Bentleigh Secondary College recognises that the total wellbeing of students and staff is of paramount importance. Our team, Mr Wayne Davis, Head of Wellbeing, and Dr Intha Chetty and Ms Janet Etty-Leal introduced and established Mindfulness Meditation three years ago based on thorough research and intense exploration. The importance of calmness, silence and stillness in relation to wellbeing and academic success has generated more than 10 000 research papers at Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Monash and Melbourne Universities.
Mindfulness Meditation (MM) underpins the entire teaching and learning program. It provides support for all subjects. The students come to understand that MM is a valuable component of their personal learning across all areas and is not viewed within the confines of a “subject”. Students have been practicing relaxation, mindfulness and creative meditation. The benefits of mindfulness meditation in a nutshell are: the creation of states of relaxed awareness for optimal learning; rest and renewal for the brain; improved rapid thinking and problem solving; and improved perception and auditory processing, being able to listen acutely.
Students engage in regular meditation in our fantastic Mindfulness Meditation and Indigenous Centre which was a key component of the college winning the 2013 Premier’s Sustainability Award for Education under the leadership of Mr Bill Thomas (Head of Sustainable Practice).
It has also been awarded two Timber Industry Design Awards as well as the innovation category of the 2013 CEFPI Victorian Chapter Awards (Council of Educational Facility Planners International) against some extremely strong competition, the Jury’s citation made specific mention of the schools wealth of thinking being one key to the success of the project.
Students had this to say:
After doing meditation for the last 3 years, we have realised just how many meditation techniques we use in everyday life without even noticing such as, listening to music on your IPod, in studio art painting or even just simply concentrating on your breathing pattern. It’s amazing how we, at Bentleigh Secondary Collage started off doing meditation in class rooms, which then evolved into getting meditation mats donated and now, a state of the arts meditation centre which we all love (Jay & Evan Blitsas, Year 11)
With everything going on in life like school, part time jobs, sports, family life and friends it’s very important to take time out. Meditation is the ideal way – whether it is five minutes in an English class or 30 minutes during lunch it all matters. Without taking this precious time out things can easily pile up and we can become over stressed which isn’t good for my health or yours. Meditation really helps as none of you want 26 grumpy students in class yelling and mucking around. (Ellen Parry, Year 11)