For Teachers or Parents Visiting Our Website.

Mindfulness in Education

Mindfulness in Education is a developing movement in the UK with a focus on taking mindfulness programmes into secondary schools, where the approach has been shown to help in managing exam stress. The Dharma Primary School already has years of experience in integrating mindfulness, as part of its primary education, and crucially, for very young children. Scientific research shows that mindfulness practice may be of particular benefit to children during their primary school years when the brain’s limbic system (that controls emotion and behaviour) is still developing. Core life skills, emotional literacy and personality traits formed during this crucial period help determine how we will function as adults.
In our school setting, all staff members have a commitment to the practice of mindfulness. It is essential that we are examples of what we teach.  We also attract families with a similar ethos and desire for this approach, and this development of a like-minded community has supportive benefits for the children.
Some secondary school teachers who have taught our former pupils have noted their confidence and focus as they developed into young adults. Mindfulness practice  can help buffer children against our culture of instant gratification and teaches patience, resourcefulness and self-awareness. Children are then equipped to be successful, not just academically but as rounded human beings, more able to reach their potential and lead fulfilling lives.
Further information about current research and the science of mindfulness can be found in our Links & Resources section.

Mindfulness for Children

Sessions of one to two minutes, as silent or guided meditations, several times a week are effective for young children, and connecting mindfulness with regular daily activities such as eating, working and playing is a useful way to develop patience, compassion and self-awareness. In meditation children become aware of their thoughts and how rapidly their mind moves from one thought to another. In this way children begin to understand the power of thought and feeling and have an opportunity to observe and learn how they respond to situations and people around them.
In daily meditation the older children are given a range of opportunities to reflect on and discuss experiences that have affected their inner world.  Such meditations may involve situations in which they did not get what they wanted, or were given what they did not want, and experiences of separation from special people or pets.  Children reflect on the experience and talk about it afterwards often expressing some relief or understanding.  This requires receptive and non-judgemental listening by the teacher and is frequently experienced as positive and meaningful by children, teachers and observers.
This is a positive approach to living rather than a quick fix for problems. To be effective, it needs to be integrated into children’s education as an ethos, a daily practice that is encouraged over the long-term just like healthy eating and exercise.

Mindful Children

- Are better able to focus and concentrate
- Experience increased calm
- Experience decreased stress & anxiety
- Experience improved impulse control
- Have increased self-awareness
- Find skillful ways to respond to difficult emotions
- Are empathetic and understanding of others
- Have natural conflict resolution skills.

How to use Mindfulness and this website in a secular school or home environment

Although the themes of this website are all grounded in Buddhism, they are introduced to the children in a way that is non-religious, and so could be used to introduce children of any background to mindfulness. In fact, most of the children at our school wouldn't classify themselves as Buddhist and many schools are beginning to integrate these themes into their school environments, including religious ones of other persuasions.

Useful Texts

Planting Seeds - Practicing Mindfulness With Children - Thich Nhat Hanh.

Written for both parents and educators, each chapter of Planting Seeds begins with an overview of a topic, including mindful breathing, meditation, compassion, nature, suffering, healing, age, and death. After the overview, each chapter includes stories, sample activities, and guided meditations that adults can use to explore these themes with children. Many chapters include personal stories from educators and parents that work at Plum Village, or that attended retreats there and then strove to integrate what they learned in their work. They describe their personal experiences - including challenges - introducing children to these activities, in both home and school environments.


  1. Mrs. Filer - I recently wrote a paper on the use of meditation and mindfulness in education. Very interesting.

  2. Ms. Nespeca - I am a mindfulness practitioner for a few years. Unfortunately our school district and many others in U.S. have decided only to consider adopting mindfulness programs if they are as secularized as possible. Separation of church and state. That means little to no mention of the Buddha as a messenger of truth. So as an educator constrained by the rules here, I can't post or promote this blog to students or parents. As a practioner, I'm so happy you're doing the work you are!