The Academic Resilience Approach

The Academic Resilience Approach

The Academic Resilience Approach provides free, practical resources to help everyone in the school community step up and support pupils’ academic resilience.

Our resources:

• Help any school establish systems to build ‘resilience approaches’ that support disadvantaged pupils over time through a whole school approach
• Will benefit all pupils from a school-wide approach to increasing academic resilience
• Raise achievement
• Offer ‘quick wins’ that can be implemented immediately
• Help identify pupils who are at risk of not fulfilling their academic potential
• Provide practical approaches to help pupils do better than might be expected
• Offer ideas to help everyone in the school community play a part.

All our resources are based on research evidence and practice. One Head teacher involved in developing Academic Resilience uses a famous quote from NASA to illustrate the idea of a whole school approach:

“The folk tale goes like this, one day a visitor came to the space station and asked a cleaner who was sweeping up what job they did there. The cleaner replied ‘I help put men on the moon’.”

Imagine what it would be like in your school if every adult in the school community’s answer to a visitor asking what they do was ‘I help our most vulnerable pupils achieve better than any of us could ever have imagined they would’.

Would you like answers to these questions?

How do I improve results through an Academic Resilience Approach?
What is the Academic Resilience Approach?
What is Academic Resilience?
Which pupils are we talking about?
What can schools do?
How can services support me?
What about parents?

Deputy Head Questions

Find out more about us and the resource

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.

Are you using the Academic Resilience Approach in your school?

Have you been using the Academic Resilience Approach in school, or even just some of the ideas and tools? We would like to know about it.

Developed in partnership with Boingboing, CUPP/University of Brighton, Lisa Williams Consulting and YoungMinds

Interactive Resilience Framework

The Interactive Resilience Framework was developed especially for schools with children and young people in mind and has more detail about each idea, including relevant research evidence, suggestions of what to do, and what you people themselves think.

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About the Academic Resilience Approach

There are many school resilience programmes which aim to narrow the gap between pupils who do well academically and those who don’t. A lot of them are very useful, so why have we put this information together? Resilience programmes can be expensive – we wanted to offer something everyone could access for free.

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Audit the whole school

A systematic approach to understanding your school and identifying where and what you might do to better promote resilience can help the whole school community to look through a ‘resilience lens’ in order to close the gap for disadvantaged pupils or those facing additional challenges.

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Resilience Zap

Try a resilience zap if you want to get the following going across the school community: A basic level of understanding about building resilience and what it involves; Some shared language around disadvantaged pupils and support for them; Building of commitment to really go the extra mile with pupils who need it; Inspiring ideas based on evidence of what works.

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What is Academic Resilience?

What is Academic Resilience key points: Good educational outcomes despite adversity; We can spot the impact of academic resilience through individuals doing better than we might have expected; Promoting academic resilience will lead to better behaviour and results for disadvantaged pupils.

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How to use the Resilience Framework

The Resilience Framework summarises a set of ideas and practices that promote resilience. It is based on a body of research and practice development called Resilient Therapy developed by Angie Hart and Derek Blincow, with help from Helen Thomas and a group of parents and practitioners.

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Which pupils are we talking about?

All pupils cope with some adversity, and pupils who experience multiple disadvantages face greater challenges in schools. But all pupils will benefit from an academic resilience approach. There are many disadvantages and stressors that can have a negative impact upon pupils; these are called risk factors.

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What can schools do?

Focusing on just a few quick and easy activities can have an impact. A whole schools approach makes a bigger difference. Get a few things going, make sure you are doing them well and share them with the whole community. Evidence and practice based experience tells us there are a few key actions that you could take in school that would have impact.

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How can services support me?

We understand the idea of commissioning or buying in help from external services can be daunting and know that there are differences between commissioning and procurement. You can use this page to think about why schools need to buy in services, and how to ensure services are good enough.

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What about parents?

Every school knows that the more engaged a parent is in their child’s learning, the more learning is supported in the home. Some parents are dead easy to involve, eager to get your attention and are queuing up to talk to staff at every opportunity. But often the very families you would like to be involved more, can be the hardest to hook into school life.

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Academic Resilience resources directory

Here you can download the Academic Resilience Approach resources to help any school establish systems to build ‘resilience approaches’ that support disadvantaged pupils over time through a whole school approach. All the Academic Resilience Approach resources are free to download.

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