Mindfulness lessons at Duns Primary

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Duns Primary is the first school in the Borders to sign up for a Mindfulness initiative.

On their return for the new school year last week support and teaching staff have been undertaking training to provide the foundations of mindfulness to help them reduce stress, improved well-being and to foster stronger supportive relationships with their pupils.

Duns Primary is now embarking on an eight week Mindfulness Programme of daily mindful breathing practice as well as lessons that nurture crucial life skills like attention, awareness, self-regulation and resilience.

Louise Smith, who leads the Initiative, said mindfulness helps people develop healthy habits of mind as well as a nurturing a kind and compassionate culture in schools.

“Our Do-BeMindful Initiative was specifically developed based on our belief that there is a gap in the field of mental health and wellbeing education,” said Louise.

“First, for children we’ve created our eight week Do-BeMindful Explorers Programme – a series of fun, practical Mindfulness lessons. Children do a pre and post assessment so that we can measure the impact on their emotional wellbeing. Secondly for staff we’ve developed the Do-BeMindful Foundation Programme.

Mrs Stewart, head teacher of Duns Primary said: “We hope to engage as many parents and families as possible so a Parents Mindfulness Programme will be available in the next few months for free.

“What is quite unique about the Do-BeMindful Initiative is that it aims to improve the mental health of everyone - parents, staff and children.

“There is a huge focus on closing the attainment gap in Scotland, addressing this gap is our passion and has driven our commitment to creating what we believe is a unique approach to improving the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

“Children need to be happy and ready to learn and this programme lays the crucial foundations.”