Message from Karen Friede, Head of Primary – 10 May 2018

Being Mindful … Not Just in May!
Teaching mindfulness in schools is becoming more common and for good reason. While similar to meditation (which is often associated with being still), mindfulness is an active practice that requires us to focus on our ‘mind’s eye’ in order help reduce stress and increase our ability to focus on what really matters, in that moment.
We acknowledge that there are times when our students experience sensory overload, whether digitally or during challenging times such as around NAPLAN testing. Their thoughts and actions are more often than not influenced by their state of mind than by the lessons and activities we ask them to engage with. Mindfulness is also about noticing and observing emotions and thoughts without judgement.
So, what does Mindfulness look like for our Bialik students? It was first introduced several years ago through our association with the Resilience Project; a project that emphasizes Mindfulness, Gratitude and Positivity. These three elements have provided the cornerstone to all our wellbeing foci in the Primary school.
Each class – in their own way, for a few minutes each day – will practice mindfulness; using apps such as Smiling Minds, breathing techniques and exercises, stretching, doodling, brain gym, singing and dancing. Over time we have observed changes in student behavior, in particular, attentiveness. We have learned as teachers that this is not a foolproof idea but it certainly can make things better for our students.
This week our Year 3s had the privilege of working with Amit Carmeli. Amit is the initiator and part of the well-known Israeli band Shotei Hanevua. At the moment, Amit is traveling around the world and conducting relaxation sessions through breathing and voice together with music.

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