Funded as part of the local NHS Future in Mind programme, Route to Resilience was an evidence-based and practical approach to supporting schools and families in their work developing the character, resilience and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. It was based on nationally recognised and locally piloted strategies that integrated with existing curriculum / school routines / requirements and was designed to address two of the key priorities from the Department for Education’s current strategic plan through to 2020.
This fully-funded programme was offered to all state-maintained and state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland over three academiuc years (2017 to 2020). Schools worked together in cohorts of 10 to 15 and attended a total of 10 half-day sessions over the course of an academic year:
Six sessions delivered by Wellbeing Education for headteachers / principals (or another member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team should the headteacher / principal be unavailable). These sessions accommodated schools’ existing work on character, values and growth mindset, whilst sharing a great many practical, effective, innovative and inspirational ideas for use throughout the school. These strategies have been shown to be high-impact and low-workload, creating enthusiasm amongst pupils, parents, and staff alike. Each cohort also hosted a live event that involved Wellbeing Education working directly with a class to teach and demonstrate the effect of some of the classroom techniques in building character, motivation and resilience.
Four sessions delivered by the Centre for Fun and Families for school staff that interact with parents. These sessions informed and equiped school staff with the necessary skills and materials to plan and deliver two parent / carer engagement activities. The events the schools chose to run focused on the delivery of information about their school’s resilience work and encouraged the use of techniques and character words as a shared home / school vocabulary to better support resilience at home.
Every session included elements of training / review / resources and was hosted locally by one of the participating schools. Schools commited to using the training materials to lead staff development and run workshops for parents between sessions to help them achieve the aims of the whole-school approach. Every school received evaluation tools to evidence the impact of the work as the programme progressed.