Building Resilience

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Resilience is a key factor in protecting and promoting good mental health. This whole school programme aims to look at  ten different things that can help support children to develop resilience.

The programme will run over a three year period. Each theme is introduced with a launch assembly and the key messages are followed up in class activities and at follow up assemblies. A parent and carer information guide will be provided for each theme.

How you can help at home:

Each theme has a ‘Talk it Over’ section to encourage you to share some of your life’s learning with your child.  There is also a related ‘Family Activity’ to support learning at home.

In school and at home we will explore the following resilience strategies…

Intro: Be Resilient

1. Keep Connected

2. Respect Yourself

3. Challenge Your Mindset

4. Take A Moment

5. Talk Things Over

6. Get Active

7. Make a Difference

8. Look on the Bright Side

9. Be Kind to Others

10. Have a Goal

Close: Assess Your Progress


Intro: Be Resilient

Resilience is a key factor in protecting and promoting good mental health. While we can’t always predict what life throws at us, the good news is there are a range of different skills, strategies and resources that can help us to cope.

In this unit, pupils will be introduced to a character called Skipper.  Skipper, is the captain of his boat that travels down the river of life, like everyone he goes through various ups and downs on his journey.

On his way, Skipper will introduce the children   to ten things that help us to navigate the river of   life and support the development of resilience.   These things include the importance of positive  relationships and role models, the development of   good social and emotional skills, participating in  activities, having hobbies and interests and a   sense of meaning and belonging.


In this unit, we will be learning that:

  • Everyone goes through ups and downs in their life  
  • We can learn to be more resilient
  • Resilient people cope better with difficulties

Talk it Over:

Share with your child an example of when you have gone through a difficult time. How did you feel?  Who or what helped you to get through it.

Family Task:

Create a poster of someone who has come through a difficult time. Label your poster with things that has helped them get through difficult times.

Key Book: ‘Oh, the places you go’ by Dr Seuss


Keep Connected

In general, people with caring and positive relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support, and an increase in our feelings of self-worth and our sense of belonging. Having caring and positive relationships is one of the most important factors of our ability to cope with life’s ups and downs.

During this unit, the children will be thinking about people who are special to them. They can be people we see regularly or not very often, young or old, family, friends or anyone we come into contact with in our school or our community.

Skipper helps the children to learn how to be   more resilient.  In this unit Skipper gets his boat   stuck in the reeds at night and can’t see a way   out without some help from his Back Up Team.    Skipper explains that we need to work at   building up a strong Back Up Team of people   who we trust to be there for us through the ups   and downs.

In this unit, we will be learning that:

  • Relationships are important for our health and wellbeing
  • Belonging to a group can be a good way to build friendships.
  • Good relationships are a two way thing.

Talk it Over:

Share with your child the people who are in your Back Up Team. 

Family Task:

Who is in your Back Up Team?  Create a Team Sheet of the important people in your life. What makes them special to you?

You can add drawings/photographs of each person.

Key Book: ‘The Snail and the Whale’ by Julia Donaldson



Respect Yourself
People who respect themselves, like themselves. Nobody’s perfect – but learning to accept ourselves warts-and-all, identifying our strengths and looking after ourselves and our bodies increases our enjoyment of life and wellbeing.
Through this unit, we will encourage children to reflect on the uniqueness of being. We may be different to other people in some ways and similar in other ways but we also have our own special characteristics. Nobody is perfect and if we were all the
same it would be a very dull world. Nobody should feel pressure from others to be someone they are not but it is important to treat ourselves with respect and compassion.
In this unit, Skipper compares himself to others and decides he is not as good as them. Skipper learns that we all have different strengths. He encourages the children to discover their strengths and identify how they can use them more. We can all dwell too
much on our flaws or what we are not so good at but if instead we focus on what we are good at, we can use these attributes to help us in other areas.

In this unit, we will be learning that:
• There is no one quite like me.
• Everyone has different strengths.
• I treat myself with myself with respect.

Talk it Over:
Tell your child what you like about yourself. Discuss with your child, things that they like about themselves and what makes them a unique and special person.

Family Task:
Encourage your child to create a picture of them self and fill their picture with all the great things about them, their strengths and their achievements. What makes your child special to you?
Key Book: ‘Zero’ by Kathryn Otoshi


Challenge Your Mindset
People who believe that we are born artists, athletes or scientists have a fixed mindset about themselves and others. They believe that learning potential and ability are fixed and can be measured. People with a growth mindset believe that effort, not
just ability, leads to success.

Through this unit, we will encourage children to recognise that challenges, mistakes and problems happen every day in learning activities and social interactions. They will learn that how we respond to those difficulties has an impact on how we
see ourselves. This helps us shape our own learning and how we handle the next problem that comes our way. In this unit, Skipper gives up when he finds something hard to do. He learns the importance of developing a growth mindset. Skipper helps the children to see that with effort and practise they can overcome problems by challenging their mindset, so that things that once seemed challenging become easier.

In this unit, we will be learning that:
• Who we are and what we are good at, is not fixed.
• The way we think, feel or learn, shapes our brain
• I can change through the choices I make.

Talk it Over:
Share with your child about a time you used a growth mindset
when you were faced with a challenge or setback.

Home Activity:
Changing your words, can help you to change your mindset, e.g. Instead of saying: I’m not good at this, try saying: Mistakes are proof that I am trying. Support your child to create their own ‘Doodle Art’ poster of a growth mindset phrase.

Key Book: ‘The Dot’ by Peter Reynolds


Keep an eye on this page for updates on future units we will be covering.