The Mindfulness Curriculum for Schools, released by SMILING MIND

Posted by James Cummins
Categories: Purveyor of Positivity - Mindfulness - Mindful Movement - Accredited Exercise Physiology - wellbeing - positive education - Mental health - positive psychology - meditation - smiling mind

9.25 FM ABC RADIO Interview: 18.3.18

“How to be cool, calm and collected at school.” 

School children continue to experience high rates of poor mental health… 

The smiling mind App is providing a way to empower our students, teachers and parents with the skills to experience good mental health and wellbeing… and now smiling mind is going a step further with the release of a K-6 Mindfulness curriculum for schools.

  • Context: James Cummins is the founder of The Positivity Project and works in the education industry, he provides presentations and programmes to help whole school communities ‘do better’. 
  • James also provides Accredited Exercise Physiology services to The Read Clinic. He is passionate about the intersection of mindfulness and wellbeing for students, parents and teachers. James uses the Smiling Mind App as personal and professional wellbeing tool.
  • Today will be discussing the recent release of the The Mindfulness Curriculum for schools (K-6) 3 May 2018 by Smiling Mind.
  • Questions to cover in the 92.5 RM ABC radio interview:

Q1.  what is smiling mind, what is mindfulness and Why do we need it?

Q2.  What is the mindfulness curriculum (K-6)?  Is  this just another thing for teachers to do?

Q3.  How can we use it in our daily lives?

Q4.  Where to go for more information: smiling mind App / website

Q1. what is smiling mind and Why do we need it?

  • Is a non-profit initiative designed to help people connect with mindfulness meditation. It does this through a free app called “Smiling Mind”. 
  • Mindfulness is defined as paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgement.  There are two components to mindfulness. 1.  Learning to focus attention on one thing (ie: Breath) and being able to bring the attention back when the mind wanders. (Puppy training.)  2.  The second part is about the attitude you bring to paying attention – being open, curious and non judging on what you are focusing on or experiencing. 
  • Mindfulness has many evidenced based benefits, such as a reduction in worry, anxiety and distress, increased energy and sense of calm and control, improved stress management and ability to relax and improved health and wellbeing
  • The Smiling mind apps provides programmes for schools, workplaces and the householder.
  • On the 3rd of May 2018,  Smiling Mind released it’s Mindfulness Curriculum (K-6.)
  • Why do we need it?  As a community we are experiencing increasing rates of poor mental health. Our children are highly susceptible and vulnerable to experience poor mental health. School communities as learning and social communities are suitable placed to teach and practice the skill of mindfulness to enable better health and academic learning.
  • STATISTICS found on the Youth Beyond Blue website indicate: 
  • One in seven young Australians aged 4-17 experience a mental health condition. In addition to seeking expert medical help in the treatment and management of mental health conditions, Mindfulness has been identified as a life – skill to be taught, learned and practiced and has been proven to have many benefits including coping and resilience skills. Mindfulness meditation is a response to the high levels of stress, busyness and mental health concerns we all face. 
  • Q2. What is the mindfulness curriculum (K-6)? 
  • It is a framework and resources to support primary school educators in bringing mindfulness into their class rooms. It can be used as a social and emotional learning program in the class room or adapted to complement exisiting wellbeing programs for K-6. It covers 20 topics including: awareness, attention, the senses, savouring, movement, recognising and managing emotions, gratitude, resilience, growth mindset, curiosity, acts of kindness, positive relationships and positive communication.  
  • Mindfulness curriculum includes; Manuals of educators, Students journals, The Free Smiling Mind App and Parent Resource guide.

Teacher stress / parent stress: Isn’t this just another thing for the teacher to do? 

 Yes… and it could be the most important…

“A cool, calm and controlled teacher enables his or her students to be and do the same. 

A cool, calm and controlled parent, enables his or her kids to do and be the same.” 

Like all skills we have to learn, practice and master, Every day!

Q3. How can we use it in our daily lives? 

  • The Smiling Mind App has many guided mindfulness activities and programmes to follow. These intention is to practice mindfulness in our daily lives and this can be as simple as a three minute breathing exercises to practicing gratitude or acts of kindness.
  • My favourite simple Mindfulness activities include: 
  • 1. Play: when we play we are mindful, look for opportunities to play every day in every way.
  • 2. Body Breath Mindfulness: using our breath as the physical anchor for our thoughts and feelings. Smiling at your mind. I use this with my U10’s rugby team.
  • 3. Dinner table: ‘WWW.’ exercise of “What Went Well”

Q4. Where to go for more information: smiling mind App / website

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