The Scottish Government’s vision to improve outcomes for children has placed a priority on promoting children’s wellbeing across all child’s services in Scotland. As such, health and wellbeing is a core area within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) (Scottish Government, 2008) and has become a responsibility for all (Scottish Government, 2017). In order for children to be able to fully access the curriculum and learn optimally, it is crucial that there are no social or emotional barriers to their learning (Cremin and Arthur, 2014). However, it is noted that for a myriad of reasons, including that of the socio-economic status or home life of a child, children’s emotional wellbeing can be significantly hindered (Bombèr, 2013).
As a teacher based in a school where the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (Scottish Government, 2016) has a score of decile 2; I am readily aware of the importance of my responsibility to ensure the children in my care are safe, nurtured, included and respected in order for them to be ready to learn (Scottish Government, 2005). Moreover, a priority of my school’s Improvement Plan this year focuses on improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of our pupils; particularly their mental health. For this reason, I feel well placed to undertake an enquiry which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of my pupils. In an article produced by Developing Minds (2019), it was highlighted that teaching children the practice of mindfulness and relaxation strategies can not only improve a child’s ability to unwind and relax; but also have overall positive effects on the classroom/learning environment. Once learned, this is a skill that children can carry into their lives, helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
The aim of this Practitioner Enquiry is to explore what happens when guided meditation is used in the class after break times. The guided meditation sessions will be implemented at times of the day where it has been identified that the children are in need of refocusing their energy; namely after intervals and lunches. In doing so, this enquiry aims to see children feel more relaxed, focused and ready to learn; resulting positively on both their behaviour and learning.