How it started
The University of Kent Academies Trust (UKAT) are known for their unique and cutting-edge approaches to learning and have a keen interest in supporting young people’s health and wellbeing. UKAT gave Jo permission to pilot her Amazing Minds (AM) programme in 2020 in one of the schools (Brompton Academy) and it took approximately a year from start to finish to oversee 20 young people.
The pilot was highly successful with 100% of those young people that engaged in the programme all reporting significant positive changes. It quickly became apparent that Jo was unable to meet the growing demand for her programme as more young people showed an interest. This was the catalyst for Jo to develop an exciting training programme for her educational colleagues with hopes and aspirations of creating a team of fantastic Amazing Minds (AM) Coaches.
Dream big and reach above and beyond your hopes and dreams. AM Coaches are now working in schools and making epic changes to how young people manage their minds and therefore their lives.
What is Amazing Minds?
Amazing Minds is a new and exciting, one-to-one, six session programme that focuses on achieving positive mindset changes for young people aged between 11 and 19 years. The aim of the AM programme is to teach young people how important it is to look after their minds (just like exercise is for our bodies) and how simple mindfulness and coaching techniques can be learned in an engaging way to help improve how the mind works and how this can impact positively on how young people learn.
The focus of the programme is around establishing healthy mindset goals and improving learning. The young people follow a structured programme with their AM Coach; with clearly agreed goals, self-assessment, personal reflection, and numerical scaling to understand the workings of the brain, body, and mind; all in a fun, supportive environment.
Understanding how the brain works is pivotal to this mindset programme, therefore, emphasis is placed on how the prefrontal cortex part of the brain works. We explain how to best utilise this wonderful resource to maximise wellbeing and happiness.
Mindfulness is at the heart of the programme. This scientific evidence-based practise is beautifully balanced with a well-rounded package of streamlined coaching strategies and top tips that build a useful resource-based tool kit, underpinning long term resilience and happiness.
How is the Amazing Minds Programme Delivered?
The programme is delivered either in person or online with an AM Coach. At UKAT, students are recommended by educational staff or students can also self-refer. It is important the young person chooses to attend the programme themselves, it is never compulsory. They attend one hour per week, over six weeks. The delivery and style is positive, motivational, and encouraging, which means it is directional, solution focused and ultimately fun.
The role of the AM Coach is pivotal in facilitating the AM programme and the young person is always seen as the hero in the story. This means they are encouraged, supported, and empowered. Ultimately, the success of the programme rests on their attitude and wiliness to engage and so we only work with super keen minds that want to make change.
What are the Benefits?
- focus and concentration and therefore impacting positively on learning
- mental and emotional resilience
- happiness, this enriches life, improves relationships
- confidence and self-worth
- positive inner voice
- sadness and depression
- loneliness and isolation
- negative inner critical voice
What do we teach in Amazing Minds?
The techniques we teach on the Amazing Minds programme are very simple and easy to use. The young people often say that they really enjoy the sessions, and the AM techniques are fun, quick and enjoyable and slot into their daily routines with ease. The techniques include activities that demonstrate the importance of self-reflection, self-validation, and the power of praise. Simple and easy techniques that are short and sweet, with a view to continuing these daily practices beyond the life span of the Amazing Minds programme.
We introduce the Amazing Minds tool kit – a fabulous addition for any youngster growing up in the challenging and changing climates of the 21st Century, leaving the young person more equipped to deal with difficulty and more adept and excited about enjoying life.
We cover the following key learnings:
- how the brain works
- how mindfulness works
- a variety of different mindfulness techniques
- how we can re-train the mind
- how to self-regulate
- the value of positive self-talk
- the importance of self-care
- the importance and awareness of our five senses
- the importance of happiness within learning
“It's surprised me how well this has worked but I didn't realise it was going to be so effective.”