Introducing The Mindfulness Curriculum
Dr Addie Wootten, CEO Smiling Mind
Today we’re excited to tell everyone about a new initiative we have been working quietly on for the last 12 months. We can’t keep it behind closed doors anymore, it’s time to tell everyone about it. It’s a project central to the heart of why Smiling Mind exists – to help every mind thrive.
Today we launch our new Mindfulness Curriculum for the primary school years.
We know this new resource is needed now, more than ever, but we also know this resource will be widely accepted now, more so than any other period of time, because we all know our education system needs to embrace new ideas and approaches that will help support young minds to be ready for the future world we are creating.
The way we live, learn and work is changing, and the way we equip our future generations with the skills they need to thrive need to evolve alongside these changes.
Smiling Mind has always focussed on providing accessible resources to support healthy minds and the Smiling Mind app has captured the hearts and minds of millions of Australians and many others across the world. But we want to do more – we want to be part of the future of education. We want to make sure every young person in Australia, and the world, grow up with the skills they need to get the most out of their life, to manage life’s challenges and to feel mentally healthy and happy. There’s no point excelling at numeracy and literacy if other important skills (important life skills) are lacking, or if students are not feeling mentally healthy.
The new Smiling Mind Mindfulness Curriculum provides the structure and framework needed to be able to do this.
Underpinned by an extensive literature review and consultation with a range of mindfulness and education experts the Mindfulness Curriculum brings all this information to educators in an accessible, beautifully designed and practical set of resources designed to be loved by educators, school leaders, students and parents alike.
We know that the skills developed through mindfulness can support a future generation of mentally healthy, resilient and engaged young people. This is more important than ever before because we know that more and more young people are facing serious mental health challenges and many young people are disengaging from school at vital developmental stages of their life – the impacts of which could live with them for the rest of their lives.
We all know the profound impact that our school years have on us – and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that these years are shaped in a positive way, with relevant skills that young people can take with them through the rest of their life.
It’s clear that we’re not the only ones thinking this way. The release of the Gonski 2.0 report highlights the importance of prioritising teaching the general capabilities, including personal and social capabilities and critical and creative thinking, and it also highlights the importance of developing a growth mindset throughout the school years. We agree – and that’s why we have mapped our new Mindfulness Curriculum to these general capabilities.
Mindfulness teaches us how to develop a growth mindset – how to look at the world with an open mind, with curiosity and without judgement, and how to think creatively when confronted with all of life’s challenges. For us, this is, in essence, a core component of resilience – resilience isn’t a trait we are born with, it’s a characteristic developed as we develop and explore the world – and mindfulness provides a framework from which to develop this.
The Mindfulness Curriculum covers 20 important topics including awareness, growth mindset and resilience, and has been designed to provide a comprehensive curriculum for the whole school year. We have developed teaching manuals, student journals and parent resources for each year from year 1 to year 6 with developmentally appropriate progression across each year to support consistent growth and development.
We hope these new resources provide educators, school leaders, parents and students with everything they need to create a mindful school community and, as always, the Smiling Mind app plays a vital role in extending the learning from school to home so that mindfulness activities are accessible to everyone, anytime, from anywhere.
We hope you’re as excited as we are about our new Mindfulness Curriculum – and we hope this new suite of resources will support a future generation with the skills they need to thrive.
Find out more about The Mindfulness Curriculum here.