Carnegie Education | Blog

Calling All Primary School Children…

We need your help to create our map of mindfulness. Mental Health Awareness Week is 18th – 24th of May and we at the Carnegie School of Education could not think of a better time for us all to think about our mental health and take small steps to support our mental health.

Mindfullnessmap
We are calling on all primary school children from across the UK to help us make a mindfulness map. We would love it if you would join us to make a piece of art inspired by this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme of Kindness.

Glazzard and Bligh (2019, p.108) recognise that there is great reward in supporting children to flourish in their mental wellbeing. Undertaking mindfulness exercises in the form of art activities is just one way that we can experience the beauty of a thriving child. We hope that you can you experience this by taking part in our mindfulness map challenge and that this sets you on a journey of experiencing the power of art in contributing to your mental wellbeing.

What is Mindfulness?
For a long time students at Leeds Beckett have experienced the benefits of mindfulness whilst completing studies with us here at the University. A final year Teacher Training student also found that undertaking mindfulness activities with primary aged children can delay the onset of Stress (Dincsoy, 2017). What is mindfulness? Albrecht et, al. (2012) encouragingly suggest that mindfulness is simply the natural human capacity to observe, participate and accept life’s moments, whatever they may be, from a place of loving kindness. Put simply, mindfulness can be a vehicle through which we can check up on our mental wellbeing and consider what actions, if any, we might wish to undertake to address any stress or anxiety we might face. Through mindfulness activities we are creating space to acknowledge stresses and begin to build a sense of mental wellness.

How Can Art Help my Mental Health?
Dorien Eising explores some of the benefits of art in this useful short article. One of the key benefits of art is it is in and of itself a mindfulness activity. A key feature of mindfulness activities if that they help remove us from our business and immediate concerns and encourage us to focus on the task at hand. When creating art it is extremely difficult to not engage in acts of mindfulness.

How can I get involved?
Being aware of what mindfulness is and how art can facilitate engaging in mindfulness you might be looking to engage in an art project. Well, look no further because we have the perfect opportunity for you.

We are asking children to produce a piece of art on a hexagon with a 20cm diameter. We have made a template for you if you would like to use it (here). Alternatively, you may like to use a hexagon canvas or a different material like cardboard or polythene (an old plastic filing wallet could make a great surface for a piece of art).

We would like your piece to be inspired by the Mental Health Awareness Theme of KINDNESS. If you are looking for inspiration for your hexagon why not explore the amazing resources that can be found on the Mental Health Foundation’s website.

But I don’t have any art materials at home what can I use?
You can make your hexagon in any way you wish. You could draw, paint, collage or even create in chocolate. If you are interested in painting you would be surprised what you can make paint from that you might already have at home.

Where do I send my Finished Hexagon?
Once you have completed your hexagon inspired by the KINDNESS theme please write your:
Name
Age

On the back of your art. Once done please post to

THE CARNEGIE MINDFULLNESS MAP Leeds Beckett University
Carnegie Teacher Education Building
Leeds
LS6 3QS,
Kingdom

What will happen to my art?
When its safe to do so the Carnegie education team will join all the hexagons we receive together to make a map of the UK and will post pictures of this big piece of art on our social media pages for you to see.

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About the Author

James Archer

James is the Course Director for the Ba Primary Education Accelerated (2 Year) degree. He is currently working on writing validations for further innovative programmes in the Carnegie School of Education

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