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Bringing mindfulness into the classroom

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental health conditions can start when a child is as young 14 years old. Most of these cases go undetected and, as a result, untreated. Students cannot cope with the pressure of school and often develop serious mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorder. In order to promote positive mental health habits, Riverside College based in Burgundy Estate, Cape Town, has implemented mindfulness into their classrooms.

“Childhood and adolescence are important formative stages which lay the groundwork for well-being and mental health,” says Principal of Riverside College, Dave Swart. “Mindfulness is the process of maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings and surrounding environment. It is the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing.”

By implementing mindfulness in the classroom, the school aims to teach both staff and learners a way to work through everyday stressors and experiences. The practice involves paying attention to certain stimuli and disregarding others, helping students focus on the task at hand and preventing them from feeling overwhelmed.

“Healthy stress is a natural part of life, but this is often confused with toxic stress,” says Swart. “Toxic stress occurs when a child is unable to cope with the increasing demands being forced on them. This can have a serious effect on a learner’s ability to function in the classroom.”

Well-conducted mindfulness practice can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health of young people. It has the potential to reduce stress, anxiety, reactivity and bad behaviour, while improving sleep and self-esteem. Bringing an overall sense of calm in the classroom with clear benefits for both learners and teachers.

The Northern suburbs based private school wants to impart more than just a generic knowledge of Maths and Science to its students. Instead, they focus on providing a holistic approach to education, allowing each learner to grow into a well-balanced, mentally sound and good-natured individual. For more info about the school, visit www.riversidecollege.co.za, like their Facebook page (@RiversideCollege) or follow them on Instagram (@riversidecollege_cpt).

ENDS

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Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:

Kyra Frank

kyra@be-cause.co.za

021 447 1082 / 073 1199200

On behalf of Riverside College

Founder and Director: Elana Edwards

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