Key Voices #118

“Transition is part of life…the only thing you can rely on in life is impermanence. If you try and hold things still too much and set them in stone, then change won’t happen.  We need to be prepared to deal with change.”

This week we talk to Major Pat Burgess, MBE, The Armour Centre Bovington and Sara White, Principal at Bovington Academy (part of The Aspirations Academy Trust).

Major Pat has been delivering mindfulness sessions to pupils at Bovington Academy to help them deal with anxiety and prepare for their transition to secondary school. We hear about how the army and the school work in partnership and the benefits of applying mindfulness techniques in a school setting. 

We talk about: 

  • Bovington Academy’s context and high mobility (circa 70%)
  • Their experience of the pandemic, with many children attending the school during partial closures 
  • How transferable Major Pat found the mindfulness training he does with his colleagues to a school setting 
  • The high levels of anxiety experienced by pupils and the need to help them cope with difficult situations they might encounter
  • Why transition to secondary school is challenging for pupils, particularly this year 
  • Other ways in which the army supports the school 
  • The importance of mindfulness in school

Major Pat said: ”“I don’t remember having any problems sleeping as a child, but I was struck when I asked children ‘how are we sleeping?’ Lots of children put their hands up and expressed anxiety and sleeplessness, worried about what was going to happen the next day.”