Students boost wellbeing through meditation

Students at St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School Randwick North start every Thursday morning with a prayer, then begin a Tai Chi session guided by their Year 6 leaders.

It’s just one element of a whole-school commitment to mindfulness through awareness – in particular, awareness of God working in their lives.

“Any meditation is also really a form of prayer because you become very aware of your body, of what’s going on in your mind and what’s happening in your heart,” said the school’s Family Educator Susanne North.

“Connecting with our inner self is a way of really listening to what God is saying to us – we need to achieve a sense of calm and stillness to really listen.”

I learn more on these days, because I’m so much calmer

– Sophia Feletto

Ms North’s role as Family Educator is to encourage children and their parents to engage with their faith and support their wellbeing, and she guides students through a number of meditation activities throughout the week.

Tai Chi works for even the most energetic children as it allows them to be on their feet and moving while remaining mindful, but students also do visualisation and breathing meditations.

Students said they’ve found the techniques they’ve learned so helpful they’ve started to use them before tests and big sporting events.

“When you meditate, you just feel really peaceful and not as restless,” said Year 6 student Sophia Feletto.

“I learn more on these days, because I’m so much calmer. I’m not concentrating on other things, just what I’m learning.”

Ms North said the practice is of particular help to students who are anxious or feel overwhelmed at school. Meditation invites their mind to stop racing and notice “God moments”, small details they can be grateful for throughout the day.

“The more aware and mindful we become, the more we pick up all those beautiful things that surround us.”

“We need to have all our senses open to see the sunlight on the green leaves, the water dropping down. Those very, very mundane things create a lot of joy, and the more simple things we discover the more joyful we become.”

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