Smart Moves is an engaging, interactive and
easy to use resilience programme which has
been developed in consultation with teachers
and young people.
Resilience Skills 


Our capacity to cope with the things that life throws up is a key factor in determining our wellbeing. Helping young people acquire skills that build resilience increases their chances of making a successful transition through college and supports them to become happy, thriving and resilient young adults. Smart Moves is designed to be a universal programme to equip teachers to develop resilience skills with all students. These are life-long resilience skills for all ages.

What is Smart Moves?
 

Smart Moves is a programme of evidence based resources for young people to develop small learnable skills (Smart Moves) that increase resilience.

Students can access the resources independently or with friends; and conversations and activities can also be facilitated by tutors, teachers or through one2one pastoral support. We recommend launching Smart Moves via a seminar session and have provided a presentation to support this below.

When presenting these resources to students it is important to emphasize that it can be used by everyone, in different situations and that it is less of a self-help site and more of a self-development site. These are skills that can be used right through life, not just right now.

 

The activities in this resource are shaped by the Resilience Framework, devised by Professor Angie Hart and collaborators at the University of Brighton and Boingboing; and The Resilient Classroom Resource Pack written by Sam Taylor, Angie Hart and Hove Park School.

This identifies 5 areas of a young person's life that need to be addressed to support the building of resilience:

  • Basics

  • Belonging

  • Learning

  • Coping

  • Core Self 

 

How does it work?

 

Using the Resilience Framework we have organised Smart Moves into a series of ‘Steps to Resilience’ which can be covered according to your own college's needs. 

Within each area there is a range of activites that can help students build resilience. The framework is a box of pick-and-mix ideas. The different areas of the Resilience Framework are not designed to be used as a step-by-step guide one after the other.

You can start anywhere based on student preference or use the 'Rate your Resilience' tool to identify where there is a need. 

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The Resilience Framework has been developed from research evidence and practice. It is used as the basis for a flexible and sustainable whole school approach which has been implemented around the UK and globally, called the Academic Resilience Approach . The Academic Resilience Approach provides free, practical resources to help everyone in the school community step up and support pupils' academic resilience. It offer ideas to help everyone in the school community play a part.

accepting

Start where they are and accept what you can’t change. We can all see the elements in a young person’s life that we cannot change. This can feel overwhelming and frustrating. Accepting involves accepting these circumstances and focusing instead on areas the pupil has influence over. For example, what strengths/areas of resilience are they doing well at, how can they use that to improve those areas that need attention?  Accepting involves concentrating on what can change rather than getting distracted by what we wish was different. 

Conserving

There are four fundamental approaches that support resilience building with young people: 

accepting

Start where they are and accept what you can’t change. We can all see the elements in a young person’s life that we cannot change. This can feel overwhelming and frustrating. Accepting involves accepting these circumstances and focusing instead on areas the pupil has influence over. For example, what strengths/areas of resilience are they doing well at, how can they use that to improve those areas that need attention?  Accepting involves concentrating on what can change rather than getting distracted by what we wish was different. 

Conserving

 Find the good. It can be tempting as the adult to tell a young person all the things they need to do. Conserving is seeing the good things that are already happening in a young person's life. Lots of good things can get lost, especially when things aren’t going smoothly. Focusing on those good things, noticing them and even sometimes having to dig deep to remember them is a positive approach to supporting young people to build resilience. Helping them to use their strengths when facing difficulties and providing a range of tools for them to use. 

Conserving

Conserving

COMMITMENT

Building resilience is rarely a quick fix. We know that being held in mind by a significant adult helps form healthy attachment in students and build resilience. Students say they want support to come up with their own Smart Moves and ideas. Listening and allowing the conversation to go where students want it to go and working with what they come up with will build their resilience. 

 

Enlisting

Building resilience is not a sole crusade or something that one ‘course’ or programme will ‘fix’. Smart Moves is a great starting place for resilience and research shows this approach has a long lasting impact. It is also true that some pupils will need more people involved in supporting them, and you can do this best by enlisting others.

 

 

What the evidence says…

Basics • In order for young people to feel more resilient, basic structures need to be put in place such as good enough housing, enough sleep (students who have slept well will feel more alert and motivated to learn) and healthy diet (can improve behaviour, mood, ability to learn). • If these basic structures are in place then students will feel a greater sense of security and peace of mind and can better deal with the challenges of college life. • Although some of these improvements may seem beyond the reach of ‘college duty’ and are linked to family life and social circumstances, they can still be addressed through taking an interest or exploring sensitively with students. They could make significant changes to your student's wellbeing and enhance their ability to learn.

Belonging • Belonging is an important aspect of resilience building. When a young person has good relationships in their life, and they belong to a group that accept them as they are, this helps create a good sense of self and identity. • Teachers can help by trying to encourage good relationships with friends, teachers and other members of staff. • It is important that young people have somewhere they feel they belong (clubs, activities and favourite places in college) and that they meet people who are good influences, who can help them make sense of where they have come from and their place in the world. • It is really important for the pupil to find something they are good at, an activity or a talent, a way of expressing themselves, whether it’s sport, music, writing, helping out in the library … it can be almost anything. The important thing is that being part of a group where they do or talk about this activity can have a positive effect.

Learning • Learning is a fundamental part of the pupil being able to function successfully in the world. • Helping your students to develop talents, interests and life skills, encouraging them to learn how to cope, how to express their emotions, understand boundaries and have aspirations, are crucial parts of helping them become more resilient. • Helping your students have life plans, visions and getting organised allows them to develop new skills that are an essential part of them increasing their learning.

 

Coping • Coping helps students build up a particular set of skills to help them with the challenges of everyday life. • Encouraging young people to cope helps them develop a sense of bravery, an ability to solve problems and to stand up for their own views and beliefs.

 

Core self • Core self focuses on the importance of the young person's understanding of who they are and their own personal strengths.• Encouraging young people to put themselves in other people’s shoes and be sensitive to how to other people feel can help raise awareness of how they feel and how their behaviour can affect other people’s feelings. • It is important to help them be self-aware and take responsibility for themselves and their behaviour towards others while at the same  time believing in them. • Help them try out different things and  they might find something they are  talented at.

 

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