Evaluation of PBS in the Waikato Region


This evaluation explored what the wellbeing benefits for children, the newly trained educators and how intended programme outcomes were met.


Evaluation of Pause, Breathe, Smile in the Waikato Region

Thanks to the financial support of Trust Waikato this valuable and unique programme is now available to many schools throughout the Waikato region.

Pause, Breathe, Smile is a school-based mindfulness programme. This report follows Trust Waikato funding for professional development for Waikato teachers and classroom implementation of the Pause, Breathe, Smile programme. This report evaluates the outcomes of this programme.

This report evaluates the outcomes in three areas:

  1. The wellbeing benefits for children resulting from PBS being implemented in classrooms by newly trained PBS educators
  2. The personal wellbeing benefits for the educators who participated in PBS training
  3. How well the intended programme outcomes of PBS were met.
Key Findings

1. Wellbeing benefits for children

The evaluation presented within this report reinforces previously published research of PBS. Four common themes emerged across the participating Waikato classrooms:

  1. Increased calm
  2. Enhanced emotion regulation and emotional literacy
  3. Improvements in focus and attention and the related benefits for learning
  4. Valuing of mindfulness activities

2. Wellbeing benefits for educators

Teacher’s comments about their own valuing of the PBS activities indicated numerous positive benefits for teacher wellbeing, resulting in three main themes:

  1. enjoyment resulting from teaching the programme;
  2. increasing sense of calm, and;
  3. benefits to professional teaching practice. Participation in the Breathe Online Mindfulness Course resulted in positive personal wellbeing gains for educators as measured by the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS).

3. Meeting the intended programme outcomes

Based on post-programme survey data, participants indicated that the intended programme outcomes relating to:

  1. the positive effects of mindfulness on one’s sense of wellbeing;
  2. the relevance of mindfulness for emotion regulation;
  3. understanding the applicability of mindfulness inside and outside of school;
  4. experiencing the learning benefits of mindfulness, and;
  5. seeing the links between the course material and the New Zealand Curriculum were all achieved.

This report discusses the methods and results of these findings and provides important contextual information about the Pause, Breathe, Smile programme and the PBS Educator professional development pathway offered to educators.

Read the full report here