Building Pupil Resilience in Schools

We provide training and support to schools interested in whole school development using the Academic Resilience Approach. Explore the programme below and how you can get started with it.

Getting started: building pupil resilience in your school

School leaders know that turning a school around requires improving standards of teaching and getting on top of behaviour through a whole school approach. Building pupil resilience is just the same.

Using the Academic Resilience Approach we can help you to embed evidence-based approaches across three key areas:

  • People – from the pupils and parents to the whole staff group, even the premises officers
  • Strategy and leadership including governance, policy, senior leadership
  • Systems and structure including information management, behaviour systems, support structures, and so on.

Find out more about how you can promote resilience across every area of school life using the Academic Resilience Audit Tool.

Academic Resilience is an approach for schools devised by Lisa Williams and Professor Angie Hart and adopted by YoungMinds, based on Professor Hart's collaborative resilience work at the University of Brighton and Boingboing.

Steps to building resilience

We have a proven track record working across whole schools to embed the Academic Resilience Approach. Here are some resources to get you started and more about how we can help.

Step 1: Support your whole school community to learn about resilience and what works

This will help to change every day relationships and ensure you have a big impact on the school culture from the start. Get started with these resilience tools and tools kit.

Step 2: Identify your vulnerable pupils

Right from the start, you need to make sure you are identifying your most vulnerable pupils. That is not just those who are obviously struggling, but those who are at risk. Use these tools to guide you:

Here’s how Hove Park School in Brighton uses the Pyramid of Need.

Step 3. Review the whole school

Assess how well your school is doing against the evidence for what works to promote academic resilience for disadvantaged pupils.

Insight from across the whole school community will help you understand areas for improvement as well as strengths. This will help progress your school improvement plan and help you gather evidence for your next OFSTED inspection.

Learn more with these resources:

Step 4: Plan activities that have an impact

Evidence shows there are key actions you can take in the school and in the community to have an impact and improve resilience. Involve the whole school community in planning against the priorities you have identified, and capture this in your school improvement plan.

Use the Academic Resilience Approach to plan your activities.

Step 5: Take action – and keeping it going

Changes across the whole school can be hard to maintain, particularly with staff changes, new Government directives and new initiatives. It’s important that actions and improvements become part of the school’s daily routine, rather than ‘add-ons’, which are hard to sustain.

Find out more through our Academic Resilience course.

Of course, this is not a ‘do once’ approach. A resilient school, like a resilient child, can reflect, learn and adapt continuously. And like children, every school is different. That’s why this approach is designed to work with your timetable and your priorities.

How YoungMinds can help

If your school – or group of schools – want help with any of the steps to embedding the Academic Resilience Approach, YoungMinds is here to help you.

There’s plenty we can do to support schools to start making “resilient moves” for their pupils using the Academic Resilience Approach as a basis, with a clear evidence base that doing so can lead to better educational outcomes and attendance. 

YoungMinds works with hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers every year to develop their understanding and responses and we deliver training on key issues with a clear focus on the practical application and resilience building, not just the theory.

We can offer:

Credits and recognition

Academic Resilience - beating the odds for better results, is an approach for schools devised by Lisa Williams and Professor Angie Hart and adopted by YoungMinds, based on Professor Hart's collaborative resilience work at the University of Brighton and Boingboing.


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