Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) is the most established provider of mindfulness training for schools, delivering world-leading curricula for classroom-based mindfulness. Our materials are based on rigorous research in clinical psychology and neuroscience, written by teachers for teachers, and used successfully in a wide range of educational contexts.
Over the past 10 years we have established our reputation for providing the gold standard of mindfulness training and materials for the classroom. We train teachers thoroughly to deliver our highly respected curricula, and our process ensures that teachers are mindfulness practitioners and experience the benefits themselves before they share their knowledge with pupils. We provide a whole-school approach that supports the well-being of both staff and pupils and can profoundly impact the learning environment for all the individuals (adults and children) within it.
What is mindfulness?
At its most simple, mindfulness is the ability to be aware of experiences as they are happening with an attitude of curiosity and kindness. Training the mind, and recognising its helpful and unhelpful habits, enables us to respond more skilfully to whatever the present moment throws at us. We can notice what we are experiencing, whether we are worrying about what might happen in the future, or ruminating about what has already happened in the past, and create greater space to choose how we will respond right now.
This supports our well-being in many ways but also enables us to notice and really appreciate the ‘good stuff’ that we might otherwise miss.
How can mindfulness support teachers?
The benefits of mindfulness are well researched: specifically, studies published in peer-reviewed journals of mindfulness with school staff show:
- a reduction in stress, burnout and anxiety
- greater resilience in the face of external pressures
- an improved ability to manage thoughts, behaviour and concentration
- an increase in coping skills, motivation, planning and problem solving
- an increase in self-compassion and self-care
- a healthier and more sustainable balance between home and work.
- greater ease and confidence when teaching their own subject
- less reactivity when managing difficult pupils.
Teachers find that our programme provides life-changing benefits, enabling them to better cope with stress and find a better balance in their lives and careers, as well as enabling them to adapt their classroom approach in ways they would not have thought possible just months before, teaching their own subject with greater ease and confidence and managing difficult people or situations more skilfully.
How can mindfulness support children and young people?
Mindfulness can help children to achieve their potential and to flourish. Mindfulness practice can anchor children and help them feel grounded, safe and free to choose how they respond to a situation.
- Well-being and mental health - as well as helping them to recognise worry, manage difficulties and cope with exams, developing a more mindful awareness also helps children and young people to appreciate what is going well and to flourish.
- Concentration and cognition - mindfulness trains us to understand and direct our attention with greater awareness and skill. This may improve the capacity of children to concentrate and be less distracted, as well as their working memory and ability to plan.
- Social and emotional learning - mindfulness is often taught in the context of PSHE. It helps to develop a greater awareness of relationships and how to manage them (including difficult ones at home), as well as offering a richer understanding of things like self-esteem and optimism.
- Behaviour - mindfulness may help the young to self-regulate more effectively, manage impulsivity and reduce conflict and oppositional behaviour. It should not, however, be used as a disciplinary tool.
How do you bring mindfulness to your school?
Schools are confident in our programme because we treat the teaching of mindfulness as seriously as they would any other subject.
Our programme trains teachers in the skill of mindfulness before they begin delivering it in their classrooms. We know that this takes a commitment of time, resource and energy from teachers and schools, but we do not shy away from this because it means that our teachers are practitioners before they share their knowledge with pupils. To make a lasting improvement to children’s lives, mindfulness needs to be taught by trained teachers.
STEP 1 (optional) - find out more about mindfulness
Attend one of our short information webinars to discover the basic principles behind mindfulness, the evidence of its potential benefits, an opportunity to try out some practices and receive guidance on next steps. You can find a webinar here: https://mindfulnessinschools.org/course-schedule/
Additionally, MiSP is working with NAHT to provide well-being workshops to members around the country.
STEP 2 - teachers complete .begin: an eight-week live online mindfulness course
Combining the convenience of a live online course that is completed in the comfort of your own home with the assurance of instructor-led face to face delivery, .begin is delivered via video-conferencing with a balance of teaching, questions, discussion and guided practice, led by a highly experienced MiSP instructor. Each session is approximately 90 minutes long, and courses are offered in the evenings but can be scheduled according to demand.
Usually costing £150 + VAT per person, NAHT members can access a unique discount of 20% when booking a bespoke .begin group course for their school for 15 or more participants reducing the per person fee to £120 + VAT. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a group booking and quote the discount code NAHT20.
STEP 3 - continue your practice
As part of the MiSP Hub community teachers will have access to expert guidance and support as they continue to practice mindfulness as part of everyday life.
We ask that teachers continue their practice for a further two to three months after the eight-week course before starting a Teach Paws b or Teach .b course to learn how to teach mindfulness in the classroom. This is because we believe that teachers of mindfulness need to be able to model what they are teaching, and to understand and relate directly to experiences their students may be having.
STEP 4 - come and train to teach mindfulness to children
Once you have developed a regular mindfulness practice you are ready to train to teach either Paws b (for seven- to 11-year-olds) or .b (for 11- to 18-year-olds). Our Teach Paws b and Teach .b courses consist of real-time lessons, explanations of the pedagogy and time to practise guiding the exercises.
- Courses translated into 16 languages and used worldwide.
- Over 1,000 schools within our network – spanning state and independent sectors.
- Almost 5,000 teachers and educational staff trained.
- Around 400,000 young people have already benefited from our tools and training .
- Part of the largest scale randomised control trial of mindfulness in schools to date: the MYRIAD project (Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence ) funded by £6.5 million from the Wellcome Trust.
- Curricula recognised as part of the General Teaching Council of Scotland Accredited Professional Recognition Programme in Mindfulness in collaboration with Aberdeen University.
- Part of the consultative group working on the Education strand of the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group, which published the Mindful Nation report in 2015.
Find out more
For more information, visit our website at mindfulnessinschools.org.