Assistant Principal Mr Haston has been coordinating some activities around academic recovery throughout the school. Here he writes about one of the initiatives called Resilient Me which we ran in April for Years 9, 10 and 11:
As part of our school’s community-academic recovery, we have invested in an external company called Resilient Me to provide workshops for our students. Resilient Me are a specialist education company with a wealth of knowledge and experience with secondary school teachers and students. We were lucky enough to have the founder of the company, Rachel, an experienced journalist and broadcaster with ITV. Helen, our second presenter has been teaching Languages and in further education for over 25 years. We were indeed in good hands!
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our school community in multiple ways: academically, pastorally and in the general skills our students normally learn from school. We recognise that the students have been impacted in ways that have limited some of their natural skills in motivation, resilience, determination and in how to look to the future.
Helen and Rachel talked to our Year 9, 10, and 11 students about how to be more resilient. They did this through breathing techniques, showing them how to be more organised, having and end goal in mind, perseverance and understanding more about who you are. Plenty of brain gym techniques were used, such as chopping wood with your left hand whilst drawing a triangle with your right, all designed to reconfigure the function of the brain. Staff members enjoyed this too!
As well as techniques there were other things to consider. One useful fact we learned was that 80% of what we learn in a day is not stored by our brains until the next day Revision, revision, revision is key to every student’s success. Remember however that the brain can only cope with 30 minutes revision at a time so planning and pacing are essential.
Our students certainly did us proud with their excellent engagement and thought-provoking responses. Upon leaving, one student commented: “I never knew I could use a mind map – using colours and images; I will change my technique!”