Teaching Meditation to Welsh Senior School Pupils

Pupils seem to sense that meditation will help


Meditation in Schools
Over the last six years I have been teaching meditation to welsh senior school pupils, these pupils mainly display behavioural issues and some have other difficulties such as autism and anxiety. This is now being rolled out into mainstream classes to enable all students to learn life skills to manage themselves.
The results from the sessions have been heart-warming and the teachers have expressed surprise at how the pupils have taken to the concept. It is no mean feat to introduce sitting in silence to a form group of thirty plus pupils whilst sitting in a class room with noise from the corridors. However, they do it and love it. One young boy came up to me after his first session recently and said “ that was incredible”.
It is like the young people know deep down what they need and they pay attention and focus on the meditation. I just love it when people tell me that they have Attention Deficit Disorder so they probably will not be able to do this and they are the ones who have to be woken up at the end of the session because they got so relaxed that they fell asleep (I speak in plural because this has happened frequently). The sad thing here is that those kids have already limited themselves because they have been given a label, the good thing is just one session of meditation shows them that maybe they can change and that they can be ok. And that shows hope, and the power of hope can move mountains. They sense this and participate with even greater intent and their self esteem might just be a little better with this sense of empowerment.
What do I offer in these sessions? We explore what it is like to sit together in silence , they hear about how their brain works and how they can use their minds to help themselves. They explore breathwork and mindfulness exercises and then the final part of the session is relaxation through creative visualisation. With each exercise, I share with them why we are doing it and how it affects their brain and thus their bodies. I help to support schools to create a program to integrate the sessions by the teachers into the daily school routine for continuity and for it all to be self-sustaining.
The results have been astounding, young people are ready for this, they show this by their keenness to participate and their desire to do more. What is more, is that their self-reflection and life skills develop over time and these will be integrated into adulthood. Results will not only be positive for an individual but will help foster respectful and positive learning environments not only for pupils but teachers too and the wider society.

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About the Author

Nikki Catto
I have been a practicing therapist for twelve years specialising with women’s issues and young people. I believe everyone is unique and I tailor therapy to my clients individual needs using a range of techniques and skills.
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