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As adults, the “best days of our lives” at school become rose-tinted with nostalgia.

Spotlight on Student Support: Building Resilience

Sarah Semyanik
Sarah Semyanik (1 post) SEND Coordinator View Profile

As adults, the “best days of our lives” at school become rose-tinted with nostalgia. It is easy to forget how intense this time can be and how deeply such factors as friendship, peer pressure, social media and attitudes to learning can affect a child’s ability to navigate the emotional and academic terrain of school.

The last year or so has seen a massive surge in stress factors affecting children. Lockdown, loss and isolation in the global pandemic have had an impact on millions of young people, shaping their learning, relationships and perception of the future. How can we help our children to keep a strong and healthy mindset in these challenging times?

The development of healthy eating and exercise routines is something that can be influenced both at school and at home.

Adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits that are vital for mental well-being. Between home and school, we have a fantastic opportunity to help our young people develop qualities that will build their mental strength. At school, we aim to do this throughout the curriculum, finding chances to learn how to manage emotions and develop coping skills, problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills.

The development of healthy eating and exercise routines is something that can be influenced both at school and at home. We can teach the value of adopting consistent sleep patterns and perhaps share relaxation and breathing techniques which can be powerful tools for managing anxiety. And let’s not forget the most formidable force of all: your family’s time, attention and love.

And let’s not forget the most formidable force of all: your family’s time, attention and love.

Our aim as teachers and parents should not be to remove anxiety from the children in our care but to help them to learn to tolerate it and to function as well as they can, even when they are anxious. The only thing that we can be sure of about the future is that it will bring challenges that demand the quality of resilience. Building that resilience means creating healthy mental habits: one step at a time.