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Developing resilience

Resilience has been variously defined as: normal development under difficult circumstances,  or the human capacity to face, overcome and ultimately be strengthened by life’s adversities and challenges.  This is not something that people either have or do not – resilience is learnable and teachable and as we learn we increase the range of strategies available to us when things get difficult. Resilience is about all children (and adults), not just those who are considered vulnerable, and is therefore a whole school issue.

taken from the Young Minds (link opens in a new tab or page) website

The resources and weblinks below aim to support schools to explore and develop their approach to strengthening ‘resilience’ in the children and young people they work with.

Building children and young people’s resilience in schools (link opens in a new tab or page), Public Health England, is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the  topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

Building resilience and character in young people (link opens in a new tab or page) is a briefing paper that is part of a series produced by Mentor ADEPIS on alcohol and drug education and prevention, for teachers and practitioners. The relevance of this paper extends beyond the interests of alcohol and drug education and is of relevance to all who work with children and young people.

How Can Resilience be Developed in UK Schools? (link opens in a new tab or page) published by The Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, is a paper whose purpose is to examine two interventions that are being delivered in the name of resilience to find key points that might guide the development of resilience in UK schools. The first is the Penn Resiliency Programme which was trialled in 2007/8 in 22 UK schools and the second is the US military’s scientifically based resiliency programme and associated literature.

Fostering academic resilience:A short introduction to pros and cons of specific approaches for schools – Feb 2014, (link opens in a new tab or page) Centre for Health Research, University of Brighton is a short guide that provides the definitions of resilience which might be particularly useful for school contexts. It  identifies pros and cons of programmes and other approaches that have been used to develop pupils’ resilience.

The National Literacy Foundation have a list of books to help children feel happier and more confident. This list is for children up to the age of 11 but could be used with older children if appropriate to their development stage and needs.