An article in Time Magazine talked about the benefits of mindfulness on children. It highlighted a study done by the team of Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, a developmental psychologist at the University of British Columbia. The study’s findings show that children who practiced mindfulness in a four-month period performed better academically, showed more positive social behaviours, were less aggressive, more optimistic, and less stressed than those who did not practice it.

In fact, the children who were mindful scored 15 percent higher in Maths than the others. We know mindfulness can decrease stress, anxiety and aggression, but it can also positively affect academic learning! It makes sense as mindfulness trains the child to silence distractions, be calm and concentrate, thereby heightening their capacity for learning.

Another interesting discovery was that the teachers who participated in the study also experienced a calming effect. Mindfulness is indeed a remarkable skill for children to learn and develop in order to facilitate them in negotiating their way through this journey we call life!
In this seminar on “Mindfulness in Schools – Secrets for a Happy Brain !”

  • We will explore and discuss the benefits for the whole school community in introducing/ practising mindfulness in schools
  • We will analyse the concept of mindfulness
  • Sample lessons/visualisations/guided meditations and guidance on how to deal with a variety of difficult emotions and feelings will be examined
  • Quotes from children about their experiences will be viewed
  • We will also go through procedures implemented prior to working with the pupils, staff and Principal
  • It will also be “time out” for you as an extremely busy Principal to mind yourself for a while and experience the effects mindfulness, through visualisations/ relaxations may have on your own body and mind!( Please bring a cushion to rest your head on for your own comfort, in order to fully benefit from the experience )


Facilitator: Máire Rodgers Coyle

Tá mé mo chónaí i Rann na Feirsde i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill ó bhí mé cúig bliana go leith d’aois indiaidh a theacht ‘na bhaile as Albain le mo theaghlach. D’freastáil mé ar scoilteacha gaeltachta go dteachaigh mé ‘na coláiste go Carysfort in 1978, áit ar casadh daoine domh atá in gcairde agam go dtí ‘n lá inniu ann. Bhain mé céim B.Ed amach in 1981 agus thug mé m’aghaidh ar chuid shléibhte Thír Chonaill arís!

Teaching Career
I spent the whole of my teaching career in the same school - Scoil an Aingil Choimheádaí, An Céideadh - and had been a Teaching Principal in a multi-class situation (4 classes) for sixteen years prior to my retirement in 2015. Even though it was challenging at times, I loved it. It was a privilege for me to be involved in a process which inspired, supported and empowered pupils and staff to be the best of themselves, and to value themselves and others. The emotional well-being and happiness of the school community was at the core of everything in our school running side by side with the academic learning. I also taught in Samhradh at Coláiste Bhríde Rann na Feirsde from 1981 to 1999.

In between times life happened! This quote from Barbara de Angelis sums it all up,
“The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place.”

After a number of years of studying and practising Mindfulness myself, I now enjoy doing Mindfulness in Schools since I took early retirement in 2015. So interesting to witness the positive effects of mindfulness on the children and the transformation in the way they learn to manage their feelings and emotions. School staff and principals also participate along with parents for a whole-school approach. In addition to that I also do seminars on Mindfulness at the IPPN Blended Summer Course for Principals. I’m continuously doing CPD courses in Mindfulness.

Leadership Development
I have been a member of IPPN since 1999. I served on The National Council for a number of years prior to my retirement. I am currently a member of the IPPN Professional Guidance Panel. I attend IPPN AGMs and help in the setting up and supporting of Support Groups around the county. I have been involved in Group Mentoring and, with the Centre for School Leadership, I have been Mentor and Cara to Mentors since September 2017. I am also an Anti-Bullying Tutor as part of an initiative between Trinity College, the HSE and Donegal Education Centre.

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