What is Pause
We all want our children to thrive at school – to learn well, pay attention, make friends and develop the skills they’ll need to navigate life and grow to be thriving, happy adults.
But, as we all know, modern childhood comes with increasing pressures on children to perform and achieve, while at the same time new technologies, games, advertising and the pace of modern life all compete for their attention.
Pause, Breathe, Smile programme is New Zealand’s only locally developed and researched eight-week mindfulness in schools course designed in 2013 for Year 2-8 learners. A small number of high-schools began trialing PBS in 2015. It aligns with the New Zealand Education Curriculum and incorporates Te Whare Tapa Whā as a key element of the programme.
The Pause, Breathe, Smile Curriculum
PBS is taught in the classroom for one-hour per week over 8 weeks, either by the classroom teacher or other educator, or by one of our certified facilitators.
Online resources are available for all educators trained to teach Pause, Breathe, Smile, including access to the daily guided mindfulness audio practices online and the activity sheets for students to enhance their learning.
Four evidence-based core mindfulness practices are repeated each week:
- mindful breathing
- mindful eating
- mindful movements
- gratitude practice
In addition, a different topic grounded in the science of positive mental wellbeing and related mindfulness practice is taught each week. These topics are set out in the eight comprehensive lesson of the PBS curriculum, summarised here:
Holistic wellbeing integrated into the programme
Pause, Breathe, Smile fosters the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum and aligns with the health and physical education learning areas, and aspects of the social sciences and science learning areas. Te Whare Tapa Whā, an eloquent model of hauora (holistic wellbeing) is integrated into the programme. Breath and body-based practices are used for exploring the interplay between physical sensations, thoughts, emotions, relationships with others, and interconnectedness with the natural world.
Te Whare Tapa Whā is made up of:
- Taha wairua – spiritual wellbeing
- Taha tinana – physical wellbeing
- Taha hinengaro – mental and emotional wellbeing
- Taha whānau – whanau and social wellbeing
- Whenua – land, roots.
Te Whare Tapa Whā is incorporated in the Health and Physical Education Learning Area of the New Zealand Curriculum.
PBS Evidence Base
Research conducted by AUT University and the University of Auckland has 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
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.