Mindset Matters What is the programme? Mindset Matters is an education programme that focuses on children in Primary Schools. These sessions provide a safe space for children to gain an understanding of their emotions, practise mindfulness strategies for behavioural responses and build confidence in taking part in physical activity. Mindset Matters builds positive experiences, a growth mindset through building long-term resilience, problem solving amongst their peers and learning grounding and mindfulness techniques to manage their emotions through everyday life. Mindset Matters runs once a week for 6 weeks in Primary Schools. Sessions run for 1 hour (20 minutes classroom/40 minutes physical activity) and is open to both KS1 and KS2 children. The weeks are designed to have a distinct learning objective; Healthy Eating, Healthy Mind, Protecting Ourselves Online, Social Media Awareness, Physical Activity and Playground Games. The need for the programme in schools? Healthy Eating Mindset Matters increases children’s understanding and awareness in health and nutrition and arms young people with the nutrition and exercise knowledge they need to eat the right number of healthy foods and move the right amount. According to government figures over a fifth of 4–5-year-olds, one third of children aged 10-11 and two thirds of adults are currently overweight or obese. Obesity tends to track into adulthood, so obese children are more likely to be become obese adults. We want to make young people aware of this as soon as possible and set them up for success. Healthy Mind A study of 10,000 people in England by the mental health charity Mind, reported most people are worried about seeing and being near others once lockdown restrictions are fully relaxed. The study revealed 55 per cent of adults and young people had this concern, with 46 per cent of those who have already been vaccinated saying they are still worried they will catch coronavirus. A total of 1 in 4 adults and more than 1 in 6 young people experienced mental distress for the first time during the pandemic, according to Mind’s research. The latest NHS figures also show the number of people in contact with mental health services is the highest since the first lockdown (1.27million) and the number of urgent referrals to crisis care has increased by a fifth (19 per cent) since the beginning of the year. Although the data has reported differential findings on the effect of coronavirus and children aged 5-12 years old, the negative impact on their mental health because of the previous lockdowns, impact on their families and friends, changes to their schooling and everyday activities, early intervention is needed to help their mental wellbeing in the present day and future. Mindset Matters teaches children breathing and mindfulness techniques to help lower their stress levels, reduce harmful ruminating, and protect against depression and anxiety by focusing on the present moment. These mindfulness techniques have also been made available for children and teachers via pre-recorded videos which can be included within school timetable such as assemblies and break times. Online Protection & Social Media Awareness Children are spending more and more time online and are accessing the internet from an early age. Children engaging online can find beneficial opportunities such as learning, stimulating their imagination, and developing their social networks (Unicef, 2020). Serious risks, however, are present online such as cyberbullying and other forms of peer-to-peer violence which can affect children each time they log in to social media or instant messaging platforms. In addition, when browsing the internet, children may be exposed to hate speech and violent content – including messages that incite self-harm and even suicide. Lastly, the excessive screen time it often results in – can compromise a child’s healthy development. Mindset Matters aims to raise awareness to children the risks that the online world can impose and teach and provide children with strategies and family-friendly resources to ensure they are browsing or learning safe online. Physical Activity The NHS (2019) guidelines for physical activity suggests that children aged 5-12 years old should complete 60-minutes of moderate exercise a day. Although the guidelines suggest this, children can be unsure how this looks in a practical sense and may be unaware that increasing their daily physical activity can have a positive impact on their daily mood and wellbeing. Mindset Matters teaches children how to breakdown the proposed barrier of physical activity, teaches them to identify what a typical day may look like and suggests and teaches games that children can be replicated within their home and school environments. Playground Games The final week of the programme aims to equip children with a handout of games which they can replicate with their peers during their breaks in timetable or at home. With a supportive resource provided by BRF, this week allows children to experience different types of games, teaches them how these can be set up and gives children opportunities to ‘become leaders’ organising and setting game rules to their peers in a constructive nature. The BRF ‘playbook’ resource provides an accessible resource to both teachers and children to use daily and puts in place the principle of “play with a purpose” which can help develop physical abilities such as fine and gross motor skills. Project Outcomes Equip young people with grounding and mindfulness techniques to understand and manage their emotions Develop confidence and resilience through fun and engaging physical activity Provide young people with problem solving strategies to resolve conflict amongst their peers Provide family-friendly resources to raise awareness on issues such as online protection, healthy eating, and daily physical activity recommendations Provide continual support for teachers via pre-recorded mindfulness content for school timetable and an online learning portal Provide young people with leadership opportunities to set up and play their own games through use of the Playground Playbook How can your school get involved? Mindset Matters is now included in the Bath Rugby School’s Partnership under the “Engage” school’s package. For more information, please contact our School Delivery Officer, Alex Randall at [email protected] Funders Heart Research UK & Subway Healthy Heart Grant funded Mindset Matters for 12 schools in the 21/22 season. Mindset Matters is now included in the Bath Rugby School’s Partnership under the “Engage” school’s package.