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3. Enhancing School Capacity
Training

Background Reading for a Whole School Approach

Training should be offered to the Project Team and the whole-school staff (teaching and non-teaching staff) before the program commences and at regular intervals throughout the whole-school approach to mindfulness.

Initial training is required for the school’s Project Team to ensure each member has the sufficient knowledge, skills and attitudes to lead a whole-school approach to mindfulness.  This training should be a significant investment in time and therefore vary in accordance with the Team’s understanding of mindfulness and a whole-school approach.  MMA recommends Project Team’s initially participate in a Self-Assessment and Planning workshop which will provide an initial introduction to mindfulness and what the key elements of a whole-school approach comprise, as well as assessing their school’s current activities in relation to mindfulness and the capacity to implement it. Following this, a full day Project Team training session is recommended whereby MMA can provide the Project Team with the necessary skills, attitudes and knowledge to plan, implement and evaluate a whole-school approach to mindfulness.

Training for the whole staff relating to mindfulness helps address the school’s ability to implement a whole-school approach.  First, quality training provides staff with the evidence for how and why mindfulness in schools is helpful for the whole-school community.  Training can also support the development of favourable attitudes towards mindfulness and provide staff with the skills necessary to implement mindfulness in their classroom.  Therefore, quality training should provide staff with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to implement a whole-school approach.  Simply providing staff with knowledge, attitudes, or skills alone is not sufficient.  Staff also need to understand the evidence behind the approach, have the chance to develop favourable attitudes to mindfulness and be given the time to practice mindfulness for themselves and in the classroom.  When favourable knowledge, attitudes and skills are developed, staff are more likely to be willing to implement the school’s approach to mindfulness.

Training should be offered to all staff, (teaching and non-teaching) if the approach is to be truly whole-school.  Furthermore, initial training is required to introduce the school’s staff to mindfulness and to allow sufficient time to develop the required knowledge, attitudes and skills to implement the whole-school approach.  The time needed to achieve this will vary by school, however MMA recommends a full day (or three, two-hour workshops) be allocated at the beginning of the school’s approach.  Regular top-up face to face and online training sessions should also be offered.  Finally, training should be offered to all new staff to the school to ensure all staff have the same knowledge, attitudes and skills required to implement the school’s whole-school approach to mindfulness.


Strategies for Action

MMA recommends schools participate in a Self-Assessment and Planning workshop (run by the Project Team) which will provide an initial introduction to mindfulness and help schools map the training and implementation strategies unique to them.

‘Top-up’ Training 

Teaching and non-teaching staff receive regular ‘top-up’ training to support the implementation of mindfulness in their classroom

School Champion

Teaching and non-teaching staff have support from an appropriately trained person within the school to support their implementation of mindfulness in the classroom

Outside Support

Teaching and non-teaching staff have access to an appropriately trained person outside of the school to support their implementation of mindfulness in the classroom

New Staff Training 

New staff receive informal training from the school’s Project Team to enable them to maintain the school’s approach to mindfulness

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