PBS & the
New Zealand

PBS & the
New Zealand

Pause, Breathe, Smile is a unique New Zealand developed and researched eight-week mindfulness in schools course designed in 2013 for Year 2-8 learners.

A small number of high-schools began trialling PBS in 2015. Throughout the course students learn mindfulness practices such as mindful breathing, mindful eating and mindful moving.
Teaching mindfulness to children improves their academic performance, self-esteem, mood and concentration, and helps with behavioural problems. Mindfulness decreases anxiety, depression and stress, and gives children skills that will help them to thrive now and in the future.

Pause, Breathe, Smile aligns with the New Zealand education curriculum (NZC) in the following ways:

  1. Key Competencies: Mindfulness brings an experiential element to learning which foster the key competencies of the NZC as outlined below
  2. Learning Areas: The Health and Physical Education, Social Sciences and Science learning areas are clearly linked with each lesson of Pause, Breathe, Smile
  3. Te Whare Tapa Wha: An eloquent model of hauora (holistic wellbeing) from a Māori perspective is incorporated within Pause, Breathe, Smile.

PBS and the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum

Independent thinking

Mindfulness has been shown to increase creativity and independent thinking, and leads to improved knowledge-retention.

Using language, symbols & texts

Mindfulness helps students learn how to use language to improve their wellbeing and their relationships with others. It promotes self-reflection, helps students to learn new ways of describing experiences and improves emotional literacy.

Relating to others

Mindfulness helps students learn to be less judgmental toward themselves and others, and fosters positive relationships.

Managing self

Mindfulness cultivates self-awareness and self-regulation. This allows students to manage themselves better by choosing their behaviours based on mindful attentiveness rather than reacting impulsively.

Participating & contributing

Mindfulness develops empathy and compassion, making it easier for students to connect with others.

PBS Evidence-Base

Results from three research studies led by the University of Auckland and AUT University have found that participation in Pause, Breathe, Smile:

  • Increases calmness
  • Improves focus and attention
  • Enhances self-awareness
  • Helps develop conflict resolution skills and positive relationships
  • Reduces stress for teachers
  • Leads to statistically significant increases in wellbeing

Post-intervention research highlights some evidence to suggest these effects were maintained three months after programme completion.

Teachers’ observations indicated a general positive response, improvements in social interactions and a genuine sense of calm, suggesting that this programme will help create a positive learning environment and help meet the Education Review Office’s Wellbeing Indicators for Schools.


Accessing PBS in your school

There are two options for how to get Pause, Breathe, Smile in your school:

Option 1 PBS Educator certification: Teaching staff, principals, guidance counsellors, RTLB or any other education or health professional can easily complete our thorough training to teach the PBS curriculum.

Option 2 – External Facilitation: MEG can arrange for one of our certified independent facilitators to come to your school to teach the 8-week curriculum. When delivered in this way the programme is designed to be taught once per week each week for 8 weeks. It is taught to a maximum of 30 students at a time and there are online audio practices for the teacher to play to the class for their continued integration of mindfulness across the week.

PBS and the New Zealand Curriculum
“This programme is a must for those schools looking to embed a culture of self-aware and focused students who can develop self-regulating skills to take mindful learning further into their adult lives. Students and teachers develop an awareness of personal, others, and environmental wellbeing through this powerful practice.”Vivienne Mallabar, Leader of Learning, Ormiston Junior College

Pause Breath Smile and the New Zealand Curriculum
“Mindfulness gives children the opportunity to build awareness and develop focused attention. It’s a skill that boosts thinking processes and builds resilience.”Teacher's observational journal 2014

New Zealand Curriculum and PBS
“To be mindful while learning is to pay attention to the teacher and the subject matter. To be mindful while teaching is to pay attention to the students.”Mindful Learning, Dr Craig Hassed & Dr Richard Chambers