School takes part in national well-being project
A Barking and Dagenham school is taking part in a nationwide research project to find out how schools help students manage their emotional health.
The MYRIAD Project is collecting data from thousands of pupils across the UK and Riverside Secondary School has been selected to teach mindfulness classes to four groups of pupils.
Emotional health and well-being is taught in many schools across the country, with the belief that it can affect the way children learn, behave and develop into adulthood.
“School can be a very testing time for young people, so it is important that we manage their stresses in the correct way and help them through.”
The MYRAID project will compare the existing social emotional learning that is already being taught in schools against a programme of study that is based on mindfulness techniques, with the overall aim to help young people deal with life’s ups and downs.
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement said: “School can be a very testing time for young people, so it is important that we manage their stresses in the correct way and help them through.”
“It is great to see that the Riverside Secondary School is exploring this project and putting the emotional development and mindset of their pupils at the forefront.”
Since the project was launched in the school, five teachers have become qualified mindfulness teachers as a result of the MYRIAD training.
Andy Roberts, Headteacher of Riverside Secondary School said: “In today’s society, many more young people are struggling mentally, for example with anxiety, depression or hyperactivity, than ever before. This can present a barrier to young people’s educational success, resulting in an even higher likelihood of lifelong mental health issues.
“At Riverside, we engage students in a range of preventative strategies to offer them the tools to manage their own mental health. Mindfulness training for students, as part of Oxford University’s research project, is a key aspect of this work. The aim is for our students to be happy, healthy and successful lifelong learners. This becomes especially important at a time when key NHS services are increasingly difficult to access.”
The school is hoping that the lessons will not only improve pupils’ concentration during school time, but also help them cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life and improve their greater well-being.
The MYRIAD Project is funded by the Welcome Trust and is led by Mark Williams and Willem Kuyken at the University of Oxford, with Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of University College London, and Tim Dalgleish of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge, with collaborators at University of Exeter, Kings College London and Penn State University.
For more information on the MYRIAD Project, visit www.myriadproject.org.