John running a meditation & reflective journeying session for high school pupils.

‘Being Present’

A Programme To Support & Enable Children's Emotional Wellbeing

A unique programme bringing the benefits of meditation, reflection, and self care to primary schools, helping develop greater happiness, awareness, well-being, and self-management, while reducing stress and anxiety for those who need that. This programme can also help to remove factors which can lead to childhood depression. This programme is designed to be of benefit to children from a wide range of backgrounds, to deepen and support their lives in a kind and meaningful way that they can own for themselves at school, and at home.

Anyone one undertaking this programme with a sense of engagement on their part will gain greatly from its many benefits. It in no way seeks to problematise or stigmatise a child's life or family, or to be a panacea. Rather we celebrate and support each young person's uniqueness, while aiming to offer the simplest most effective tools for each individual to thrive and to enjoy life with real engagement. These tools have been proven both by modern science, and by teachers across time to be some of safest and beneficial methods for returning to a sense of wholeness when that type of engagement is needed. However in our society today there are some facts about children's welfare that we need to consider and meet in a meaningful way.

Some Things We Need To Address:

  • An estimated three children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health problem. This rises to one in four children when we include emotional distress. 
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for boys aged between 5 and 19, and the second most common for girls of that age. 
  • Around one in every twelve young people deliberately self-harm. 
  • The number of young people calling Childline about mental health problems has risen by 36% in the last four years. 
  • The number of young people attending A&E because of a psychiatric condition more than doubled between 2010/11 and 2014/15. 
  • In a UN study in 2013, the UK ranked 24th out of the 29 countries for educational wellbeing, which considered participation rates and achievement levels. Similarly, children in England ranked 14th out of 15 countries for overall happiness with life in the Children’s World Study (2014).

Source - National Children's Bureau - 'Young Minds' 2017

The 'Being Present' Programme

School can be a place of wonderful learning and socialisation, but it can also be a place of stress, isolation, and confusion. Young people acquire knowledge, but are often not given any space or privacy, which can put children under terrible stress. Nor are young people taught to discover who they are in terms of consciousness, nor are they always encouraged to have a self-loving and connective relationship with themselves as they make their way on the journey of life. Of course children spend a greater amount of time in the home environment, so this programme aims to give them tools that they can use as they grow into their lives, to be of benefit in all situations.

A simple grounding in how to be present and 'in being' reduces stress, allows the participant to move easier with a deeper awareness of their own life, and a have real connection and appreciation of themselves and others. With this increasing clarity school grades can improve dramatically, and choices increase. Stress and anxiety go down, while happiness, wellbeing, healthy curiosity, and engagement at school and home increase.

John has recently been working with traditional and nontraditional schools to bring the benefits of meditation and reflexive practices to both students and to staff, as part of the learning strand around wellbeing and spirituality. The meditations we use do not force any false ideas of concentration, but allow for a happier, more natural, fully engaged, nourishing experience of life, and the reflective practices allow for spiritual, emotional, and intellectual depth and understanding, helping in large measures to promote happiness, self esteem, self awareness, and success.

John is not aligned with any religion or spiritual tradition, yet these practices will support anyone whether religious or not. Early on John trained as a counsellor and worked for Manchester University before becoming a writer, and then developing this work based in service. He has maintained his own meditation, reflective, and self-care practice for almost 40 years. He began with this work when he was 14, and brings with him a vast experience of what can genuinly help young people be whole, and to thrive on their own terms with integrity and authenticity, while making a real contribution to society though their choices.

  • This programme is best aimed at KS 2 children (Years 3 - 6) in the UK, but please do talk to us about other possible setups, or if your school is abroad.
  • We also offer programmes especially for staff to encourage creativity and wholeness, reduce stress, improve work life balance and wellbeing. 
  • Staff training in using the ‘Being Present’ programme to enable greater wellbeing and productivity in their classrooms is also available

If you would like to enquire about John visiting your school to work with pupils, or staff, or both, please get in touch through the contact page.