Tonypandy teacher Luisa Martin-Thomas rubbed shoulders with Hollywood A-lister Goldie Hawn when they shared their passion for Mindfulness before a parliamentary committee at the House of Commons this week.
The acting deputy headteacher at Tonypandy Community College was invited to share her experiences of the benefit of Mindfulness in the classroom at the Mid Rhondda school.
As the winner of the Pearson Teaching Awards, Mrs Martin-Thomas has been recognised for her dedication to the mind-body balance training programme which has benefited her students.
She said: “Becoming the first school to have a mindfulness hub has been very rewarding. We have trained almost all of our Key Stage 3 students, providing them with a toolkit to self-regulate and develop resilience in a every changing world.
“It has supported our journey from a special measures school to a good, thriving, happy school”.
Mrs Martin-Thomas was invited to speak to the packed Committee Room at Westminster by the Co-Chairs of the UK all-party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness Tim Loughton MP and Chris Ruane MP.
The event also welcomed a host of MPs and Lords, but guest of honour was film star Goldie Hawn, whose Hawn Foundation promotes mindfulness as an effective tool to manage depression and anxiety and is taught in schools to boost resilience and grades.
As an integrative, mind-body based training, Mindfulness enables people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful ones.
Goldie Hawn spoke of the benefits of her MindUP programme for teachers which aims to improve student focus, engagement in learning and give them tools and strategies to bring joy back into the classroom.
Sharing her initial experiences with childhood anxiety and exploring her consciousness through meditation practices in the 1970s, Goldie explained the profound effects of mindfulness on well-being and on brain strength.
Mrs Martin-Thomas added: “Today was an exceptional experience and one which I will cherish. I am proud of Tonypandy Community College and our drive to improve the lives of our young people enabling them to learn and be anything they desire!”