On Saturday 20th June 2020 our community came together for a day of discussion and practice around the theme of ‘Teaching mindfully’. Our expert speakers explored the challenges and rewards of teaching mindfulness to young people in primary schools and secondary schools.
If you missed it, you can watch the speakers’ recorded talks below:
NB: Due to the nature of the online recording and data protection some segments are presented as audio only.
Katherine Weare: Mindfulness – the Trojan mole of education
Katherine Weare is Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton and Honorary Visiting Professor at University of Exeter.
Katherine is known internationally for her work on mental health and wellbeing and social and emotional learning, most recently focusing on mindfulness and compassion based approaches in education. She has published widely, engaged in cutting edge research projects and reviews of the evidence base for the field, advised the UK government, EU and WHO, and developed practical strategies across most European countries.
Matthew Jones: “My amygdala’s too quick for me”: Primary School Case Study
Matthew has been teaching at a primary school in Wales for 28 years. He trained to teach Paws b in 2016 after completing .b Foundations earlier the same year, and has taught the course to his class each year since. He runs a weekly ‘drop-in’ mindfulness club for children who have completed Paws b.
Liz Lord: The MYRIAD research project and what we have learned about teaching mindfully
Liz is the schools liaison lead for the MYRIAD project, the world’s largest project looking at mindfulness in schools, in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and a Teaching Partner for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. In this talk Liz gives an overview of the MYRIAD project and describe the way that effective teaching and implementation can make all the difference when bringing mindfulness into the classroom and school setting.
Clare Winter & Trevor Adams: Teaching mindfully in PRUs and outreach
Clare and Trevor work at Dacorum Education Support Centre, an outstanding pupil referral unit. Clare leads the KS3 centre and school reintegration and is the School Mindfulness Lead and SENDCo.
Emily Brierley: Mindfulness practice
Emily has just ﬁnished sixth form college in Huddersﬁeld. As one of the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017, she has used her own personal mindfulness experience to help to support other young people and victims of trauma. She is a Youth Ambassador for MiSP.
Pete Turner: Clowning mindfully: teaching mindfulness and circus skills together
Pete has been a professional clown for over thirty years. In 1989 he founded the Leeds Children’s Circus, an educational charity for families in Leeds, which is still going today. He has been developing the idea of ‘Mindful Clowning’ alongside teaching mindfulness in schools. In this talk Pete speaks about the relationship between artistic performance and mindfulness, exploring how being a mindful clown has enabled him to teach mindfulness to children.
Mel Thomas: Teaching mindfully as a peripatetic teacher
Mel has been teaching mindfulness peripatetically for two years. Her background, however, is not in education but in marketing and advertising, and her business MindLessFull is split between corporate work and schools, where she teaches the MiSP curricula.
Liz Williams: Responding to the requirements of the new Welsh Curriculum
Liz has a long career in education starting as a primary teacher and headteacher and ending as Head of Children and Young People’s Strategy in the Welsh Government.
Liz has been co-leading the development of a mindfulness toolkit to help schools in Wales strategically plan the introduction of mindfulness in response to the new curriculum in Wales, and has just been appointed Chair of the newly inaugurated Meddwlgarwch Cymru/Mindfulness Wales organisation. Liz is also part of a team developing and delivering Mindfulness for Education Leaders in partnership with the National Academy for Education Leadership Wales’ Innovation Programme, and is a MiSP trainer and teacher.
Adrian Bethune: Could mindfulness be the key to changing the education system?
Adrian is a part-time teacher at a primary school in Hertfordshire and delivers wellbeing-focused training in schools across Europe through his organisation www.teachappy.co.uk.
In 2012, Adrian was awarded a ‘Happy Hero’ medal by Lord Richard Layard at the House of Lords for his work on developing wellbeing in schools. In 2015, he was invited to speak at the Action For Happiness event, Creating A Happier World, on stage with the Dalai Lama. Adrian is author of the award-winning, Wellbeing In The Primary Classroom – A Practical Guide To Teaching Happiness. He writes regularly for the TES and has contributed to several other books.
Mary Spink: Ardingly Prep: Independent school Case Study
Mary is the Head of Drama in an independent prep school and has been developing wellbeing in schools in the UK since 2004. As a trainer for MiSP she teaches both the Paws b and the .b programmes, and continues to develop mindfulness in other areas of school life.
Jem Shackleford: Mindfulness practice
Jem has been practising meditation for many years and teaching mindfulness for over eight. He has personal experience of the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in helping to alleviate stress and improve general wellbeing. He runs mindfulness courses for adults and young people.
With a background in secondary school teaching and the use of mindfulness to improve well-being in education, Jem is keen to bring the beneﬁts of mindfulness practice to all aspects of young peoples’ development. He is also a director of iBme UK, a non-proﬁt organisation that provides transformational residential mindfulness retreats for young people.
Richard Burnett: Top six insights for introducing mindfulness in schools
Richard Burnett is co-founder of Mindfulness in Schools Project and co-wrote .b, MiSP’s flagship mindfulness course designed to engage adolescents in the classroom.
Richard is a teacher at Tonbridge School, the first school in the UK to put mindfulness on the curriculum, an event covered broadly by the media in 2010. Since then he has taught mindfulness to well over a thousand adolescents. Richard’s TEDx talk helped define the landscape of mindfulness in education and he was an expert witness at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness. He has appeared regularly at conferences, on TV, on radio and in the national and local press to make the case for mindfulness in education.
Gerry Diamond: Clydebank High School: Secondary School Case Study
Gerry works with groups of high risk vulnerable pupils at a high school in an area of high deprivation. Gerry has helped pioneer their very successful nurturing programme and is a resilience trained facilitator, using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program (CBT) to help build resilience in pupils, as well as their families.
Kevin Hawkins & Amy Burke: Mindful teacher, mindful classroom
Kevin has worked with adolescents and young people in various contexts for over 30 years – as teacher, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. In 2012 Kevin co-founded MindWell, (mindwell-education.com) which supports educational communities around the world in developing wellbeing through mindfulness and social-emotional learning.
Amy is an educational consultant who spent 15 years as a high school teacher and guidance counsellor in Canada and The Netherlands. She holds a Masters Degree in Contemplative Education from Naropa University and in 2012 she co-founded MindWell.
Oren Ergas: Teaching how to think is not quite what we think: mindfulness of education
Oren is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Beit Berl College, Israel. His academic career focuses on curricular and pedagogical aspects of contemplative practices, such as yoga and mindfulness. He explores their effects on self, and the ways in which they can be understood within the framework of education and human development.
Debbie Cass: The Dell: Primary School Case Study
Debbie works at a two form entry primary school with 420 pupils. About five years ago, she enrolled in the .b Foundation course and has since completed the Present training, Teach Paws b and the School Mindfulness Lead course. Debbie teaches Paws b to Key Stage 2 three afternoons a week and is now on the sixth cycle of this! She has taught .b Foundations to both staff and parents.
Claire Kelly: Teaching mindfully – bringing it all together
Claire was a teacher for over 25 years, 20 of which were at Senior Management level.
She joined Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) in 2012 and, as part of her role as Director of Curricula and Training, develops classroom content, and trains teachers to deliver mindfulness-based programmes in school settings for 7-18 year-olds.
Chivonne Preston: MiSP – developing our charity mindfully
Chivonne has been CEO at MiSP since January 2019, and is responsible for all aspects of the charity on a day-to-day basis. She works closely with the Board of Trustees to develop strategy and ensure that the charity delivers maximum impact for beneficiaries.