My name is Krishan Gobey, I am a year 6 teacher at Phoenix Primary School.
I had the absolute pleasure of being introduced to Julie from New Beginnings at the beginning of 2018.
At Phoenix Primary School we have a number of pupils suffering with acute anxiety and many pupils who did not have the requisite skills needed to concentrate for an extended period of time, to the extent that it often prevents them from performing to their true potential. This was a concern to me as a teacher, but also to the SLT (senior leadership team) as the children were going to sit their SATS test at the end of the term and the concern was that they would not demonstrate their talents as they found it difficult to concentrate for extended periods, with the correct level of focus.
Julie came into class and delivered 3 mindfulness and well-being sessions with the class, providing them with strategies and tips for successful meditation which she explained would have an impact in improving their concentration and focus. The children were engrossed and found themselves becoming aware of their own body and the signs that their bodies gave out to indicate they were not able to perform to their true abilities. Acknowledging these and the impact this may have on their focus and concentration was a major breakthrough and allowed the class to work to their full potential.
I believed after these sessions, that the children had learnt skills which would improve their quality of live, and hoped that they would take these with them to secondary school. Especially as they would face more challenging situations, which would require them to continue to develop their understanding of themselves, and strategies that would ensure these emotions did not control them. It proved to be an important part of the transition work, and when former pupils have visited the school, they constantly inform me, that they are still meditating and it helps them keep focused in class.
Now as educators we understand that the children’s mental well-being is of paramount importance, but also we had hoped that these sessions would impact on the class’ performance in their SATS tests.
We saw a rise in scaled score across all subjects and a rise in the number of children who achieved the age related standard in all three subject areas. It is the belief of the headteacher and myself that the impact of our mindfulness and meditation sessions helped pupil performance during a stressful time.