Resilience is a skill that, as a School, we are keen to support the children in fostering. Now, our current situation has certainly given the children ample opportunity to show this in abundance and put this skill into practice in different circumstances. As mentioned previously, I feel this is an essential part of our aim to nurture the children so they can achieve their very best. Developing resilience can be a varied process for children of all ages, and is often something they need to persevere with, be that being able to do their zip up, learn tricky words, master times tables or gain new skills. They must be allowed to do so independently and, at times, not always be fully successful.
Being resilient in the current circumstances can at times be a challenge, but I am delighted in how our children have coped and held onto their Brabyns spirit. Hopefully the strategies we have put in place, such as our well being support, one-to-one chats, and chances for the children to have their own social chats as well as the more creative, physical and fun activities have helped as well.
The feeling of success the children have when they have persevered and achieved something by conquering it and working through the ‘learning pit’ is great to see, and the self-reward for this is actually far better for them than receiving a certificate or award. In fact, the most successful learners are self-motivated and not concerned by extrinsic awards, or praise, appreciation or thanks from others. They simply want to better themselves. When they have persevered it is wonderful, as it means that they have made a sustained effort over a period of time, and therefore are demonstrating their resilience.
Our reliance on technology has never been more evident than at present, and we know we can find out facts as the press of a button, a swipe of a finger or ask Alexa (other devices are available!). However I believe a successful child needs the exposure to situations in which they must problem solve, so they can build on their skills, be creative, flexible and deepen their learning. These qualities of adaptation, imagination and intuition, will set them aside from technology, and enable them to view problems not as setbacks, but as opportunities for creative thinking and as exciting challenges which they can overcome.
This growth mind-set is one we have a responsibility to ensure that our children increasingly understand, value and practice, and works best with the support of our parents, especially when currently in a ‘home teacher’ role. This will mean allowing the children opportunities to try independently first, and then considering if, and when, the offer to help is most beneficial. Enabling that learning moment (when they ‘fail’) builds their resilience and, in turn, increases their confidence by coming through the other side and turning the challenge into an achievement. A child that can persevere and successfully foster the resilience we model at Brabyns is very often the successful, confident child and one I feel will be able to go on to flourish and achieve.