ICS G5 students have started their "Who We Are" unit of inquiry, which focuses on the central idea that "Changes people experience at different stages of their lives affect their evolving sense of self." A part of their inquiry deals with "how self-awareness can help us deal with situations of change and challenge".
To reinforce this line of inquiry, the G5s are currently taking part in a series of 6 Mindfulness sessions, one per week, offered by our Primary School Counsellor, who is a trained Mindfulness teacher. Some of the questions the G5s were asked to think about in today's session were: How is training a puppy like training our brain, or why do we use our breath to help us be mindful?
The 6 Mindfulness sessions will help students gain an understanding of how different parts of the brain work together and how specific areas of the brain affect their ability to focus or make good choices. Provided with simple tools for training their attention with repetition and by being firm, kind and patient, the G5s will learn to "be in the present moment."
In addition, when students' minds or bodies are busy or out of balance, Mindfulness practises will help them find a steady place to ground themselves when they "wobble". They will also learn how to respond rather than react and how to take responsibility for nurturing themselves and others, making room for and choosing happiness in their lives.
Mindfulness involves students practicing to experience the present moment with greater curiosity and kindness. It helps them to not only appreciate what is going well for them, but to respond more skilfully to life's inevitable challenges.
So, why do we use our breath to help us be mindful? The answer is because it's with us wherever we go, like a good friend.