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Healthier pupils; better learners.


"Resilience refers to the ability to continue to develop in difficult circumstances: to face, overcome and ultimately be strengthened by life’s adversities and challenges.”

National Children’s Bureau, 2015

What is resilience? Why is it important? 

The capacity to cope and feel competent is referred to as resilience. Resilience embraces the ability to deal more effectively with stress and pressure, to cope with everyday challenges, to bounce back from disappointments, adversity and trauma. It allows individuals to develop clear and realistic goals to solve problems, to relate comfortably to others and to treat oneself and others with respect.

Numerous scientific studies of children facing adversity in their lives have supported the importance of resilience as a powerful insulating force. Resilience explains why some children overcome overwhelming obstacles on their way to successful adulthood, while others become victims of their early experiences and environments.

More and more the evidence for the link between resilience and wellbeing and learning is being recognised: 

The Link between Wellbeing and Attainment, (NAHT PHE Nov 2014)

This briefing provides a broad, succinct scope of the scientific evidence highlighting the link between health and wellbeing and educational attainment. It underlines the value for schools of promoting health and wellbeing as an integral part of a school effectiveness strategy, and highlights the important contribution of a whole-school approach.

Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing A whole school and college approach (PHE March 2015)

This guidance from Public Health England presents eight principles to promote emotional health and wellbeing in schools and colleges. We contributed to the development of the document, and our resource STOP Stigma is cited as good practice.  

Mental health and behaviour in schools: Departmental advice for school staff. (DfE 2014) 

In order to help their pupils succeed, schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy. There are a variety of things that schools can do, for all their pupils and for those with particular problems, to offer that support in an effective way. This guidance sets out what schools can do and where they can get further support.

How we can support you:

We support resilience through our work on Mental Health, Emotional Health and Wellbeing and skills and support to help reduce risk-taking behaviour (Personal, Social and Health Education)

Our work and support for schools is linked to: 

ReSET (our resource for schools:  Resilience and Self-Esteem Toolkit)

STOP Stigma (Our award winning resource to help raise awareness and understanding of Mental Health for Secondary Schools)

Online safety including staff training on keeping safe online, and supporting healthy relationship buildking.

Headstart Kernow 

HeadStart is a Big Lottery funded project aimed at 10 to 16 year olds to bring about all of the following outcomes:

  • Young people are better able to cope in difficult circumstances and do well in school and in life
  • Building resilience helps to prevent the onset of common mental health problems
  • Learning from different approaches contributes to an evidence base for service re-design and for investment in prevention

To find out more about how Headstart Kernow can support your work in school, please contact HeadStartKernow@cornwall.gov.uk 

Savvy Kernow 

Rise Above (a national resilience support programme for children and young people aged 11-16 from Public Health England)

Young Carers Strategy in Cornwall 

MindEd is a free educational resource on children and young people's mental health for all adults

For Volunteers and Professionals 

This is for you if you volunteer, work or are studying to work with infants, children or teenagers. MindEd has e-learning applicable across the health, social care, education, criminal justice and community settings. It is aimed at anyone from beginner through to specialist.

For Families

Are you a parent or carer who is concerned about your child? Or perhaps you just want some hints and tips on parenting? MindEd for Families has online advice and information from trusted sources and will help you to understand and identify early issues and best support your child