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Whole School Approach

To nurture the skills of resilience is key to providing young people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges. Resilience is evident when young people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes.

The Healthy Schools Support Service has a vision for building resilient schools through adopting a whole school approach to resilience, which can be adapted to all PSHE, Citizenship and Safety topics and woven throughout all resources created for schools. The focus is to equip young people with the skills essential for effectively managing their daily experiences of life such as:

  • Having the resilience to make informed choices and understand consequences -both for self and others
  • Having the resilience to overcome setbacks and make the most of opportunities
  • Having the resilience to communicate assertively and with compassion with others – including being able to say no to peer pressure/influence and speak up if something is not right
  • Having the resilience to think flexibly and realistically – including being able to manage negative thought processes
  • Having the resilience to have healthy connections with others

The partnership of organisations forming the Healthy Schools Service want to support communities to develop an environment that will enable young people to  build the resilience to avoid risk taking behaviours, choose healthy lifestyles and improve their long term health outcomes.

It is also important that all organisations working with children and young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough share the same vision and understanding of what resilience means. For this reason this definition has been agreed upon by the collaboration of local providers that deliver into schools on the theme of resilience:

Resilience is a wide range of practical skills that provides people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges.  Resilience is evident when people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes. However, resilience is not just about bouncing back from hard times, it is a set of life skills that  guide people on how to approach situations in order to achieve the best possible outcome. It shows people how to bounce forward in everyday situations, keep things in perspective and thrive in life.

Bounce Forward Development Cycle   

In terms of embedding resilience in school, a policy is a good place to start. Download this guidance document compiled by Bounce Forward on behalf of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Schools Support Service to help begin the process.

Policy Guidance for Resilience   

Lesson materials (such as the example below) and a variety of training options are available locally.

Bounce Forward Example Lesson Material   

Contact the Healthy Schools Support Service to find out more.

Our entire programme is based around supporting schools to develop and support children and young peoples’ self efficancy and resilience

What do we mean by resilience?

When children show healthy development in spite of adversity, it is called resilience. Fostering resilience in children requires strengthening and developing skills within their families and communities, as well as their own personal resources to help them anticipate, manage and cope with adversity and adverse events.

Supporting children to develop resilience can help children in all aspects of life; it is about nurturing the skills and personal resources of children and young people to enable them to make choices that support them being healthy and helps them avoid risk taking behaviours.

Why is resilience important?

We know that when students have resilience, they are open to learning because they believe that they can learn; they are receptive to help and support because they know it is not a criticism of their abilities.

Importantly for those children that have experienced childhood neglect or abuse, strengthening their resilience helps them to cope with the impact of such adverse events (known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES) upon their health and wellbeing.

What does this mean for us?

Our network and support services, alongside our partners recognise the important role that schools have in building resilience amongst their children and young people especially those most vulnerable. It is a free service to schools that will provide resources, opportunities for shared learning, discussion and developing best practice in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to ensure that schools can build on their ongoing work to support the development of their children and young people.

Our partners include many of the organisations that work with schools in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. We are working with them to ensure that any support offered to schools is consistent and makes best use of the collective use of the resources of the different organisations.

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