Updated: Sep 18, 2022
Founders Kate and Laura share 16 years teaching and working in education. Kate Boniface is a Primary School Teacher and is also qualified to teach Yoga to children. Laura Boniface is currently an Early Years Teacher and previously worked as a Primary Schools Speech and Language Therapist. Laura is trained to teach Mindfulness, Kids Yoga and Zumba programmes in schools.
Through early intervention, Kate and Laura strive to nurture children who grow up practising kindness and compassion to themselves, others and their communities. Their journey towards the Kindness Curriculum began after experiencing family bereavement as young teenagers. This experience taught Kate and Laura the importance of their mental health, self-care and in particular being kind to themselves. Now knowing the benefits that mindfulness and movement bring to their lives, they reflect on their education and childhood as a missed opportunity for learning these tools. It is this that motivates them to provide children with the space to explore and develop language for their feelings; whilst having access to the support they need to feel happy inside their minds and bodies.
“Teaching children to be kind to themselves is the first and most important step in being kind to others” (The Kindness Curriculum – Our Values)
Laura has always been passionate about working with children and started her professional journey by obtaining a degree in Childhood Studies (BSc) at the University of Bristol. Postgraduation Laura was a Teaching Assistant in South London and went on to train as a Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT). She has developed a wealth of experience working as a SaLT in different schools in East London with children with a range of needs including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disabilities and Language Disorders. Laura is keen and motivated to explore how mindfulness and movement can be used within a holistic framework to help children engage and communicate. Her experience as a Speech and Language Therapist has inspired her aim to provide a differentiated kindness curriculum so that the educational strategy becomes fun, interactive and accessible to all children.
Laura started dance classes at the age of three and ballet was her absolute passion. Laura is a qualified Kids Yoga Teacher and ZUMBA® Kids Instructor and has developed a bespoke Move & Mind education programme as part of The Kindness Curriculum. Laura hopes that children can learn to share her passion for 'getting their bodies moving' and find a form of movement that allows them to connect with their unique inner strength in order to be the best versions of themselves.
As a young adult, Laura also learned over time to optimise her mental health through mindfulness and meditation. To cope with phases of anxiety she found a way to relax, unwind and connect with her inner-peace by creating a mindful routine. Laura decided that she wanted to bring these life skills to the children by training to teach Mindfulness in Schools (Mindfulness in schools Project). Laura believes that striving to develop and nurture mindful young children is the key to building healthier and happier future younger generations.
From a young age Kate and Laura would play being 'teachers' together. Kate remembers the joy of pretending to stand in front of the class, 'reading the register' and making up things for her sister to learn! Kate studied History at the University of Leeds (BA Hons) and alongside her studies she worked in holiday clubs and for a non profit organisation, using drama and fine art to support vulnerable children and adults. After graduating, she worked with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in both hospital and mainstream school settings. It were these experiences that showed her the importance of working with children in a holistic manner and of the central role mental health plays in a child's education and development. The joy that working with these children gave her inspired her to train as a teacher. She studied for her PGCE (with QTS) as part of School Centred Initial Teacher Training in East London Schools (University of Roehampton). Working across different schools in East London she became immersed in the linguistic, cultural and religious diversity which would add to and inform her inclusive practice. Since qualifying she has worked at a school in Hackney as a Primary School Teacher. She has worked teaching children in the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 all of which have taught her about the myriad of ways in which children learn.
Kate remembers her primary and secondary school years as positive and happy ones. She loved the academic and social side to school- so much so that one of the first careers she considered was to become a teacher. It wasn't until she began sixth form, and made that transition from childhood to adulthood, that she began to encounter stress and anxiety and experience it's negative effects. Not knowing it at the time, she was being increasingly hard on herself and it wasn't until she was taught some mindfulness of breathing exercises that she began to see how she could manage her emotions. Since then she has used and built upon her mindfulness and meditation practice as a way of managing anxiety and being in the present moment. Along the way her practice has been influenced by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pema Chödrön and Sharon Salzberg. Now a teacher, and a parent, she is passionate about supporting children to access the tools to enable them to become resilient, emotionally literate, mindful beings. She knows from personal experience that the earlier children are introduced to these tools, the easier it will be to carry and use them throughout their lives. Kate hopes for a future where the mental health and wellbeing of the younger generation is the governing principle, guiding how children are taught and learn.