Resilience can be a bit of a buzzword in education (and one we’re all too guilty of using here at TFTF!). However, with the challenges that students and staff are facing due to Covid-19, it has never been more relevant.
Having resilient students and staff means being able to ‘bounce back’ from Covid-19, stronger than ever. Overcoming uncertainty and adapting to new processes with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.
We’ve put together three key ways that you can help to build resilience in your students. Give them a go and let us know what works best at your school:
1) Research shows that creating a sense of belonging at school can build student’s ability to overcome adversity. Here are three ways to achieve this:
Student responsibility – has Covid-19 given you the opportunity to give students more responsibility? Particularly with vulnerable learners, sometimes being given a responsibility at school can be key in creating a sense of belonging. An example from our Mentoring team would be including older students in a mentoring session with younger students, or using a ‘buddy system’.
Postcards home – Simple, yet effective. Allowing staff to send postcards home to their students that may be struggling is a great way to show students that school’s care for students doesn’t end at the gate. Try sending postcards to parents, carers and students to make sure this relationship is being built at all levels.
School as a community hub: A positive effect from coronavirus many people have reported is an increased sense of community as we realised how much we depend on our neighbours. How can your school create and re-enforce community networks? Can you run a community coffee morning? Provide free IT training to parents? Host local groups and sports clubs?
2) Evidence shows that students who lack resilience are more likely to engage in these unhealthy, high risk behaviours. So the question is, how can you help to create a culture that promotes healthy behaviours at your school?
Promoting extra-curricular activities – how can you promote extra-curricular activities and exercise in your school? We’ve seen great examples of schools running ‘extra-curricular weeks’ where the different activities on offer have been promoted throughout the school, including at form times and break/lunchtimes. Can successes at these clubs be celebrated throughout the school on social media and via a school newsletter?
Running specialist workshops to address high risk behaviours – There are brilliant providers across the regions where we work who offer specific support and workshops around substance misuse, nutrition and diet and other high-risk behaviours such as crime and gang activity. Can you have these providers working closely with your ‘at-risk’ students?
Parental/carer engagement: It goes without saying that parents and carers play a huge part in a child’s behaviour. How can your school engage parents to make sure they are promoting healthy behaviours at home? Are extra-curricular activities signposted to parents effectively? Can you run parent sessions on topics such as substance misuse, safe social media use etc to educate and inform parents on these topics?