Page 13 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 13

staff & pupils
key to successful discipline is understanding the motivation/ intention behind the ‘offence’ and clarity about the desired outcome of the sanction to be issued.
Children respond better to a punishment that makes sense – having a correlation to the ‘offence’, giving it more meaning or purpose, helps this. For example, a session
of re ection where a child considers the impact of their disruptive behaviour on a lesson, other pupils and the teacher may have more long term impact than a detention doing comprehension. It’s not a question of more ‘soft options’ for punishments, it is about justi cation of that punishment and having a clear explanation of purpose.
It is true that some disciplinary practices in schools may be outdated and could do with a revisit. This may involve rewrites
of the behaviour codes in school too but as with any change of policy or procedure successful transition from old to new requires planning. You need to look at the impact of changes, the objections and possible repercussions, communication to staff, pupils and parents and a con rmation of understanding.
Channel negativity
into positivity
To improve wellbeing in school
we need to channel negativity
into positivity and that means leading by example – positive, solution focused teaching and thinking will support growth mindset. Changing thought patterns can be done but it takes time so consistency, repetition and commitment are required. We need to be educating children about the brain, understanding how thoughts are formed. In my experience this is a game changer. Suddenly it is not about them, it is a biological process.
I believe there is a huge bene t
in teaching and encouraging goal setting, for individuals and groups too because the process of setting goals allows pupils to choose what they want to achieve, and by knowing what they are aiming
for they know what to concentrate on. Goal setting assists vision and motivation. Having clearly de ned measurable goals allows pupils
to take pride in accomplishing them and to measure change and progress.
Importantly, identifying and committing to a goal promotes a positive mindset that in turn, fuels determination and motivation - ownership and success generates empowerment, boosts con dence, self-esteem and resilience, with these intact, positivity and wellbeing  ourish.
Development of wellbeing is ongoing
Edge Grove has long been committed to the wellbeing of both pupils and staff. We believe an essential element of teaching wellbeing is modelling and is
an intrinsic part of success. Our approaches to wellbeing are very much ongoing and developing but include:
• Independent listeners available for con dential conversations with children
• Peer mentoring programme encouraging connection, friendship and support across year groups
• Quali ed Personal Performance Coach providing one to one coaching
• Regular interactive parent workshops addressing topical issues, parenting, child development
• Mindfulness taught on curriculum
• Mindfulness for staff as part of CPD
• Yoga for children
• Themed coffee morning
discussion groups for parents
• Life skills programme for pupils • Growth mindset approach to
learning and life
• Wellbeing focused staff CPD programme
Creating mindful schools
The Hawn Foundation, the charity founded by Goldie Hawn, actress, author and children’s advocate, is just one organisation calling for pupils’ wellbeing to be viewed as important as academic achievement.
MindUPTM, the Hawn Foundation’s signature programme, has been quietly changing the world of education from the grass roots up for over a decade. It has transformed thousands of young lives and impacted positively on teachers in the UK since 2012. It has become embedded in teaching and learning in over 50 schools across the country. Globally MindUPTM is now serving in excess of one million children.
Said Julia Organ, The Hawn Foundation’s Director of Education and Training “With the increase in the number of teachers and young people suffering from mental ill health, we need to create mindful schools where wellbeing and resilience is at the heart of teaching and learning.”
There is growing research that supports the idea that mindful awareness training at a young age can have positive and long-lasting effects that will extend far into adulthood.
MindUPTM is a pioneering evidence based programme that is grounded in neuroscience and positive psychology. Children learn about their brain and the relationship
between thoughts, feelings and actions. Through daily focused breathing known as “Brain Breaks” and mindful awareness practices, children as young as four years of age are better able to self-regulate their emotions and improve their focus for learning.
Children who have been taught MindUPTM, listen more attentively and are more focused in lessons and their planning, problem solving and reasoning skills are enhanced. Participating schools also record lower levels of absenteeism, class disruptions and bullying.
Over 50 schools across the UK have been trained in the programme, including Clifton College, Bristol, and globally it is now also serving in excess of one million children across the US, Canada, Ireland, Finland, Serbia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Jordan, Australia and New Zealand.
MindUPTM is an programme, which consists of 15 lessons tailored to a child’s age and development level. Students learn about the science
of their brain and the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions so that they can self- regulate their emotions and better manage their behaviour. The core breathing practice, the ‘Brain Break’, practiced three times a day, teaches children how to quiet the mind and builds focused attention to support effective learning.
Headmaster Jon Milne at Clifton College, answers essential questions about his use of MindUP:
Why did you sign up to MindUP and how has it been integrated? – “Mindup is a very accessible framework for staff and pupils to access and it can be modi ed for individual school needs and settings. Whereas other frameworks are very resource and training heavy, Mindup was easy to implement and incredibly child centred and age appropriate”
Are there any staff or  nancial implications? – “We have had to employ a mindfulness practitioner to complement what we are doing in mindup lessons to reinforce the messages and lead best practice. The costs, however, are minimal as it only requires the minimum text/workbooks to make it effective in the classroom. Mindup provides the initial training”
What are the results to date? – “The results are overwhelmingly positive and the children are self-regulating far more effectively now, particularly around periods of stress, such as exams. The message received by parents has been that the school values their child’s wellbeing and that has also been a positive development”
Independent Schools Magazine 13

   11   12   13   14   15