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.
COVID-19 Precautions and Procedures
In order to ensure the safety of our staff, our children and their families, we operate with strict health and safety measures under each COVID-19 Alert Level. These procedures were developed under the guidance of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, in order to keep our community as safe as possible.
Full details can be viewed on our dedicated COVID-19 page.
Wellbeing In Our Preschool
The wellbeing of our youngest children is central to the way we operate at St Mark’s Preschool. Our programme has been developed in a way which allows our children to explore, discover and learn about themselves and the world around them in a safe and inclusive environment.
Our preschool wellbeing programme includes kids’ yoga sessions, weekly nature walks, The Daily K and a mindfulness programme called Pause, Breathe, Smile. Please see below for further details. These activities are all designed to help calm the mind and build resilience.
Our nature walks to nearby Mount Victoria allow the preschoolers to explore their natural environment. Being able to run, climb, shout and move around in the fresh air is a proven way of reducing anxiety. It also helps our young children become confident risk takers, who respect nature.
Yoga sessions were introduced to St Mark’s Preschool in 2020. Our children enjoy learning postures, stretching, balancing and focusing on their breathing.
We believe that learning all these skills early will help our young children meet the challenges of today’s complex, ever-changing world. To find out more about St Mark’s Preschool please click here.
The Daily K
In 2019 we introduced The Daily K as part of our wellbeing programme, for all students from Preschool to Year 8.
This is an adapted version of UK Programme “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 can come together to run or walk around the playgrounds. The intention is to improve wellbeing and physical fitness, and build community.
The atmosphere each morning at The Daily K is fun, inclusive and energised. Music plays through a hefty boombox, and the spirit of St Mark’s shines 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.
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 recognised mindfulness programme which was originally developed by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. It 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 IB 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.
The programme is run right across our school, from Preschool to Year 8. Many parents have reported seeing positive effects at home, and our children have also given us some insightful feedback.
“I love when we do the superhero pose when we do Pause Breathe Smile. I feel that I am a real superhero!” – Preschooler
“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