The Pause

Mindfulness, drawing on the traditions of meditative practice, has always been deeply integrated into our school life as a valuable and effective way to instil calm and bring focus.

Pupils at St James are familiar with a daily mindfulness practice – ‘The Pause’, a short period of quiet reflection and stillness taking place at the beginning and end of each lesson, at assemblies and lunchtime.

This allows all pupils to join the present moment, refocus and digest the fruits of their learning.

For some it is also a chance to start again, particularly if the previous lesson has presented challenges. It brings everyone back to a stillness and allows the children a moment of calm before moving on.

St James believes that quality of attention and power of concentration are essential to an effective and happy way of life. We encourage pupils and staff to appreciate the importance of the present moment, to be inwardly free and deeply at ease with ourselves amidst the fast pace of everyday life.

The Pause is something very unique to St James, and the staff and children all value it greatly.

“Upshot is a thoroughly modern approach to learning that’s particularly ahead of the game when it comes to mindfulness, philosophy and emotional intelligence – the on-trend aspects of character development that other schools are just catching up with.” – The Good Schools Guide


“It brings stillness, steadiness and connection to something deep within us. Otherwise, what do we resort to in times of stress and agitation?” St James Teacher on why we pause.