Building Character, Grit & Resilience in Schools

In education we know how to measure IQ – but what if doing well in school (and life) depends on much more than your ability to learn quickly and easily? What we also know is that talent is no guarantee of success – in fact resilience/grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measure of talent…

The Importance of Grit

In international research across a wide range of companies – private and public sector workers – into who was most likely to succeed, be promoted, earn the most money, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success – it wasn’t social intelligence, IQ, good looks or physical health – it was grit. The keystones of a successful life: feeling in control; holding on to self-belief; being able to bounce back and being able to channel your anger all need to be taught.

Character Education Prioritised by Ofsted

From September 2019, schools will not be rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in Personal Development without evidence of building character – including their students' resilience, confidence and independence and how schools help them understand how to keep physically and mentally healthy.

Who is this INSET for?

This course is suitable for school leaders and teachers at all key stages.

Course Outline

Children cannot become competent without first developing a set of skills that allows them to trust their judgments, make responsible choices and face difficult decisions. Those children who understand how their brain changes in response to challenge are much more likely to persevere when the going gets tough and one of the best ways of helping children to understand this is by teaching them to have a growth mindset. This INSET offers a range of practical ideas and strategies, based on sound research.

The science of resilience: it’s not rocket science but it might just be neuroscience...

An introduction to the human brain, how it works, and crucially, what to teach children and young people so that they can then make their own brain work for them, rather than against them.

Dopamine – a teacher’s best friend.

Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain and a key component in effective learning. It is, however, predominantly under the control of the limbic brain – so how they feel – about you, themselves, the lesson and life – will determine whether or not their brain releases dopamine during today’s Maths lesson...

The significance of teaching children and young people to persevere in a world of ‘virtual stone-throwers' and against a backdrop of increasing mental health problems

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health and it’s vital to remember that even people with good mental health still have a bad day sometimes...how do we help our students to gain a perspective on life so that they learn to bounce back from setbacks more quickly?

The value of ‘The 7 Cs’ in incorporating opportunities for children and young people to experience failure and building their resilience to setbacks

Competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control are not inbuilt for most of us, they need to be taught. We discuss ways in which the 7 Cs can underpin our thinking, our planning and thereby be ingrained in our every day teaching, whatever the subject.

Fixed v. Growth Mindset – a look at the work of Carol Dweck et al.

At four years old, most children believe that they can be (and do) anything and everything, then they go to school...we look at ways in which a growth mindset can be developed from an early age and then used to fortify attitudes to learning in the years ahead.

Excellence v. Perfection – the curse of the high achiever.

Having considered how mindsets ultimately influence success, we examine how a fixed mindset avoids failure at all costs – a determining factor in the often habitual risk averse (and therefore self-limiting) approach of our most able.

Concrete skills and problem-solving

It is not uncommon for children and young people to feel overwhelmed when tasks or problems seem insurmountable. An invaluable tool in teaching is showing them how to break something down into easy-to-understand parts. This helps them to build greater resilience and feel less overwhelmed by allowing them to discover how complex problems/ideas/subjects can invariably be broken into less complex parts.

Presenter Profile

Dr Rosemary Taylor has been described by a former Secretary of State for Education as “one of this country’s finest thinkers”. She has worked in education for more than 30 years; she has a Masters Degree in Educational Management and a PhD in Change Management.

Rosemary has held three independent school Headships, latterly taking over the headship of a failing prep school, improving standards and roll, and transforming the school into a profitable enterprise within the first year of her appointment. She then led the acquisition of an additional local school and merged the two schools together extremely successfully to form the largest Prep school in North Yorkshire.

Rosemary is now much in demand as an educational consultant, she delivers professional development and training to schools on a range of teaching and learning topics and also provides support on all aspects of school management and development. In 2007 she was appointed by the United Nations in Kuwait as an advisor to work in developing schools across the Middle East. Since then she has spoken frequently at international school conferences and spends much of her time working at British schools overseas. In 2015 she was the keynote speaker at the COBIS conference in Beijing and delivered workshops on various topics ranging from Gender Issues in the Classroom to the Teenage Brain.

Rosemary is a regular contributor to educational and management publications and is a regional editor for The Good Schools Guide. She is a member of numerous professional bodies, including the Forum for the Gifted & Talented and the Professional Speakers Platform.

Cost: £250 per delegate which includes lunch and resources; £299 for 2 teachers from the same school booking on this course

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