North Tyneside secondary school leads the way with mindfulness workshops

MINDFULNESS workshops have been introduced at John Spence Community High School in North Tyneside to educate young people about the importance of social and emotional learning.

The Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) is being delivered to students in year 9, for those aged between thirteen and fourteen, and forms part of the school’s curriculum, supporting its existing PSHE teachings.

The course was sponsored by John Spence’s partner First Class Supply who selected the school to trial the mindfulness programme. The programme is designed to help young people have an easier experience both at school and at home through gentle training in qualities of attention and attitude.

Each session is an hour long and the course runs over an 8 week period. Weekly themes include staying present, distraction, attitude, self-acceptance and appreciation.

Mindfulness training with adolescents has been positively associated with ability to sustain attention, empathy, clarity, resilience, inclusive attitude, academic attainment, stress-management and emotion regulation. It has also been associated with reduced reactivity, impulsivity, hostile behaviour, perceived stress and rumination.

Emma Haslam, founder and mindfulness facilitator of Settled Minds, who is delivering the mindfulness course, said:

  1. “I am thrilled to be delivering the Mindfulness Based Living Course to year 9 students at John Spence Community High School. This is the first course I have delivered to secondary school students and the feedback has been really positive. It is such a wonderful opportunity for young adults and truly represents John Spence’s forward thinking attitude to learning.”

Lesley Robinson, director at First Class Supply said:

“As part of our long-standing partnership with John Spence Community High School, we thought the mindfulness course would be perfect for the school in line with its outstanding commitment to education and care for its students.

“Mindfulness is becoming an increasingly popular practice in helping people with social and emotional learning, and introducing it at an early stage will hopefully help people throughout their lives.”

Holly Ridley, learning mentor at John Spence Community High School added:

“The mindfulness programme has opened the students’ minds up to new possibilities and ways to cope in more difficult situations. It has given them the headspace to think more clearly about their emotions and given them that pause to make the correct and right decisions for themselves, without rushing.

“Emma has been friendly, approachable and given the students plenty of advice, support and tips. We would certainly like this programme to run again in school.”