe involves a one-day training course with a number of objectives:

  • To explore key themes and exercises involved in the course.
  • For teachers to experience the lessons in ‘real time’. This gives time to discuss the pedagogy of each lesson and how it can best be taught to a group of young people in different settings.
  • The course also offers an outstanding introduction to the possibilities of mindfulness in the classroom from the UK’s leading provider.

I am a .b/Paws b trained teacher, do I need to attend a .breathe training to teach it?

As someone who has already met prerequisites for, and gone through an extensive training in, .b/Paws b, you do not have to attend the .breathe training to teach the course. However, in order to access the materials, you need to have current membership to The Hub. For any queries about your membership, please contact support@mindfulnessinschools.org

What do I get having completed the training?

At the end of the one-day course, participants will have all the materials needed to start teaching the lessons:

  • Student Booklet
  • How to Teach .breathe booklet
  • Teacher’s Notes on each lesson
  • PowerPoint slideshow of each lesson
  • Support materials including posters, certificates, research evidence and more

Participants will also receive 6 months’ free membership to The Hub, MiSP’s portal through which you can access resources, connect with other teachers and hear first about upcoming events and developments.

What are the origins of .breathe?

.breathe was developed by Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) as part of a large scale research project called ‘Healthy Minds’. Bounce Forward, in partnership with the London School of Economics (LSE), secured funding from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to test a personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) curriculum aimed at 11-14 year-olds in UK schools.

The overall conclusions from the research were very positive, with statistically significant improvements across a full range of Health-Related Quality of Life, behavioural and emotional well-being measures.

We have therefore decided to build on .breathe’s success, and make it available as a stand-alone programme, but with some amendments, reflecting the changing landscape in schools.

If you are ready to Teach .breathe