Mindful Moments in Class Time
- “Sitting comfortably but upright with your feet on the floor, let’s just take a moment to be still and present.
- Close your eyes or lower your gaze, whatever is most comfortable for you.
- Leaving behind any thoughts or feelings about your previous lesson/break time/the last hour and just arriving into this space, here and now. Being in your own bubble.
- Noticing the sensations of your feet on the floor, your body firmly on the chair. Allowing any thoughts to just pass by, not getting carried away with them. If your mind wanders bring your attention to your breathing and concentrate on the pace and depth of your breath. Following the breath in and the breath out.
- Being fully aware of the here and now.
- Remaining in your own bubble… Now, gently opening your eyes and coming back into the room.”
The Oxford Dictionary defines wellbeing as ‘The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’ and the ultimate goal of the Academy is to educate people in how to achieve this state. At the UCL Academy we provide education and care for the whole person; mind, body, heart and spirit. In order to support the development of healthy and capable young people we have held wellbeing at the fore whilst developing our curricula. Wellbeing is woven into the schemes of learning of individual subjects as well being delivered explicitly through a range of different channels.
Students are offered a detailed wellbeing program which includes sessions on a wide variety of issues such as managing emotions and behaviours, planning for the future and nurturing a healthy lifestyle. Wellbeing is delivered through the house time pastoral system and during one-to-one or small group sessions.
Mindfulness, in particular, is a focal point within the Academy. Students are taught about Mindfulness, the benefits of this practice and the ways in which it can be used. Mindfulness sessions are offered during Pastoral time and Self Directed Learning for students who wish to develop a more regular practice. In lessons students are often encouraged to take a ‘mindful moment’, allowing them to spend some time in the present, being more aware of their surroundings and their thought patterns. Mindfulness is delivered by trained practitioners and is encouraged by all staff with the purpose of fostering a ‘Mindful School’ where emotional wellbeing and mental health is sustained. Alongside this Mindfulness encourages greater opportunities of academic success with mindful students being able to negotiate exams, organisation and stress more effectively.
Drop in sessions with Pastoral staff are available for students who may need extra support with a particular issue or may indeed require more regular meetings. These are held in the quiet contemplation room which has been designed to provide students with a physical space where self-care is encouraged. This room is used for a variety of provisions but its sole purpose is to provide students, and indeed staff with an area that is peaceful, a retreat from a very busy day. The provisions offered at the Academy are entirely secular and the chosen religion or beliefs of each individual are wholly supported by our wellbeing system.