To develop mindfulness culture that is sustainable in Hong Kong school systems, the project has identified 9 seed schools with diverse traditions and religious affiliations in different districts of Hong Kong. The 9 schools include 3 primary schools, 3 secondary schools, and 3 social development schools for students with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
In the three-year period, the Jockey Club “Peace and Awareness” Mindfulness Culture in Schools Initiative (JC PandA) will work closely with the 9 seed schools and support them to develop mindfulness culture. The seed schools will be the pioneers in their districts, and will render assistance to 27 affiliated schools and a growing number of network schools which also have the aspiration to develop mindfulness culture. The 9 seed schools will serve as the hubs to connect with the affiliated schools and network schools, building an extensive mindfulness educators’ community in Hong Kong. This arrangement facilitates the continuous spreading of mindfulness school culture.
The project taps into the resources of the existing infrastructure of Hong Kong school systems and adopts a “train-the-trainers” approach to ensure sustainability. Through the provision of mindfulness training to school teachers, the project will empower them to integrate mindfulness into their social emotional learning curricula. The project also trains school professional helpers, which include educational psychologists, social workers, and student guidance personnel, to be mindfulness trainers. These trained school professional helpers will be qualified to offer mindfulness courses to students, teachers, and parents in the schools they serve, extending the impact beyond the completion of the project.
Apart from promoting mindfulness culture in schools, the project also aspires to bring mindfulness to the general public to enhance mental wellness of the community. Highlight activities include 1) Mindfulness Day for Teachers, 2) Mindfulness Day for Parents, 3) Mindful Monday, 4) Mindful Evening and 5) Residential Mindfulness Retreat. While some of the activities are designed exclusively for educators and parents, many are open to the public. Moreover, a mobile phone application will be developed to improve the accessibility of mindfulness practice to the general public. Towards the end of the project in 2022, a guidebook on building mindfulness culture in schools will be published.