Mindfulness Programs in Schools

The seed schools and affiliated schools of the Jockey Club “Peace and Awareness” Mindfulness Culture in Schools Initiative (JC PandA) will integrate mindfulness courses in their Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum. Currently in Hong Kong, the SEL usually adopts a thematic approach, with themes such as social skills, self-understanding, and discipline. The inclusion of mindfulness courses will complement these themes.

Mindfulness Courses for Students

The Paws b and .b courses are two mindfulness programs developed by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), a charitable organisation in the United Kingdom. While the former is a twelve-session course designed for children (7 – 11 years old), the latter is a ten-session course designed for adolescents (11 – 18 years old). Prior to the commencement of the JC PandA, the teaching materials of both courses have been translated into Chinese with caution about the local cultural context.

These two mindfulness courses are selected because: they are secular mindfulness courses for children and adolescents which can be readily incorporated into the SEL curriculum of Hong Kong schools; the training pathway for becoming Paws b and .b teachers is clear and systematic. Before teachers can teach these courses to students, they have to complete an eight-week mindfulness course, engage in daily practice, and receive adequate teacher training.

The JC PandA runs the Paws b and .b courses developed by MiSP. They are both skillfully designed by classroom teachers to engage students. They are taught with striking visuals, film clips, and activities that bring mindfulness to life without losing the integrity of classic mindfulness teaching.

The mindfulness courses for students aim to offer students mindfulness as a lifeskill. Students can:

  • feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled;
  • get on better with others;
  • concentrate and learn better;
  • cope with stress and anxiety;
  • enhance performance such as in music and sports.

In the mindfulness courses, students will learn the distinct mindfulness skills through various activities, discussion and in-session practices. The courses cover the following topics:

  • how to pay attention;
  • how to cope with stress and anxiety;
  • how to integrate mindfulness into daily life;
  • how to savour the goodness in life, etc.

Mindfulness Courses for Adults

To support teachers and school professional helpers in learning mindfulness and to prepare them to teach mindfulness to students, the JC PandA offers .b Foundations courses recurrently in each of the three academic years from 2019 to 2022. The .b Foundations is an eight-week school-based adult mindfulness course for school staff and parents. The .b Foundations courses will not only open to the teachers and staff in the seed schools and affiliated schools, but also to any teachers and school professional helpers in the neighbourhood of the seed schools.

The JC PandA recurrently runs the .b Foundations course developed by MiSP. The .b Foundations is an eight-week mindfulness course for teachers, helping professionals in schools, and parents who wish to learn the foundational concepts and practices of mindfulness.

It aims to enable adults in school setting to:

  • feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled;
  • get on better with others, including students and colleagues;
  • work more effectively by bringing increased awareness to the process;
  • enhance resilience in the face of stress and difficulties.

This course is for adults to experience mindfulness and develop their own practice, rather than a training for teaching mindfulness to others. For those who have completed this course, they could go on to take further courses if they feel inspired to teach mindfulness to students.

Last but not the least, the JC PandA aspires to go beyond the introduction and implementation of mindfulness courses to students and adults in schools. We hope to help schools develop mindfulness culture that benefits all the stakeholders within the school community.