Balanced space

It’s becoming more and more obvious that children’s most important life skill is to develop attention, and if they can’t keep focused then there’s no learning.”

Brisbane Girls Grammar School has their own wellbeing program that looks at helping students cope with the stress and anxieties of adolescent life.

School psychologist Jody Forbes said it is about being in the moment, not thinking too far ahead and not worrying too much about the future.

She said Wellness Wednesday is part of a new program she coordinates called Balance@BGGS.

“It’s a type of holistic program available to all of our students,” she said.

“The idea is to provide information, skills and activities that enhance emotional, social, cognitive and physical health.”

She said more programs will be on offer in 2016 and one of their teachers, Donald Pincott, has been trained in accredited mindfulness program ‘.b’, and coordinates the relaxation sessions.

“They come in at lunch time, take off their shoes, lie down and relax. Numbers vary so sometimes we have 20, sometimes there are just two students,” Ms Forbes said.

She said the sessions go through lunch and run for about 20 to 30 minutes.

“The sessions start at 12.50pm and then the doors close. Girls are encouraged to eat their lunch first and then they can come along.

“Our new addition of Year 7 students to Girls Grammar has sparked more interest from younger grades in balance activities.”

Girls at the school were recently given the opportunity to attend a three week mindfulness course held on Monday afternoons – a day that is perceived by many as the most stressful of the week.

“We have many courses involving stress management, study skills, getting balance and developing confidence, and we are looking to get more alumni involved in activities.”

“We have a dedicated Balance Space with bean bags where students can just drop in on Tuesdays and Fridays at lunch. It’s a social place where there are games such as Uno and mindfulness colouring to help them stop, release stress and be in the moment.

“We also have a Friday lunchtime knitting club where two alumni ladies come in and teach students how to knit. It’s also a break from technology and electronic devices.

“The school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and it’s important to have some down time away from laptops and tablets.”