.b | Mindfulness for Teens
.b stands for ''Stop, Breathe and Be''.
Introducing the life skill of mindfulness to 11-18 year olds in a series of 9 engaging and practical classroom lessons.
Please contact me to learn more and discuss how the .b course can fit into your organisation.
.b introduces mindfulness to pupils aged 11-18 and is delivered in the classroom as a series of 9 practical, fun and engaging lessons. The course develops:
- Skills for greater happiness and well-being.
- Strategies for relaxing and finding peace and calm.
- Healthy coping strategies for stress, anxiety and every day worries.
- Better focus - supporting learning, behaviour, performance and decision making.
- Improved relationships with peers, teachers and family.
- Understanding of one’s own mind and what makes for a happy, healthy person.
Each lesson brings to life a different theme of mindfulness; students learn simple mindfulness practices and techniques that they can begin to use straight away in their everyday lives. By training our attention to be in the present moment we develop the ability to calm the mind, improve focus, manage stress and to step back from negative thoughts. The benefits to the individual and to the classroom can be striking.
I am a certified .b Teacher, experienced in delivering the programme in the classroom and I have been practicing mindfulness myself for 5 years. I am truly passionate about equipping young people with the skills they need to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Explore the resources below, created by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), to learn more about the course and visit mindfulnessinschools.org to discover more about the brilliant work they are doing.
What is Mindfulness?
What is .b? (brief)
What is .b? (full)
Why teach Mindfulness in schools?
Watch this captivating TED talk as Richard Burnett, founder of .b, guides us through a short mindfulness meditation, shares his experience of teaching mindfulness in schools, and reveals some of the amazing benefits being mindful can bring to the classroom.
What's the evidence?
''We very rarely teach young people to best use the lens through which all of their experience, both at school and at home, is being filtered - and that is the faculty of their attention. A lot of research is telling us that our mental health and happiness are profoundly shaped by what we do with our attention.”
Richard Burnett, Co-Founder of the Mindfulness in Schools Project
Overview of Sessions
The 9 lessons teach a different theme each week, building on our understanding of the mind while practicing and developing our skills. Students learn simple & effective mindfulness exercises they can begin using straight away. A short home practice is given after each session to encourage students to bring the benefits of mindful awareness into their everyday lives.
Introductory session: Introducing the concepts of mindfulness and training the brain, and how these are relevant to student's lives.
Session 1: Directing our attention is the core skill of mindfulness. We practice focusing on the breath and the body as a way of directing our mind toward calm, and returning our attention when it wanders.
Session 2: By cultivating an attitude of acceptance and kindness towards our thoughts and feelings we develop a more harmonious relationship with them. Our practice focuses on 'being with' all experiences, pleasant or unpleasant.
Session 3: Dealing with worry and recognising negative thoughts as they arise enables us to shift our mode of mind from one of rumination and anxiety to a more relaxed state of quiet.
Session 4: Being here, now, in the present moment is the key to living our life fully. We practice shifting out of auto-pilot mode and being awake to our experience - with this fuller awareness we are able to respond consciously to life rather than react to it out of habit.
Session 5: Moving Mindfully - we learn how to bring mindful awareness to all our daily activities (walking, working, interacting with others). Our ability to be focused and present influences influences every aspect of our lives, including our performance in our work, in sport, art, music and exams.
Session 6: 'Don't believe everything you think' - we practice the skill of stepping back from the thought traffic of our mind and 'watching' thoughts from a distance. From this position we can recognise our tendency to get caught up in thoughts and make conscious choices as to our response.
Session 7: Understanding the nature of stress and the effect it has on our mind and body. We utilise all the skills we have learned throughout the course to respond better to stressful situations - learning to breathe with difficult experiences and turn towards them.
Session 8: Bringing it all together - on completing our learning journey we review the practices learned each week and reflect on what mindfulness can offer our broader lives in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in a typical .b lesson?
Each lesson is presented with vibrant, engaging materials and focuses on teaching a particular theme of mindfulness. We practice simple, guided mindfulness exercises so that pupils learn new skills they can use easily at home and in their own lives. Sessions are carefully structured to allow feed back to the teacher on their practical experiences of mindfulness.
The course is accompanied by a bright and engaging Student Booklet containing worksheets for pupils to complete during or after each lesson.
After each lesson pupils are encouraged to have a go at a mindfulness exercise at home or in their own time before the next lesson. The Home Practice isn’t compulsory; it is left to the pupils to choose if and when they practice. Many do and speak enthusiastically about their experience during the week.
Is .b just for students with attention problems, emotional or behavioural challenges?
No, the course is intended for all young people in the classroom to benefit from mindfulness. Though it is aimed at the class as a whole, you may have particular students in mind who could benefit from specific aspects of learning mindfulness. For example, if attention and distraction is a problem then it may be particularly beneficial to those children by equipping them with strategies for focusing their attention and handling distraction.
Timetabling - how does .b fit into the school timetable?
.b is an ideal fit for PSHE/PSE in the timetable. Additional after-school clubs or lunchtime sessions may be a consideration. For students to get the most out of our sessions we would ideally have 45-60 mins but session length is flexible to suit the duration of periods in the timetable.
Are there other ways to bring mindfulness into school life?
You may choose to set up an extra-curricular programme for students who have completed .b to enable them to continue their mindfulness practice. Drop-in sessions at lunchtime or after-school provide an informal way for students to maintain their practice and offer them a peaceful space in which to pause, breathe and be still.
Is this course only for schools?
No, in fact .b is just as successful and relevant to groups and organisations outside of schools and colleges:
Services for young people
Pupil referral units (PRU), young offender groups, youth engagement programmes, community programmes, youth clubs, young leadership programmes etc.
Sport and music groups for young people
Team sport clubs (football, netball, rugby, swimming, dancing) and musical performance groups.
Charities supporting young people with challenging lives at home or school, supporting young carers, young people who are ill and their siblings.
Parent support groups, youth club groups, scouts and girl guides, church groups etc.
Contact me if you would like to discuss how mindfulness and the .b programme could help young people in your organisation or group.
Do you offer introductory sessions, assemblies or one-off presentations?
Yes, you may like to arrange an introductory talk for students, staff and/or parents. Please contact me if you are interested in this. I also provide a Mindfulness for Parents Workshop (see below).
Can parents take part in the course?
There is often a lot of interest from parents who are enthusiastic about their child learning mindfulness and many choose to begin learning for themselves. Pupils get the most out of .b through learning independently within their normal classroom environment but I do encourage families to embrace mindfulness at home. If there is interest from parents at your school or college, I can provide a Mindfulness for Parents Workshop to help parents discover what we are doing in class and show them simple practices that can be used at home for a calmer, more mindful and harmonious family life!
Do you work one-to-one with young people?
Yes. I provide personal One-to-One Mindfulness Coaching for young people either in-person or online via Skype. See this page for more information.
Do you teach mindfulness to school staff?
I am trained to deliver the 8-week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course to adults.
Teachers and school staff live and work with increasing levels of stress as part of their everyday life so it is natural that they too will benefit enormously from the clarity and calm that mindfulness brings. The well-being of staff is crucial to the school as a whole and of course it impacts directly on the classroom. If you are interested in bringing mindfulness to staff at school or college, please see details of my MBSR course for Teachers and contact me for further information.
Please contact me to learn more and discuss how the .b course can fit into your organisation.