Why we launched Start2BResilient – Upskilling Students For Resilience

A new digital resource to help students, their parents and teachers increase their ability to adapt to adversity and develop resilience and determination.
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We believe that anyone can develop their resilience. Everyone can use resilience as a platform to work better, live better and feel better. Our organisational work and our coaching assignments demonstrate that developing our fundamental resilience skills can transform thinking, behaviours, relationships and even culture. Large organisations trust us to help, and we’ve won awards that back up our belief.

But that is not enough. We have always believed that our resilience skills and training could and should be available earlier than adulthood.

Having worked with a primary school teacher and encouraged by results from an initial face-to-face project with Haute Vallee School and Victoria College, a passion was building. The findings of the project showed:

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improved their ability to deal with pressure and stress

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improved their ability to manage difficult relationships and conflict

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improved their ability to make better decisions and solve problems

Anxiety levels significantly reduced across students and their parent and teacher support network.

These exciting results highlighted a simple truth. One that we couldn’t ignore and one that we had felt all along. Like adults in the working world, students’ mental health and performance significantly benefit from the platform created by our tools and skills to get the most out of life, challenges, and successes. Evidence-based skills facilitating the ability to think strategically, help them better manage their emotional and mental health, and support them in becoming future leaders.

Then, Covid arrived, bringing a new emphasis and a pressing question for a team that cares about their community. How do we do this quickly? Students, teachers and their parents need this now.

And so “Start2Be Resilient” was born. Start2BeResilient is a pioneering digital resource designed to help support secondary school communities, and it has now gone live. 

The whole team came together and gave up their time to design, develop, and produce:

  • a “how-to” guide giving students, teachers and parents everything they need to start building their resilience together  
  • short, engaging and interactive skills videos and content
  • teacher classroom packs designed to build on the skills further 
  • surveys to inform and gain insight into how students are currently thinking and feeling 

All wrapped up in one easy and straight-forward digital resource available on any device. 

And then we reached out to others to help remove the final barrier.

Thanks to local business sponsorship, the programme is being offered free to all secondary schools, including parents.

Director, Louise Scambler, said, “We are delighted that industry partners recognise that this will help students now and throughout their chosen professions. This project has become a shining example of communities coming together to support their community. I am very proud of what we’ve achieved together and the difference it will make to our schools.”

Why is all of this so important? And why now?

The best people to answer these questions are the teachers who know first hand the challenges students and schools face.

We're excited for the potential we see in this digital resource. It's incredibly important that we support our students, parents and teachers in every way we can during these challenging times. It's a unique opportunity. Our school community learns key skills and techniques together that are quick and practical. They will give people a common language to talk about their emotions and worries without feeling vulnerable."

Le Rocquier Head of Social Science Faculty - Kimberley Lappin

When the team at Resilience Development Company came into see me, I was immediately struck by how easy the skills were to grasp and communicate with others. The resource will give us invaluable information about how our students are thinking and feeling at the moment, together with the skills to help them through this difficult period. It's great to be involved!"

Hautlieu Deputy Headteacher - Claire Jackson

"I had the opportunity to meet students and teachers who have participated in the resilience programme before COVID-19. There are opportunities and outcomes that would enable us as a community to tackle mental health issues and create confidence and challenge in a world that is constantly changing. It provides a toolkit for life that could be a game-changer for how we support younger generations into the future."

Minister For Education - Tracy Vallois

And finally, what is resilience anyway? Why will it help and why now?

We know that resilience is such an umbrella term. People have many different ideas about what resilience is and what it means in day-to-day life. Some believe it belongs in therapy or is about coping when times are tough.

We think of resilience on a sliding scale from coping to thriving. At one end of the scale, is the coping end – dealing with challenges, overcoming setbacks and climbing obstacles. In short, dealing with the here and now.

But this is only half the story.

At the other end is the thriving end. Knowing when and how to persist a little more, pause to re-energise and pivot into greater success. It’s about tapping into your authenticity, building and leveraging strong social support systems and cultivating an agile and strong mindset. (Not necessarily mental toughness.)

People move up and down the scale when their personal resilience meets an ever-changing environment and new situations. And that’s completely normal.

Once you have a toolkit that applies across the scale, you can adapt and be flexible. That’s what we help people develop and why we say we help people work better, live better and feel better. Most of our work is helping teams and even divisions go from good to great. Yet, most people think of resilience as on the coping side. We believe that’s because traditional research focuses on the impact of resilience on coping with challenges and setbacks.

Resilience is much more than this narrow view.

Amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, organisations, including schools, putting their people first are more likely to thrive. Communities creating security and belonging are weathering an unprecedented storm. Families are forging bonds like never before. They are rising, resilient.

And we are proud to be with them.

Want to talk about getting involved?

Get in touch and let's chat.