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Implementing a Whole School Approach

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Once the school has considered and addressed its capacity to implement a whole-school approach to mindfulness, strategies should be implemented across the whole-school to promote mindfulness to students, staff and the broader community. These practice elements are based on the widely-used Health Promoting Schools Model which advocates for the promotion of the health issue across the whole-school.

Background Information

The MMA’s whole-school approach to mindfulness embraces the Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Model7, 8 (Practice) and advocates for an initial assessment of the school’s capacity for action (Preparation).  A school’s capacity (‘Preparation’ phase) relevant to mindfulness is represented in the outer grey layer of the MMA’s Whole-School approach and is discussed in more detail in Step 3.

The ‘Practice’ phase is represented in the model below by the six domains of the Health Promoting Schools model, including Teaching and Learning; Physical environment; School-home-community links; Health services; Policy and practice; and School ethos.

The Health Promoting Schools Model was endorsed by the World Health Organisation7 and is used globally to guide best-practice approaches to promoting health in a school setting.  It conceptualises a school as a community and utilises the most relevant health behaviour change theories which suggest health is best promoted by supporting the individual to make informed choices and creating a supportive environment around the individual that is conducive to these positive health behaviours.

As the literature relating to mindfulness in schools is still in its infancy, most published studies describe classroom-based approaches.  While these have shown promise in improving mindfulness among children and young people, several recent review articles have begun to recommend research explores a whole-school approach to mindfulness to achieve even greater improvements in the whole school community’s mindfulness5.

 

To learn more select a recommendation from the six domains of the Health Promoting School Framework: Teaching and Learning, School Ethos, Physical Environment, Policy and Practice, School-Home-Community Links and School Health Services

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