About the Academic Resilience Approach

About the Academic Resilience Approach

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.
• We have been working on resilience for years, and have developed an approach which many schools find really helpful.
• People keep asking us to put something together specifically for schools to use – that is practical, realistic and easy to follow, and something that inspires people.
• Pupils who experience multiple disadvantages face greater challenges in school than most so we need a programme that really helps them.

Academic Resilience supports schools to step up the things they do so there is greater impact on the achievements of their most vulnerable or disadvantaged pupils.

What information will I find?

Free, accessible resources including practical tools, case studies, film clips, and downloads.

Some people in the school community are resilience ‘swots’. They are passionate about building pupils’ resilience and already know a lot about how to do it.

They may be using one of the many programmes out there that support this, and be lucky enough to be part of an all-singing and all-dancing research programme with extra resources. If so, you may have to check in with those programme co-ordinators as drawing on other sources could affect the programme’s fidelity.

Where do I start?

But if you’re not sure where to start in building pupils’ resilience, What is Academic Resilience? can provide a few simple ideas.

Where did the resource come from?

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

• Angie Hart is Professor of Child, Family and Community Health at the University of Brighton. Together with students, practitioners and community members, Angie has published widely on resilience based approaches to supporting children and families in schools and beyond.  She co-founded Boingboing, a not for profit organisation which supports resilience based practice. Her resilience research profile is underpinned by professional and personal experience.

• Lisa Williams specialises in commissioning support and service improvement for children’s emotional and mental health systems. With a Public Sector MBA Lisa has over 20 years of experience gained in national and regional government, commissioning, public health and children’s services. Lisa develops and delivers training, consultancy and support to commissioners, schools and not-for-profit providers. As a Community Fellow for many years, Lisa has collaborated with the University of Brighton to strengthen the links between research, policy and practice in the field of children’s resilience. Her experience as a Governor within a rapidly improving secondary school inspired Lisa to develop the ‘Academic Resilience Approach’ with Professor Angie Hart, in partnership with YoungMinds.

• YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice. They also provide expert knowledge to professionals, parents and young people through a Parents’ Helpline, online resources, training and development, outreach work and publications.

The Academic Resilience Approach

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 and offer ideas to help everyone in the school community play a part.

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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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