Tanshall kids open up their minds to a new way of learning

P7 pupils having just completed a specially tailored mindfulness and respect project. Picture by George McLuskie
P7 pupils having just completed a specially tailored mindfulness and respect project. Picture by George McLuskie
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Youngsters at Tanshall Primary School are among the first pupils in Scotland to have gained a unique new qualification.

For the group of classmates have just completed an eight-week ‘mindfulness’ course which has given the children the ability to cope with a multitude of different situations.

ur world is becoming more complex everyday with rapid change impacting on all our lives

Christine Carson

Entitled the .b programme, it helps to increase the children’s well-being and learning, has already been endorsed by Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and was conducted by teacher Christine Carson, who is currently also studying for a masters degree in the subject at Aberdeen University.

“Our world is becoming more complex everyday with rapid change impacting on all our lives, the question is are our young people psychologically prepared not just to survive but, to thrive in such a fast changing world,” said Christine.

“The ‘.b programme’, which the pupils have recently completed, has been developed as a programme for the pupils to explore for themselves how the mind operates.”

Through Christine’s experiential teaching the children learned skills that allowed them approach situations through training their minds.

“The course seeks to do two things; to equip young people with a tool kit to help understand and manage attention, anxiety and worry and to bring a greater sense of calm and balance through curiosity and creativity in order to savour life rather than being overwhelmed by it,” said Christine.

And while the Tanshall pupils are among the first in Scotland to benefit from the course, the concept of mindfulness is already used by the NHS as an alternative to medication in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

There is even a group of MPs in Westminster who meet daily having been trained in the art of mindfulness.

“They are skills that they can take on with them into later life long after they have left Tanshall,” said Christine.