Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Early Childhood
As part of our funding arrangements with the Department of Education and the associated accreditation processes, we are required to have a Quality Improvement Plan. This is to ensure that we are engaged in processes that ensure continuous improvement against the benchmark of the National Quality Standard.
As a staff team we are engaged in a regular process of self-assessment and every staff meeting includes a reflection and analysis of the progress we are making towards our goals. We believe that we already offer a high quality learning environment BUT we are never complacent about that. The minute you drop the ball, so to speak, it is very easy for sloppy practice to creep in and become the norm. As a staff team we are committed to that not occurring and constantly strive to make our practice better.
In 2018 our focus is on emotional wellbeing for children in particular but also a broader goal around supporting the mental health of everyone in our environment. Mindful behaviour is one of the strategies we are engaging with to achieve this goal.
So, I hear you ask, what does this mean? What is mindfulness? And how does this relate to wellbeing?
According to Kids Matter “mindfulness is a whole body-mind state of awareness that involves “tuning in” to the present moment, with openness and curiosity, instead of “tuning out “from experience. Mindfulness is a state of being fully awake to life – being aware and undistracted in the present moment. It is about focussing the attention on the present, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future – which is our brain’s default mode. Mindfulness is a clinically proven tool to support wellbeing and mental health by reducing stress and allowing life to be experienced more fully. What a sensational outcome that would be.
I could write more and talk about the benefits to children, adults, parents and about our learning environment but instead I am going to challenge you to engage in conversations with our Teachers so that together we can make our community one that fosters wellbeing for everyone and generally raises the issues of children’s mental health.
I look forward to a conversation with you in the very near future.
Yours in Education,