10 October 2019


I recently had the privilege of attending a meeting entitled 'Wales: A caring country?', organised for all those involved in education, to create a vision and strategy that will deliver the impact of mindfulness in Wales.
The group had met earlier in May as an opportunity to take initial steps in considering health and well-being in education here in Wales.
What is Mindfulness within a school context?
Mindfulness is learning to take account of our experiences as they occur, with curiosity and acceptance and during the day there was an excellent opportunity to hear how various practitioners had begun to embed Mindfulness within their local authorities, and their schools.
It was very interesting to hear about initiatives undertaken by Carmarthenshire Education Authority, where over 200 staff had been trained on a six-week Mindfulness course. The Authority had been very innovative in their training plans and many teachers were now able to apply and use their expertise in teaching pupils within the classroom environment.
Another person undertook a cluster approach. One headteacher had used a PDG grant creatively on training a cluster of teachers in Mindfulness. By creating a cluster training system, many teachers had been trained, and were using their expertise in the classroom.
One of those present at the meeting spoke from the perspective of a Senior Team member in a secondary school, and the school ensured that all pupils followed a compulsory Mindfulness course at the Junior School. It had a very positive impact throughout the school.
A primary headteacher had arranged for her school staff to be trained, and all staff had attended a course entitled Paws b. This had a significant impact on the children's eagerness to learn at school.
As the new curriculum progresses, Mindfulness will undoubtedly have the potential to feature prominently in the Health and Wellbeing curriculum.
Julia James
National President of UCAC