Queensland school tackles classroom stress with mindfulness

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. mindfulness / ˈmaɪnd fəl nɪs / (n.) – a technique that helps someone relax by being aware of his/her body, mind, and feelings in the present moment

    Practicing mindfulness can make us feel calm during stressful times.

  2. subtle / ˈsʌt l / (adj.) – not immediately obvious or noticeable

    He gave a subtle nod to show that he understood what I was saying.

  3. attentive / əˈtɛn tɪv / (adj.) – paying close attention to someone or something; being alert and responsive

    The teacher was pleased to see that the students were attentive during the lecture.

  4. trauma / ˈtraʊ mə / (n.) – a mental or emotional state resulting from a distressing or harmful experience, often causing long-lasting fear or shock

    Survivors of natural disasters often face emotional trauma and need counseling.

  5. cohesion / koʊˈhi ʒən / (n.) – the act or state of uniting or sticking together in a logical and harmonious way

    Teamwork and effective communication are essential for maintaining cohesion within the company.


Read the text below.

High school can be a stressful time in a child’s life. One school in Australia’s Queensland state is joining a growing trend in offering mindfulness classes to help. Teachers say they’re being proactive in supporting students’ emotional health.

Lunchtime may have finished in Townsville High School, but students aren’t going back to class just yet. Every week, for the whole of last year, these students practiced mindfulness to quieten their minds in a busy environment. “Overwhelmed, anxiety, digital addiction, it is affecting the wellbeing of our next generation,” says Jasmine Healy-Pagan of Youth RESET.

Using techniques such as meditation, subtle movements, and deep breathing, the Youth RESET program focuses on giving students the tools to become more resilient.

“75 percent of people who struggle with mental health, this has begun under the age of 25. It’s essential today more than ever before that we are proactive in the mental and emotional health of our next generation,” adds Healy-Pagan.

Teachers say they have noticed students being more attentive and have seen behavior improve. “What we are finding is a much more settled start to the lessons and also just students interacting with each other in a much more positive way which is then de-escalating classrooms and allowing more learning to happen,” adds Bri Clancy of Thuringowa State High School.

Most education professionals agree that the impact of trauma on social cohesion and behavior in classrooms is negative. A lot of schools are now taking this issue into account in their daily practices, but experts say more should be done.

“Trauma-informed practice helps young people learn how to self-regulate and helps them feel safe and supported in the classroom,” says Dr. Tanya Doyle of James Cook University.

And for students, the effects are clearly positive. “It’s made me relaxed, calm, and not stressed a lot,” says one male student. “I feel less anxious in the bones, in the body, in the mind,” adds one female student.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What are your thoughts on schools offering mindfulness classes? Do you believe that schools worldwide should consider implementing programs addressing students’ mental health? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think teachers in your country are proactive in supporting students’ mental health? Why or why not? Are mental health issues common among students in your country? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you agree that high school can be a stressful time in a child’s life? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what stage of life is the most stressful? Why do you say so? How do you think people in that particular stage of life would be able to cope? Discuss.