One of our school-wide goals focuses on improving the wellbeing of staff and students. As an Anglican school, we place importance on developing the spiritual wellbeing of our students, and through several other initiatives, we also focus on the importance of both physical and mental wellbeing.

The Daily K

In 2019 we introduced The Daily K as part of our wellbeing programme. This is an adapted version of “The Daily Mile” whereby children go outside and run for 15 minutes before the start of the school day. It offers a time where all children and staff, from Preschool to Year 8, can come together to run or walk around the playgrounds. The intention is to improve wellbeing and physical fitness, and build community.

The SMILE team generously donated us a hefty boombox, which allows us to play music each day, adding to the fun atmosphere and keeping us all running!

Since we introduced The Daily K, we are seeing the spirit of St Mark’s shine through. Bigger children run with the younger ones, classes compete to run the most laps and staff get moving as they chat with their past and present students and their colleagues.

We also run themed days to build excitement and add incentives for great running.

Monday Runday
Children receive a dot on their hand for each lap they complete. They are encouraged to improve on this as the weeks go on.

Chooseday Tuesday
The class which completes the most laps on Monday gets to choose the music playlist for Tuesday.

Wacky Wednesday
Students and staff don their most ridiculous headwear for some mid-week fun.

The Daily K, not only allows us to start the day with more energy and a healthy burst of endorphins, but the opportunity for children and staff to connect each morning is truly wonderful.

Pause, Breathe, Smile

Pause Breathe Smile is an internationally researched and highly-regarded mindfulness programme which teaches children life-long skills in emotional resilience, kindness, self-awareness and encourages positive relationships with those around them.

Pause, Breathe, Smile (or PBS, as we call it) is a New Zealand programme connecting in with the culture of Aotearoa and our place in the world. The programme encourages reflection and curiosity and, in doing so, connects beautifully to the Primary Years Programme.

It focuses on elements of mindful breathing, sharing and listening, mindful movements, kindness, connectedness and self-regulation. It also has a weekly focus on mindful eating, which is very popular with the children.

Many parents have reported seeing positive effects at home since the start of the programme, and our children have also given us some insightful feedback.

“When you smile and breathe you close your eyes and your tummy feels like it’s rising like a balloon.” – Year 1

“The food we ate in mindful eating tasted so good. It was just a grape but it tasted different” – Year 2

“It’s relaxing. Afterwards, I feel confident and energized.” – Year 3

“I like doing Lego hands. It makes me feel good and I smile when I think about it.” – Year 4

“It helps you stop and relax which is good when you have had a busy day. I feel tired afterwards but it’s a good tired.” – Year 7