As a holistic education provider, our strategy and programmes include therapeutic techniques that are built into our daily schedules and programming. We firmly believe in the effectiveness of practicing mindfulness and relaxation in the great outdoors. Our site is the perfect setting for students to practice mindfulness during their educational experience.
Nature and Emotional Wellbeing
We feel that mindfulness is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn vital coping strategies which will enable them to focus on the ‘present moment’, as and when they require. This is why we conclude every school day with a mindfulness lesson embedded into our curriculum as standard, irrespective of year group or ability.
Education and wellbeing come hand in hand. We do not believe that students should be taught in academic subjects without the focus being equally put on educating them about how to manage day to day challenges within society. We strive to provide our students with a ‘Mental Health Toolkit’ when they are with us, which we hope they will take into early adulthood and beyond.
We operate an ‘assisted activities’ approach to mindfulness, with each lesson or suggestion linking back to Wildlife, Animal, Equine, Nature, Eco, Drama, Muisc and Art. Our approach enables students to self-express in a safe and secure environment, surrounded by grounding resources. We operate our mindfulness lesson in the last period of every days' scheduling, in the hope that the skills learned can be taken out of our setting and back home with the students families or carers.
Examples of Mindfulness Activities
♦ Create a Cairn
Cairns are man-made towers of natural stones, usually built as a landmark or a memorial. Making them is a great activity for students. All they need to do is gather a range of rocks and pebbles in different sizes, and then stack them in order, with the largest at the bottom and the smallest at the top. Can they make changes to the structure of their cairn, such as using a foundation of lots of smaller stones, and see if it still stands? This improves gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and concentration as they experiment with finding the stones’ balancing points to see how tall they can make their cairn.
♦ Blindfolded Fruit Tasting
For this sensory game, students use touch and taste to (literally) savour the moment. With the sense of sight temporarily switched off by a blindfold, the other senses are heightened, focusing the player’s attention even more in the moment. For those that have never done a mindful eating exercise, they will really enjoy feeling and tasting each piece of fruit with deliberate attention. It is pleasantly surprising to recognise textures and flavors of each fruit that aren’t usually noticed.
♦ Breathing Beads:
With some yarn and beads, students can make their own unique breathing beads. After students make their own creation, practice some mindfulness by taking a deep breath for every bead.
A Site Designed For Emotional Wellbeing
Poets Corner Centre is based within a 6.5 acre site in Welling, Kent, consisting of a woodland, stream, food growing farm, gardens, therapy garden, bushcraft areas, outdoor hammocks hanging from trees, equine (horse & pony) facilities and animal enclosures providing a magnitude of holistic opportunity!
Each zone on the site is designed for purpose, with a whole host of fantastic therapeutic areas and features for the students to relax in to gather their thoughts.