Since registering on the Eco-Schools programme in 2017, things have changed at Cradle Hill Community Primary School: items are recycled, vegetables and flowers grown, litter is picked, energy monitored and links made with schools from around the world.
Cradle Hill’s work on the Eco-Schools Healthy Living topic has been especially impressive – they are a school where pupil and staff well-being is a priority. Behaviour in Cradle Hill is addressed using a Thrive and Zones of Regulation approach, supporting young people’s social and emotional development with pupils being encouraged to use exercise to regulate their zones. Part of their regulation is running a mile every single day. Focus on mental health extends to staff, with the school forming a Well-Being Committee, who are currently developing ways of promoting mental health awareness. Outdoor learning is also a priority at the school. Annually, they host an Outdoor Learning Week with every lesson being held in their wildlife area or on the school’s expansive lawn – the school even completed a Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In June 2019, Cradle Hill piloted our Eco-Schools Mindfulness Minutes campaign, over the course of a week accumulating an amazing 22,500 minutes of mindfulness practice. They tackled the campaign in three zones focusing on mind, the body and the world. Centering on the mind, each day the whole school meditated for 10 minutes concentrating on their breathing, allowing their thoughts to pass them by and taking time to recognise what ‘zone’ they were in (low, silly, happy, angry, normal). Tackling physical development, they completed daily exercise and walked barefoot on the school grounds thinking about the different textures they could feel. Finally, they helped our planet through litter picking, planting and simply taking time out of their day to appreciate nature. All these activities helped Cradle Hill pupils and staff calm their bodies and minds leading to a much more productive learning environment. Following on from the pilot project, many of these activities have been incorporated into their regular daily routine, massively benefiting the school.
“Our class, Orcas, meditated for 10 minutes every day after lunch. We all loved meditating; the meditation made us feel so calm and relaxed. What also made us feel calm and relaxed was doing the mile run barefoot. It was great feeling the different textures of the grass on our feet. We also did a mindfulness test. We took the test on Monday and repeated it on Friday. Amazingly, nearly everyone improved their scores… I hope it will be part of the curriculum to have 10 minutes of mindfulness every day.” Emily