Mindfulness on the agenda for University of Wales Trinity Saint David & Carmarthenshire County Council

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Carmarthenshire County Council have recently been working with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) to bring mindfulness teacher training to the county for the first time.

The Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) gives teachers the tools and training to be able to embed mindfulness in their school. The course trains staff to teach students how to be mindful in everyday life, as well as during meditation sessions. MiSP is known internationally for its gold standard mindfulness curriculum; .b for 11-18 year olds and the equivalent Paws b programme for younger learners aged 7-11.

As part of a ground-breaking project which aims to have a mindfulness teacher in each of the 115 schools in Carmarthenshire over the next few years, over 110 teachers, school staff, FE staff and education officers have been trained last year in the adult mindfulness curriculum, ‘.b Foundations’. Following that course, 20 participants came together at the Griffith Jones Centre, St Clears last month to learn the secondary school curriculum ‘Teach .b’. The session included staff from secondary schools, special schools and Coleg Sir Gâr as well as Council education employees. They will now be in a position to deliver the course within their workplaces over the coming weeks and months.

UWTSD Lecturer in Mindfulness, Heather Fish, has delivered the adult training course as well as coordinating arrangements for the teacher training session in St Clears, Carmarthenshire. Heather said:

“It is a privilege to be a part of this initiative and to bring the teacher training directly into this area thus saving on time and cost. Most importantly, this creates a sustainable model whereby those involved have the relevant training to now deliver this curriculum in-house, and ensures the greatest integrity in mindfulness teaching.”

Bethan James, Head of Corporate Parenting and Child Welfare, Carmarthenshire County Council, said:

“We are embracing mindfulness as a proactive approach that will not only support the well-being of pupils but also our school staff. All staff that have participated to date have found the mindfulness programme helpful. It is exciting to work in collaboration with UWTSD on this important project and we are looking forward to monitoring its impact.”

Chivonne Preston, CEO of MiSP said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be part of this project bringing mindfulness to more schools in Carmarthenshire. The benefits of mindfulness are well researched and we hope that other county councils can follow Carmarthenshire’s lead and establish similar programmes for schools across the UK. We know from experience that embedding mindfulness in schools can have a hugely positive impact, on teachers, on the children and on the whole school community.”

There is a growing body of peer-reviewed evidence that indicates that mindfulness training is effective in improving pupils’ and teachers’ psychological wellbeing and health. UWTSD is looking forward to further developing this collaboration, with plans to bring the primary curriculum teacher training, paws b, to Carmarthenshire next term.