Life

First for Belfast school as pupils complete six-week mindfulness programme

St Bernard's Primary School P6 and P7 'paws b' pupils with principal Kieran McTaggart and mindfulness teacher Anne Costello

ST BERNARD'S Primary School in south Belfast has become one of the first primary schools in the Belfast area to run an-after school 'Mindfulness Club' for pupils. The 'paws b' (pause and just be) programme is a mindfulness curriculum aimed at children aged seven to 11.

Thirty five pupils from years P6 and P7 attended the club and feedback has been positive from both children and parents, says mindfulness coach Anne Costello.

"It is great to see young children engage in mindfulness practices at an early age and learn how to manage their stress and anxiety in a more skilful way," Anne said.

The six-week programme is an awareness-raising exercise designed to give children "a taste of mindfulness". The intention is that they will enjoy the experience, and some may continue to use it daily while others may return to it in later life, Anne says.

Schools that engage in mindfulness are likely to see beneficial results in emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and even physical health of their students, she adds.

School principal Kieran McTaggart says he was delighted with the success of paws b.

"Research clearly supports the importance of mindfulness in helping young children feel happier and more resilient. We look forward to Anne delivering more mindfulness courses in 2019," he said.

:: For more information see wellness-for-life.co.uk

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