Summer School 2019
This summer, the Free Spirit Project would like to give your child the opportunity to immerse themselves in the practice of Mindfulness before the school year begins.
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in education in recent years. Schools all over the world are bringing Mindfulness into the curriculum as they begin to recognise the need for children to develop their understanding of their inner world. Unfortunately, the education system prioritises academic progress so much that other vital skills such as emotional understanding can often be put at the bottom of the to-do list.
This means that whilst children are learning more and more about the world outside them, how to live well in this world is something which is not being discussed. This has had a negative impact on the lives of children up until this point and it is likely that the mental health issues which we see in society now can be traced partly to the lack of practices such as Mindfulness within education.
The enormous increase in the use of technology in the modern world is bringing with it many questions about how children can learn to have a healthy relationship with their devices and their virtual lives. The wonders of modern civilisation allow our children to have almost anything they want at their fingertips, and this raises questions about greed, self-control and service to others. These are just two examples of unprecedented difficulties which anybody growing up today must face and come to terms with.
At the Free Spirit Project, we believe that happiness is fundamental and should be at the forefront of education. We also recognise that for people to live happy and fulfilled lives, it is essential that they understand themselves and the way in which they relate to others and the world around them. This is where the practice of Mindfulness becomes so important.
As children learn to be mindful, they begin to understand what their minds are doing. This is often a new experience for them as its value is underestimated in schools and in society at large. When children begin to see what their minds are doing, they become able to choose, from moment to moment, how to live in a way that reflects their true values. Discussions within the Mindfulness group allow children to see that we are all the same in so many ways, and that our minds tend to operate in the same way but with differences according to how he have grown up. These discussions give them a fresh and direct understanding of the deep similarities we all share, and this helps them to develop empathy and real compassion. Listening to others in the group with a trained facilitator allows the children to learn from the learning journeys of other children as if they were their own.
Much of the work in Mindfulness groups also concerns the emotions and the relationship between our emotions and our habits of thinking. Again, this is something which is tragically undervalued within modern education. As children explore this with others in a group, they begin to learn how to navigate through stressful and pressured situations with presence and attention. They begin to see how many of the problems they face on a day to basis are just the same as the problems faced by others in the group, and we learn together how our attitudes can transform difficulties and challenges into opportunities for learning and growth. This helps children to develop maturity and independence in an organic way.
We often see that children take on significant changes in attitude as a result of being introduced to Mindfulness, and the aim is for this Summer Camp to introduce your children to a practice which will have significant effects on the rest of their lives. Learning and practising Mindfulness is a never-ending journey, and it can help your children to be happy, healthy and fulfilled in their lives.
We will run two groups, 7-9 year olds and 10-12 year olds. Groups will be kept small to ensure individual attention (max 7 per group).
If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Summer School, please contact us to discuss it further or book to come to our information session on Wednesday 19th June.
Facilitator - Dominic Watts
Dominic is a Mentoring Consultant for Gabbitas Education and a Mindfulness Teacher for The Free Spirit Project. He has been studying Mindfulness and personal transformation since the age of 15, when he was at school under the guidance of Chris Cullen, who started the Mindfulness in Schools Project. He always sought to apply Mindfulness in the classroom in his previous work as a teacher and has taught workshops and courses of Mindfulness in schools to children (ranging from 4-18), teachers and parents for 5 years. In the UK, Dominic also worked for the British Tennis Association as a Sports Psychologist, creating a Mindfulness-based program for a player in Britain’s top 5.
Dominic’s work focuses on helping others to flourish in their lives by seeking to understand themselves and their way of being in the world. He uses simple, enjoyable and direct inquiry to teach Mindfulness to people of all ages. He has a relaxed but dynamic teaching style which allows difficult topics to be explored in a lighthearted and open way, which allows people of all ages and backgrounds to feel comfortable in his groups.
· Bachelor of Science (Psychology & Philosophy)
· Postgraduate Certificate in Education