When schools start to re open their doors to more pupils it is inevitable that the greatest challenge will not be centred around academic progress. Sure, catching children up on their Maths work, reading levels etc are important but the largest obstacle to overcome will be centred around how children are able to manage in this new normal. How will they feel being back in 'the outside'. How will they cope with socialising, communicating, focusing in a structured environment. What about coping with bereavement, or being friends with children who have suffered. How will children be able to continue to develop and operate in a 'new normal.'
Getting children to start their journey to be more mindful whilst at school has huge benefits not only for children but also teachers and ultimately the school.
For children, January is often only associated with one thing …...going back to school. In September there is excitement to return to school and see your friends. After Spring the sun is out and there is a ‘feel good’ factor around. But not in January. Its dark, its gloomy and it's back to school.
You may recall we set off on a mission to increase the active levels of children across the borough in Hackney. Well before the end of term, we went to visit one of the schools who can't get enough of Fitter Future.
In September 2019 we will be launching our brand new mindfulness programme. Working alongside our current active classroom-based workouts, our mindfulness programme will offer children the tools to help them in everyday life. In situations they may be feeling emotions they are finding difficult to deal with too.
Fitter Future invited the Corby and East Northamptonshire MP, Tom Pursglove to a local school to see the positive impact physical activity is having on children's health and wellbeing. Mr Pursglove urges that schools should learn from the success at Priors Hall Learning Community and embrace the use of technology that can inspire people to be active from an early age.
What exactly is mindfulness, and why is it relevant for children? Mindfulness enables you to concentrate on the moment, in body, mind, and environment. Through its beginnings in Buddhism, it has developed to help to increase self-awareness, to be in control of your thoughts and negative feelings, to feel calmer, and to be kinder and more at peace with yourself. There are lots of ways of achieving this, and it has numerous benefits for any age group. Getting young minds into the habit of thinking this way will help them to deal with stressful situations, both now and later, and will enable them to make judgements and decisions with confidence. It will aid their concentration and encourage calmness, too - but how do you teach mindfulness to children?
There are many studies, articles and research papers surrounding why it is important for children to use mindfulness as a way to boost their mental health. Taking the time to concentrate on matters arguably more important than how to play a recorder or when I comes before E. Yoga and Pilates have become two of the most popular pastimes for adults – they are fantastic ways to be mindful. However, we are only now beginning to talk about ways in which children can look after their emotional wellbeing in the same way. The fact that that is changing can only be a good thing.
Fitter Future invited the MP for Hemel Hempstead, Sir Mike Penning to Galley Hill Primary School to show how regular bursts of vigorous physical activity in the classroom has made a positive impact on pupils. Sir Mike was keen to see how the teachers use the resource alongside their learning and hear what improvements they have noticed in children as a result of classroom-based physical activity.
Fitter Future Live
- For children, mixing core and bodyweight exercises improves: Balance Posture Gross & fine skills They also engage our brain allowing us to focus more and problem solve smarter. Try out our fitness floor challenge and see how many circuits you can complete in 5 minutes. #EduPE https://t.co/eMdIXBQaYl
- Welcome @MarineAcademy @ThornGroveHerts @avpschool to the Fitter Future family! Three very different schools in different parts of the country all committed to improving the mental and physical wellbeing of their children. Can't wait to start working with you #PEedu #wellbeing https://t.co/PShH9GjKKr