The Academic Resilience Approach

The Academic Resilience Approach (ARA) is a whole-school-based community development model designed by Angie Hart and Lisa Williams with input from school practitioners and young people. It aims to equip schools with the tools to support students to overcome adversity and improve their mental health, and, in turn, educational outcomes.

This intervention is based on complex systems theory and a social justice-oriented Resilience Framework. The community organisations YoungMinds and Boingboing have adopted the approach and are working in partnership with schools to apply it across the UK and to research its impact through evaluation.

You can find lots of information about the ARA and ARA resources on our Boingboing website. On this page we have brought together a number of articles, links and course listings that relate to the ARA to help you find out more about the approach and access our free ARA resources to get you started with putting it into practice in your work or school context.

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All Academic Resilience Approach pages

The Boingboing Resilience Framework

The Boingboing Resilience Framework

The Resilience Framework is a handy table that summarises ‘what works’ when supporting children and young people’s resilience according to the Resilience Research base. The Resilience Framework forms a cornerstone of our research and practice. On this page we have pulled together lots of useful links so you can find out all about the Resilience Framework.

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The Academic Resilience Approach

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. Benefitting all pupils and increasing academic resilience, the ARA helps everyone in the school community play a part.

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Academic Resilience Approach evaluation

Academic Resilience Approach evaluation

This evaluation project explores ways to build the capacity of school staff and the commitment of school leaders and other key stakeholders to help them identify and implement specific resilience-based actions using the Academic Resilience Approach.

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Academic Resilience resources directory

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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Interactive Resilience Framework

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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Academic Resilience Approach online workshop 12 May 2022

Academic Resilience Approach online workshop 12 May 2022

This CPD accredited Academic Resilience Approach workshop is for anyone keen to understand how to build resilience in school communities. For example headteachers, governors, SENCOs, teachers, school counsellors, educational psychologists and support staff.

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Fostering academic resilience a brief review of the evidence base

Fostering academic resilience a brief review of the evidence base

It is very clear that poor school outcomes can have catastrophic long-term consequences, and there is growing recognition that schools should address ALL pupils’ needs. This brief review of the evidence explores what is meant by the term resilience and gives an overview of what schools can do to foster it in their pupils.

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Schools mental health guide

Schools mental health guide

Supporting children and young people in their mental health: A guide for East Sussex schools. A resilience-based, whole school approach to promoting positive mental health and addressing individual needs.

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About the Academic Resilience Approach

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

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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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