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At Earlswood, we are passionate about improving the mental health, emotional literacy and resilience of our children. We believe that this underpins the capacity to learn and equips children to manage life now and in their futures. Therefore, as part of our Jigsaw PSHE this year, we are using the The Jigsaw Resilience and Engagement Scale and Toolkit.
Through using the Jigsaw Resilience and Engagement Scale we will be able to assess children’s resilience using the 10 descriptors of resilience and engagement, and then use our Jigsaw resources and qualified ELSA teaching assistants to provide appropriate learning activities to support the development of each child.
What is resilience?
Definition – Able to quickly return to a previous good condition (Cambridge Dictionary)
Can resilience be learned?
Resilience skills can be learned.
Building resilience — the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress — can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won't experience difficulty or distress.
(American Psychological Association)
What are the 10 descriptors of resilience that we are using in school?
1. The Pupil learns valuable lessons from their own experiences or mistakes and the experiences of others
2. The Pupil adapts quickly to any new situations, is generally curious and asks questions
3. Any feelings of anger, loss or discouragement that the Pupil experiences do not last long and they quickly ‘bounce back’
4. The Pupil is usually optimistic by nature, they expect to overcome difficulties and see them as temporary
5. Keeping interested in things is important to the Pupil
6. At appropriate times the Pupil can make themselves do things whether they want to or not
7. The Pupil does not dwell on things that they can’t change or do anything about
8. The Pupil has enough energy to cope with everything they do at school
9. Distractions don’t pull the Pupil away from concentrating on the task at hand
10. The Pupil is playful, likes humour and can laugh at themselves
How can parents and carers help at home?
Talk about role models
At school we have been discussing with the children various role models who have resilient qualities.
Here are some examples:
-Andy Murray (Overcoming being at the school during the Dunblane massacre, Won a Grand Slam in his 5th final after lots of previous defeats in Quarters, Semi’s and Finals, Reached World No 1, played at Wimbledon after a hip operation 6 months earlier)
-J K Rowling (The seven years to write the first Harry Potter novel saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty - living on state benefit)
-Nick Vujicic (Born without limbs but believes in living life to the full)
Help your child treat mistakes as things they should expect to happen and as learning opportunities.
Praise progress and effort
Try not to be too outcome-focussed (grade/level/percentage), instead look at the process or effort as what is important.
Encourage your son/daughter to concentrate on the feedback they are getting as a way to improve.
Always value their efforts as an individual and avoid comparisons.
Try to model an ability to recover from any disappointment or something being discouraging and look to move forward. Encourage your son/daughter not to dwell on disappointments, so that these don’t affect how they approach the next task they face.
Look to help your son/daughter to be as optimistic as they can. Treat difficulties as if they are to be expected and help them think about what they can do to overcome them.
Show that we as adults can laugh at ourselves. Do we take ourselves too seriously at times? What message does that send to the children?
Encourage your son/daughter to try to solve certain issues for themselves. Can they speak to a teacher about what is troubling them rather than you as parents speaking to the teacher? Can they try and solve a friendship issue for themselves? If they are able to face up to a problem it will make them feel more confident, independent and ultimately resilient.