Contemplative practices in the Reception classroom: the perceptions of seven pupils on a series of PSHE inputs.

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Foster, Sarah 

Improved psychological wellbeing has been reported for adults and older children (aged eight to eighteen years) undertaking various programmes of ‘mindfulness’ and ‘contemplative practice’ (e.g. Irving, Dobkin & Park, 2009). This research explores younger children’s views on a series of short breathing exercises that were adapted from Snel, (2014) on Mindfulness- based Cognitive Therapy. Mixed methods - drawings and semi-structured post-input interviews - were used in order to assess the impact of the breathing exercises on a group of (7) children aged between four and five years. Placing perception centre-stage highlighted a range of positive results on these individuals’ affective states. Recurrent themes included: relaxation, happiness, focus and (increased) memory and self-awareness. These findings tentatively support the integration of contemplative practices into early years Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE) programmes, in order to pre-emptively address childhood anxieties that might otherwise negatively impact learning (Grills-Taquechel, Fletcher, Vaughn & Stuebing, 2012).

PGCE Seconday, Education, Classroom, Modern Foreign Languages, Year 9, Spanish, CLIL
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Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research
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Faculty of Education
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