Taradale Primary School is bracing for Omicron to arrive in Hawke's Bay as kids return to school, and is trying to make the first few weeks in the classroom a little less stressful.
It has joined more than 230 schools across the country, embracing the mindfulness-based wellbeing programme, Pause, Breathe, Smile.
The primary school wanted to be prepared to support their pupils' mental wellbeing as much as possible as they begin to transition back into the classroom.
A leading force behind introducing Taradale Primary School to the programme, teacher Raelene Hill said the programme is another way for the school to add to their hauora.
Pause, Breathe, Smile is a New Zealand developed, researched, and internationally recognised mindfulness-based wellbeing programme for schools. It focuses on giving kids mental skills to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, uncertain world.
With summer holidays winding down, the uncertainty of Covid has some students feeling anxious about what to expect.
On Thursday teachers at Taradale Primary School returned to school for a day of training, run by Southern Cross.
The programme teaches skills such as how to regulate emotions, build self-awareness and relate positively to others.
Principal Marty Hantx said it was a great day and the staff got a lot out of it.
"Our staff are one of our great resources, when they are calm and happy our kids are calm and happy," Hantx said.
A Southern Cross spokeswomen said 73 per cent of parents of young children were worried about their abilities to cope in today's environment.
Southern Cross' involvement makes it possible for Pause, Breathe, Smile to be made available free of charge to any primary or intermediate school in the country.
- By Maddisyn Jeffares, HBT