The Pathways is a pilot framework created by Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) to support individuals in their own development of mindfulness practice and educational/youth-related settings on their journey to introduce a well-designed and sustainable mindfulness initiative, as part of an approach to organisational wellbeing.
The framework provides guidance, resources, and awards to celebrate achievements, as settings increasingly bring the benefits of mindfulness to students and to staff, recognising the values and attitudes of mindfulness within their wider culture.
The Pathways are founded upon experience. Since 2009, MiSP has had the privilege of working with a wide variety of schools and other educational settings, helping them to support the wellbeing and mental health of both young people and adults who work within them, as well as the broader community of families, governing bodies, other service providers and volunteers who support those schools. We have collated examples of successful implementation of mindfulness-based initiatives and key learning from where things have not quite gone to plan. The Pathways approach has evolved out of this rich learning.
The five developmental steps
The Pathways framework is built upon five developmental ‘steps’ (for an individual or organisation):
- Exploring the possibilities for introducing mindfulness in your setting
- Introducing mindfulness to staff and/or students
- Developing a model for mindfulness taught in-house to students and building a community to share coordination of mindfulness initiatives within the setting
- Embedding mindfulness learning and approaches throughout the setting where appropriate
- Providing a model of sustainable mindfulness that can be shared with other settings as a MiSP Beacon School/Setting
Choose the starting point that’s right for you or your school…
Step 1Exploring Mindfulness
Exploring the possibilities for introducing mindfulness in your setting
Step 2Introducing Mindfulness
Introducing mindfulness to staff and/or students
Step 3Developing Mindfulness
Developing a model and building a community for mindfulness within the setting
Step 4Embedding Mindfulness
Embedding mindfulness learning and approaches throughout the setting
Step 5Providing a Mindfulness in Education model
Providing a model of sustainable mindfulness that can be shared as a MiSP Beacon School/Setting
More information about the Pathways
The steps are reached via:
- Step 1 – registering for Starter resources or requesting a live Mindfulness in Education Info webinar or recording or undertaking .breathe training with MiSP
- Step 2 – .begin or other recognised 8 week mindfulness course undertaken
- Step 3 – Teach dots or Paws b or .b training completed
- Step 4 – School Mindfulness Lead (SML) training or other recognised adult mindfulness teacher training completed so that mindfulness (.b Foundations or an equivalent 8 week course) can be offered to adults in that setting
- Step 5 – A Pathways Portfolio and Outreach Development Plan completed by the setting and assessed by MiSP (requiring renewal every two years)
Registering a setting’s initial interest, as part of the Pathways Step 1, comes at no cost. However, as with accessing curriculum resources in the members’ Hub, Hub membership continues to be required from Step 2 onwards. Organisational Hub Membership is required to apply for Step 5.
You can begin your journey with the Pathways by taking one or more of the following options:
- requesting Starter resources
- booking onto a Teach .breathe training course
- requesting a live Mindfulness in Education Information Webinar or recording
- to find out more about Step 1
How to apply to be part of the Pathways if you have already begun training to bring mindfulness to your setting?
If you are already on your training journey with MiSP, you will automatically be given access to resources in the Hub for the level of training you have completed with us. If you are already on Step 4, we will send you information for applying for Step 5.
If you are not a Hub member but have met the requirements for Step 2 onwards, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPPORT: MiSP Pathways provide a framework to support settings and other child/youth focused organisations to introduce mindfulness with maximum integrity and in a sustainable way.
WORKPLACE/STAFF FOCUS: The Pathways emphasise and support settings that wish to develop as mindful workplaces. Providing opportunities for staff to learn and practice mindfulness for their own wellbeing, as well as role model for the young people in their care, are important features of a sustainable approach.
EMPOWERING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE: While designated adults will hold and implement some aspects of this programme, there are many ways in which students can design and implement aspects of it themselves.
COMMUNITY: The Pathways support the development and implementation of mindfulness initiatives that are age- and context-appropriate for each organisation. As a setting progresses along the Pathways there is increasing emphasis on developing and extending awareness and training with other stakeholders in the community, including offering the opportunity to work holistically with parents and key others.
SUSTAINABILITY: The Pathways are designed to encourage sustainable models and communities of mindfulness both within a single setting and also via a Beacon School/Setting working with a cluster of schools/settings across a geographical area.
INTEGRITY: The emphasis underpinning the Pathways approach throughout is on the quality of training and materials and is envisioned to be part of an extended programme of mindfulness development over several years. The curricula were developed by teachers with children and young people for use in schools and other settings. MiSP is able to offer support and act as a source of guidance throughout your journey.
ACCESSIBILITY: The Pathways’ Steps are designed to be flexible to suit a setting’s context. Application for Steps 1 to 4 can be completed entirely online or you can progress to each step and gain access to the resources for that step automatically, following completion of each level of training. The additional review stage of Step 5 will be undertaken via online submission of a Pathways Portfolio, Outreach Development Plan and video conferencing interview.
Our intention is to empower educational staff, students, and the broader community to become leaders in bringing wellbeing to the heart of educational life, using mindfulness as a part of this process.
Life brings with it inevitable ups and downs. Our aim is to offer educational communities high quality, accessible learning of mindfulness alongside social and emotional skills that will support them both now and across a lifetime. Our intention is for this to increase the possibilities for individual and community wellbeing; improving the potential for individuals and communities to not just ‘get by’ but actively flourish and thrive.
We recognise, particularly as trained teachers ourselves, that such an approach takes time to develop if it is to be both effective and sustainable.
The Pathways framework is designed to encourage and nurture the continual development of the following areas:
An Understanding of mindfulness
A Practice of mindfulness
A Sharing of mindfulness
Whilst everyone involved in the school community can benefit and play a role, the Pathways framework focuses primarily on:
- Equipping the staff in the setting as role-models and skilled guides
- Listening to and working with children/young people in the setting as key agents of change
- Supporting the development of an organisation wide approach to mindfulness; tailored to meet the needs of each unique setting and integrated into the setting’s existing structures, practice, and ethos
- Building on the strengths of the community
For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions