On Friday January 20th 2017 our MindUp journey began with whole staff training from the Irish MindUP team Breda and Steve. We believe that the pillars of the MindUP programme compliment our school culture in St Audoen’s. MindUP focuses on lessons in a mindful classroom that promote this pro-social behavior, helping children transition from a ‘me-centric’ orientation into a ‘we-centric’ world. MindUP creates a bedrock of positivity for children that can contribute to their growth with greater resilience for a lifetime. We are looking forward to implementing some new mindful strategies over the next few months.
There are four strategic pillars to the MindUp programme:
- Positive Psychology
- Mindful Awareness
- Social & Emotional Learning
MindUP™ teaches children about their brains
We teach children the key parts of the brain and the science behind how the brain influences their thinking, emotions and behavior in the setting of a mindful classroom. Once children and young people begin to make the associations between what they are thinking, how they are feeling and how they are acting, they gain the power to make more mindful choices. To stop and pause, before they react. This self-regulation can lead to better focus in school, better cooperation with others and improved self-awareness and self-control.
MindUP™ teaches children to take Brain Breaks
Every brain needs a break now and then, which is why taking a few brain breaks everyday is part of the core MindUP™ practice. A brain break is a short three minute break where children are asked to quiet their minds in order to prepare their brain to learn. Neuroscience has proven that when the amygdala (the part of our brain responsible for fight, flight or freeze) is on overdrive is it almost impossible for the pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain that is responsible for decision making) to do its job, or for the hippocampus (the part of the brain that holds our memories) to remember what you have learned. This is why we encourage that three minute brain breaks be practiced three times a day — first thing in the morning, immediately after lunch and before leaving school for the day. The science of neuroplasticity states that as little as 15 minutes of mindful practice each week can change the physiology of the brain and facilitate access to calm and relaxed concentration. Think of this as exercising the brain like a muscle, it improves a child’s ability to have plan, work and focus on their school work.
MindUP™ encourages mindful action in the world
Research in positive psychology tells us that when we take positive actions in the world, it will make us think and feel more positive. MindUP™ focuses on lessons in a mindful classroom that promote this pro-social behavior, helping children transition from a “me-centric” orientation into a “we-centric” world. MindUP™ encourages children to explore their world with a sharpened sense of seeing, smelling, tasting and movement. We encourage random act of kindness for others, exploring a different perspective to gain deeper insight, expressing gratitude for what we are thankful for or actively choosing optimism when faced with adversity, MindUP™ creates a bedrock of positivity for children that can contribute to their growth with greater resilience for a lifetime.
See more at www.mindup.org