During both school placements during the PGCE, daily teaching and observations revealed that some children lost some learning focus in the afternoon sessions. Therefore, the research project studied the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention before the afternoon session to maintain focus for learning.
Mindfulness is becoming an extremely popular and important topic for the benefits of mental health especially for young children. Mental health is essential to a child’s wellbeing and is something that can easily be implemented into a school’s daily timetable.
For this research project, a mindfulness-based intervention was implemented into the class timetable for 15 minutes before the afternoon session. Observations recorded, revealed that low level disruptions were reduced after a mindfulness-based intervention. Children were able to focus on a mindfulness exercise allowing them to relax, calm down and ultimately find focus and maintain that focus for longer periods. Learning became more productive as low-level disruptions were reduced and focus on learning was increased. Observations from the research study demonstrated a positive effect on children and their focus for learning from a simple mindfulness exercise before the afternoon session. A further natural progression would be to include a short mindfulness intervention in the mornings to settle children before the start of the day, and perhaps at other points of the day to support children with their focus and mental well-being.
By Laila Salim
Early Years 3-7 PGCE Trainee