Albany Junior School

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ARA - Academic Resilience


Who are YoungMinds?


YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

What is Mental Health?

The strength and capacity of our minds to grow and develop, to be able to overcome difficulties and challenges and to make the most of our abilities and opportunities. YoungMinds 2006


Child Mental Health

A capacity to enter into, and sustain, mutually satisfying and sustaining personal relationships

Continuing progression of psychological development

An ability to play and to learn so that attainments are appropriate for age and intellectual level

A developing moral sense of right and wrong

A degree of psychological distress and maladaptive behaviour within normal limits for the child’s age and context

A clear sense of identity and self-worth


The role of Schools

Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours

at school..


The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives.


What is Academic Resilience?

Academic Resilience – beating the odds for better results, is an approach for schools devised by Lisa Williams and Professor Angie Hart and adapted by YoungMinds, based on Professor Hart’s collaborative resilience work at the University of Brighton.


Academic Resilience means students achieving good educational outcomes despite adversity. For schools, promoting it involves strategic planning and detailed practice involving the whole school community to help vulnerable young people do the best they can, regardless of their personal circumstances or external factors which may otherwise affect them doing so.

Resilient Children

”Can resist adversity, cope with uncertainty and recover more successfully from traumatic events or episodes” Newman, T (2002)

Resilience – a definition

“The human capacity to face, overcome and ultimately be strengthened and even transformed by life’s adversities and challenges .. a complex relationship of psychological inner strengths and environmental social supports.” (Masten)


“Ordinary magic .. In the minds, brains and bodies of children, in their families and relationships and in their communities.” (Masten)



As part of the project we need to recruit a small group of pupils to work together as Resilience Champions.


What are Resilience Champions?

Resilience Champions are students who have been identified by us in order to support the Academic Resilience Approach work that we are undertaking as a part of our school’s Resilience Action Plan. They are tasked with leading on, informing and perhaps delivering some of that work.

Who are they? 

These will be students that have been identified by their class teacher and selected for this work. It is important that these students are young people who have an interest in promoting positive mental health and resilience of the whole school. Whilst sessions will be facilitated, students need to be able to work effectively as a group, participate in group discussions and generate ideas. 

Why do we need them?

The Academic Resilience Approach is all about co-production involving the whole school community! In order to promote the positive mental health and resilience of students it is imperative we listen to their views and involve them in the process, taking our lead from them and helping them create their own solutions where this is possible.

What will they do?

Champions will meet for 4 sessions supported by YoungMinds:

Session 1: Introductory session on ‘What is resilience’? (lead by YoungMinds)

Session 2: Introductory session on the Resilience Framework

Session 3: Action planning pupil-led initiatives/projects

Session 4: Action planning & troubleshooting

Meet the team!
We are a team of pupils, who meet every Friday to discuss Academic Resilience. We are currently working on a project, which will focus on the mental health and well being of ourselves and our peers. We are currently in the process of devising a questionnaire to consider what our friends understand about mental health and well being. We are hoping to run an assembly alongside Miss Gibson on the 10th October 2018, which is World Mental Health Day. Following on from this, we are hoping to make mental health and well being a termly focus. Keep checking back here for updates on our progress.

Mental Health & Well-being Week

Next week the Academic Resilience Champions will be carrying out a project, hoping to raise the profile of mental health & well-being in school. Each day they will be delivering an assembly themed around mental health. 


They have asked that all pupils complete the survey below, so that they can see what people think mental health and well-being is. It's not a test, so don't worry. Please be honest in your answers.