St. Nicholas Primary, located in the heart of busy Harpenden, staff and pupils are aware that Mindfulness is a valuable tool that can help us. It is used to help pupils deal with any anxiety, encourage them to be calm as they work and lead them to reflect on their achievements at the end of a busy day of learning. Lucy Mortimer, class teacher and mindfulness coach, first introduced this approach at St Nicholas three years ago and now leads the school’s mindfulness programme. All Children from Reception to Year 6 participate in a Mindfulness session daily where they develop a positive sense of self and their ability to focus.
During the school year, our pupils complete a self-survey – the Child Your Resilience Measure questionnaire – which enables staff to measure the benefit of using Mindfulness and other well-being strategies.
“It helps you to concentrate and stop thinking about what’s happened, what’s going to happen because you are just in the moment. Before SATs, we do our mindfulness exercises, it stops us worrying and help us feel calmer about what’s coming up. I found it really helpful,” said Evie.
“I was very nervous about SATs but the mindfulness helped me to focus and let out all my worries. I feel like I was very calm and relaxed doing my tests because we did mindfulness before”, said William.
“Mindfulness really helped me with my SATs. I did mindfulness before and during my SATs and it helped me to believe in myself. After I have done my SATS, I felt proud that I have achieved so much more than if I didn’t do a mindfulness exercise,” said Rachel.
“I think mindfulness is good because you can using it in a tricky situation like stressing about SATs. We can just sit back and take a few breaths to calm down and to carry on. Then we can concentrate and understand what is happening around us in the world,” said Edward.
This Mindfulness approach has created a calm and focused environment during SATs week as the children had a few weeks of one hour’s worth of participating in various exercises. Scientific research shows the strong link between emotional strength and academic performance. The outstanding results achieved by pupils at St Nicholas school are a testament to the success of this approach. The school has also been ranked 1st in Hertfordshire by The Times Top Primary Schools League Tables 2018.