“What I liked best about the course was the
practical nature and the openness to ask questions”

Copy of Banner lab for MIA and MINZ (2)

Introduction to
Mindfulness for Schools

2 Hour Mindfulness Staff Training in your School
Based on successful programme designed by an NZ educator.

A training in your school unpacking how mindfulness “works”, the different techniques, and how to share with others; in the work place, classroom or one to one.

The course is designed to introduce Mindfulness across the school for all teachers as PD with the aim of reducing stress and anxiety. In addition, teachers will learn simple techniques to demonstrate to students the purpose and function of Mindfulness that will help them internalise the process.
Teachers will be shown the breathing, listening, body scanning techniques.

The course is based on the successful programme Mindful NZ Schools has been running the past seven years as well as latest research and techniques on teaching mindfulness designed by the original MBSR members who trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

We will cover background, basic neuroscience, physiology of breathing, the brain house (language of emotions) plus activities, practices and enquiry.

Evidence–based research confirms that regular practice of these simple, self-managing techniques lead to;

• decreased stress and anxiety
• improved attention and focus
• increased emotional resilience
• responding instead of react
• improved relationships with self and others
• improved sleep quality

Ongoing research points to the need for all students to receive some form of mental training to fulfil their educational and personal potential.

Established in 2012, this highly -evaluated attention training programme, designed by a registered teacher, complies with the objectives of the Curriculum for personal development, including a focus on social and emotional development, personal self-regulation and building resilience- qualities recognised as benchmarks for success in life.

The course covers:

  • What is Mindfulness?
  • Why Teach Mindfulness in Schools
  • Evidence- based reseach and background
  • Mindfulness Exercises and Activities to assist internalising the process
  • Training Session – How to share with others

How to win the battle for students attention

With the added distraction from mobile devices, texting and social media, the
challenge of keeping students attention in the classroom has in many schools become a whole new ball game.

How can Mindfulness Help?

In our fast paced world, where the increasing demands of living, places enormous stress on all of us, children, teenagers and adults, the purposeful, daily cultivation of connection to self, others and the world around us has been proven to assist mental, emotional and physical balance.

Mindfulness is not just some trend, but a proven method to help increase focus and awareness, make it possible to self-regulate and shift attention when caught up in negative thinking and worrying. Mindfulness exercises are designed to train our awareness and the ability to stay calm under stress and turbulence as well as having better sleep and increasing resilience.

Harvard, Oxford and Stanford Universities offer Mindfulness courses. So do many successful companies such as Google and Intel.

“I found Rita’s expert and gentle facilitating a wonderful way to explore mindfulness personally, whilst also guiding me to share mindfulness with others”. Suzanne H, Auckland

Developing a culture of kindness in the school

One of the biggest causes of poor achievements and dropping out of school is rooted in behavioural problems. Not knowing how to manage emotions. Left unchecked, that can escalate into all sorts of problems; under-achieving, lack of self-respect, substance abuse etc.

Studies have shown that social behaviour and academic achievement increase significantly among students who have received Mindfulness instruction. Mindfulness has been proven to help children make sense of their emotions and the world around them.

Resources and Tools

After the training the teachers get access to a complete self-paced online course to establish their own mindfulness practice.

  • A 60 page Mindfulness Training Manual covering eight week lessons in downloadable PDF format
  • Guided Mindfulness audios for each weeks exercises that you can listen to on any device.
  • Videos Recommended videos and talks to watch as a complement to the course

What can you expect from this Course?

  • Guidance given by experienced mindfulness trainer
  • The opportunity to learn in a safe, relaxed environment
  • Learning simple practices to help students and children to relax the body, eliminate stress, calm the mind
  • Be empowered by the discovery that you can self-manage your thoughts and emotions
  • Deepen your contact with your natural intelligence and intuition.
“We ask students to pay attention all day, yet we
never teach them HOW”
Dr. Amy Saltzman

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The course is held by Rita Riccola She is a registered NZ teacher and has been a Meditation and yoga practitioner for 25 years. She has completed courses with Mindful Schools USA.

Rita is one of New Zealand’s leading mindfulness teachers and has designed these courses to meet the growing need for educators and human resource workers to offer Mindfulness training to all interested. The courses has been taken by hundreds of professionals and are continually well-received by participants in both NZ and Australia.

She has been training teachers at Diocesan and Dilworth Junior College, Khandallah and North Street school, to assist them in their effort to take the practices to their students.

“Rita is a fabulous facilitator – she made us feel extremely comfortable, was open minded and encouraged us all to share from our diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. I came away with many very practical, easy to use exercises that I have since been using with with my classes of various ages. Thank you Rita for gifting me such a wonderful and enjoyable afternoon of learning”.
Louise Dore, Auckland

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in Children

Many teachers are reporting new school entrants starting school unable to speak in full sentences or make eye contact and research shows many of these children are missing vital developmental stages of their psychological growth due to parents’ over-use of devices and failing to speak enough with their children, especially about what they see on their ipads and computers that are more and more used as baby-sitters. Many of these children have less vocabulary available or understanding of themselves and the world and their place in it.

Attention and relationships are two of the key markers for success in life. Mindfulness strengthens the ‘mind muscle’ not unlike an athlete training for sports who build resilience through a regular practice. The same applies to mindfulness practice, which is why it is so important to implement into the curriculum as a daily attention training.

Here are a short list of things that helps when cultivating emotional intelligence in children and students

  • Connector.

    Listen Actively Before Offering Advice

  • Connector.

    Cultivate Empathy, Kindness, Gratitude

  • Connector.

    Be Patient and Understanding

  • Connector.

    Limit Screentime

  • Connector.

    Acknowledge Positive Behaviour

  • Connector.

    Cultivate Self-Awarness and Social Skills

  • Connector.

    Let Children Learn by Exploring!

  • Connector.

    Practice Body Awareness & Relaxation

  • Connector.

    Set and Respect Boundaries

  • Connector.

    Understand Brain Function

  • Connector.

    Ask Open-Ended Questions

  • Connector.

    Have Frequent Family Time

  • Connector.

    Learn To Connect to the Body's Self-Calming System

  • Connector.

    Responde Calmly to Elevated Emotions

  • Connector.

    Share Your Feelings & Validate Theirs

Understanding how the brain works goes a long way to empowering people to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness ‘teaches’ us how thoughts and feelings affect our state of being.

As educators, we recognise an anxious child cannot learn effectively and the disruptive behavior of anxious children has an effect on all; teachers and students. Classroom teachers, who employ mindfulness practice as a regular part of their school day, consistently report a decrease in unsettled behavior, more kindness and caring amongst the students and greater self-control and improved attention and engagement with learning.

Make an Enquiry for Your School

What Participants Say

“I liked the pace, experiential learning and the facilitators sharing her experience”
Alison, Sydney

“What I liked best about the course was the practical nature and the openness to ask questions”
-Wendy, Sydney

“I’ve learnt valuable human, approachable ways to bring Mindfulness to my school and my own life”
Peter, Sydney

“I’ve learnt very practical strategies and meaningful discussions of experiences”
-Sarah, Christchurch

Mindfulness can’t be learnt by talking or reading about it. Mindfulness is
experiential. To be able to teach mindfulness you need to understand how
it works from the inside out. Teaching mindfulness is more about guiding
people to their own mindfulness practice. It’s about co-creating an
environment where mindfulness can ‘happen’


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“With Mindfulness training you are not adding to your knowledge in the
traditional sense – you are in fact removing some of the mental clutter
that is holding you back from being naturally mindful and in a state of
equilibrium”.Rita Riccola

Related Courses


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Complete 3 part online course to establish your own daily practice and learning to facilitate groups











“Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you see? What do you hear?”Jon Kabat-Zin



“Deepen the contact with your natural intelligence and intuition”


8 week mindfulness course – learn at your own pace

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Guided Audio Excercises

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Based on Successful Methods

Weekly Lessons

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There is no religion, dogma or beliefs attached to Mindfulness. Mindfulness has it’s roots in many contemplative practices but doesn’t require or impose on anyones belief systems. It’s a mental activity that has proven to be of great benefit for maintaining physical, mental and emotional balance.

Evidence Based

The many benefits of Mindfulness have been well documented especially in the past 30 years since Jon Kabat-Zinn established the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme that has led to the wide-spread, evidence based research and the acceptance of these non-religious, practical exercises anyone can do.


Mindfulness practice doesn’t require any preparation or beforehand knowledge about meditation. Anyone can experience the effect from these simple exercises.