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4. Implementing a Whole School Approach
Physical environment

Embedding the principles of mindfulness into all relevant policies helps provide more formal support for the school’s approach to mindfulness. Mindfulness can be woven into a range of policies that are relevant to the school, including, but not limited to, the examples below:

  • Behaviour management policies;
  • Mental health and/or bullying policies;
  • Code of conduct;
  • Values statements; and
  • Health and physical activity policies.

Mindfulness should be also embedded into relevant whole-school practices such as discussing mindfulness at staff meetings, parent evenings and assemblies. The most practical use of mindfulness throughout the school can be seen in the management of poor student behaviour.


Examples for Physical Environment

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    Classroom calming space

    What is it

    A dedicated space to take time away from class activities.

    How it works

    Create a space in the classroom that young people can utilise if they're in need of a break.

    Instructions

    Set-up a space that is comfortable, calming and has some activities students can take part it to help them calm and re-focus. The space might include different mindfulness props to help young people calm.  This might include cushions, colouring materials or mindfulness props.

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    School Garden

    What is it

    Collective garden space

    How it works

    Space young people can go when needing time away from class or for a dedicated activity during class.

    Instructions

    School can develop a community garden space that young people can interact with if needing time out. The space can be used to teach students about developing and caring for a garden and can be tended to by young people that need to 'cool off' before discussing behaviour issues.

    http://www.natureplaywa.org.au/for-schools

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    Outdoor mindfulness space

    What is it

    Zen garden.

    How it works

    An outdoor space that encourages calm and interaction with nature.

    Instructions

    School can develop a garden space that can be used for discussing issues or working out plans with young people.

    http://www.natureplaywa.org.au/for-schools

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    Space for the School’s Counsellor or Chaplain

    Who's Behind it

    School's Counsellor or Chaplain

    What is it

    Providing a room that is centrally located and welcoming to students enables the school's counsellor or chaplain to utilise mindfulness techniques with students or groups of students

    How it works

    By providing a dedicated, centrally located space to the school's counsellor or chaplain signals the school's commitment to mindfulness and enables the counsellor or chaplain to implement mindfulness with students in a calm and developmentally appropriate space

    Instructions

    Allocate a central, quiet space to the school's counsellor or chaplain and provide funding for resources and activities to be used to encourage mindfulness or meditation practices with individual or small groups of students.

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    Mindfulness reminders

    What is it

    Posters or visual queues to remind students of different mindfulness techniques.

    How it works

    Place different mindfulness posters or visual queues around the school that can be referenced during the day.

    Instructions

    Poster resources:

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    Meditation room

    What is it

    Dedicated room for meditation.

    How it works

    Room set-up to easily administer meditations that includes music, comfortable places to sit and meditation props (chimes, glitter jars, posters).

    Instructions

    Teachers might use this room for a dedicated meditation time before exams or it can be used for young people who need to calm before dealing with behaviour issues.

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    Calm music for working times

    What is it

    In class or music over PA system.

    How it works

    Schools might decide to play relaxing music over the pa system during breaks or while students move between classes.  Teachers also might play music during the lesson to help young people concentrate.

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    Glitter Jar or Calm Down Jar

    What is it

    Mindful Glitter Jar or Sensory Jar 

    These magical glitter jars are the perfect sensory toy for children and grown ups alike. Designed to soothe and relax, the swirling patterns created by glitter, water and food colouring are ideal for calming down a stressed out child (or adult, for that matter) - leading to their alternative name, 'calm down jars'

    How it works

    Calm Down Bottles can serve as a visual “anchor” for upset children to bring their focus into one place or can be used to help young people calm down.

    Instructions
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