Presently our main focus is on providing in-house initiatives for school staff and educators, school pupils and pupils within HE (overviewed below). However, we are in the process of developing materials for use in single one-off sessions with staff, in which introductory materials and simple practices that can aid wellbeing are overviewed in a single twilight or ½ day CPD session.
Compassion in the Classroom - Staff Initiative
The Compassion in the Classroom staff initiative aims to improve the wellbeing of both staff and students across primary and secondary schools. As part of the staff (CPD) curriculum, we deliver an insightful programme to help those working in educational settings gain greater understanding of emotions – including emotion regulation in the brain and the body. We also share a variety of compassion-based practices to cultivate emotional well-being. Our initiative is based on the latest science and practices as devised by our teams of experts and others. The course comprises six 90 minute group modules designed to be progressed over one school term or two half terms. As indicative content the modules encompass: An overview of compassion, including nature of our minds & introductory practices (Module 1); How our emotions work & using mindful attention to observe our own emotional states (Module 2); Building the compassionate mind (Module 3); Emotion regulation via compassion (Module 4); Working with self-criticism (Module 5); and, Compassion in everyday life (Module 6).
Following 4 year trial of our CPD curriculum and rigorous evaluation of its effectiveness and positive well-being results we are now pleased to offer training in the delivery of the staff curriculum to those working in education with the relevant prerequisite qualifications. This allows for an affordable approach to staff well-being (e.g. training one individual in curriculum delivery, whom can then deliver to schools across a larger trust). To find out more, including forthcoming course availability please contact: f.maratos [at] derby.ac.uk
Compassion in the Classroom - Pupil Initiative
The Compassion in the Classroom pupil initiative aims to improve the wellbeing of students of both primary and secondary age. As part of the initiative, we have developed a six session PSHE lesson series that helps pupils gain greater understanding of their own emotions – including how emotions work in the brain and the body. We also introduce a range of fun practices and exercises that are based upon our compassion-based ethos as well as positive psychology. Our initiative is based on the latest science and practices as devised by our teams of experts and others. As indicative content the sessions includes materials based upon understanding emotions (including difficult emotions of fear, anger and anxiety), how we often experience mixes of emotions (the three circles model), and practices that can be used to help us understand and regulate such emotions. We also introduce practices that encourage calming and contented emotions, as well as a more positive mind-set and contemplate the flow of compassion (i.e., compassion for self, compassion for others and compassion from others).
Currently we are seeking for one final school with pupils in Year 6 or Year 7 to complete a final trial of our curriculum. For this school only, we can offer the initiative for free provided the pupils involved complete brief psychological measures of wellbeing (following a process of informed consent). For more information, or if you wish your school to be considered, please contact: Dr Frances A. Maratos using f.maratos [at] derby.ac.uk.
Compassion in the Classroom - HE Student Initiative
The Higher Education student initiative arm aims to improve group functioning, along with feelings of wellbeing and group belonging in higher education by embedding compassion in the HE taught curriculum. During this programme students are taught to understand the importance of using the micro skills of compassionate communication (MSCC) and the impact these skills can have on themselves and those around them. Students are taught to interact with one another through the lens of compassion, and to become more aware of their own communication style. Using video materials produced by Harvey and Maratos, they are also encouraged to reflect upon helpful and unhelpful group behaviours and, relatedly, techniques that all group members can use to help a group communicate and function more effectively.
Students who have engaged with the MSCC approach report feeling more aware of the impact of their own communication style, including changes to improve their interactions with peers inside and outside of the classroom. Students who struggle to engage with group discussions have also reported feeling more supported, with staff observing clear benefits of the MSCC curriculum regarding student inclusion and self-awareness. To find out more, please contact c.harvey [at] derby.ac.uk.