Paws b Curriculum

Paws b [pause & b] is a leading mindfulness curriculum for children aged 7 -11 in schools. Paws b was developed in 2012 by MiSP, Tabitha Sawyer and Rhian Roxburgh, teachers at Ysgol Pen Y Bryn and Sarah Silverton, a senior mindfulness teacher and trainer with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University in Wales.

The lessons are flexible and varied and can be taught as six, one hour lessons, or twelve 30 minute lessons. Learning from all of the lessons is encouraged to be connected to other aspects of the school curriculum where and when appropriate, such as music, sport, art, drama, queuing to come into the classroom, school and residential trips, to name just a few possibilities.

The lessons

Lesson 1 – Our Amazing Brain

  • learn about the prefrontal cortex, and how it works together with other parts of the brain.
  • explore how we can train our minds to be more efficient
  • begin this training through practices focusing on the breath
  • recognise the choices we make each day and the impact these have on our lives

Lesson 2 – Puppy Training

  • explore how the attention can move around, narrow down or broaden out in focus.
  • learn about how the attention is also like a puppy, but can be trained with an attitude of kindness, patience and repetition
  • experience the difference between ‘mindful’ and ‘mindless’ and how these qualities can inform activities in our daily lives, such as eating and moving
  • learn about the role of the hippocampus and how it links new experiences to old ones

Lesson 3 – Finding a Steady Place

  • recognise that we all ‘wobble’, and explore ways to steady ourselves
  • explore practices that steady our attention in the lower half of the body – wobble and FOFBOC practices
  • learn about the Insula’s role in recognising different body states in ourselves and others and how they relate to mood

Lesson 4 – Dealing with Difficulty

  • explore the idea of reactivity – what looks and feels like
  • learn how to nurture attitudes of curiosity, kindness, acceptance and openness to experiences
  • understand the importance of taking responsibility for keeping the mind and body safe and healthy through noticing choice points, and choosing to response where appropriate
  • learn about the amygdala and its role in ‘fight, flight or freeze’

Lesson 5 – The Storytelling Mind

  • discuss what a thought is, and learn to recognise them as they arise
  • learn about how thoughts can be connected to body, emotions and urges/actions
  • notice some of the habits of our mind – e.g. ways the mind tries to fix difficulties by over-thinking
  • explore ways to steady and be present moment focused when the mind is busy/scary

Lesson 6 – Growing Happiness

  • discuss how we can best nurture ourselves and others
  • explore specific ways to savour happiness
  • understand how we can sometimes create space and choices around happiness
  • learn about how happiness, kindness and gratitude are connected

Potential benefits for students


Paws b lesson in action at Ysgol Pen Y Bryn. Click here to watch.

* Promotes well-being and resilience

* Offers knowledge and skills applicable to the child’s life

* Can be individually tailored to suit each child

* Extends the thinking skills learning which is promoted in the national curriculum such as neuroscience and metacognition

More information

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