Developing Resilience (a Geography department-led initiative)

Who is it for?
Anyone trying to help students develop their resilience and independence in the classroom.
(Please see attached presentation from the History and Geography SSAT and Royal Geographical Society conference in London in May 2013).

Outline of idea

This work was done by the Geography department this year, as a coherent departmental approach to  developing resilience and independence in learners of Geography.  It was an approach related to the whole school development plan and the whole school learning to learn programme (CREATE – Confident – Reasoning – Empathetic – Active – Tenacious).

School Development Plan 2011-14:  2.Teaching and Learning :
1.  To have ensured that the principles embodied in CREATE are successfully embedded within the curriculum
2.  To map and evaluate current opportunities for curricular subject delivery of CREATE principles

The approach also took account of the new Ofsted standards, with respect to independent learning:
“Pupils show exceptional independence; they are able to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out their own investigations and working constructively with others. They show significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity in their understanding and skills within the subject”
How it worked out
Applying resilience in a range of contexts (differentiation, inclusion, assessment, independent learning beyond the classroom), the main findings were that it is important to embrace failure as a positive starting point for further questioning and understanding, not as a negative outcome or endpoint and also that resilience is very personal. There was strength in this approach because it was at departmental level and has begun to build a coherent approach to developing these attributes in all of our Geography learners.

Next steps

Of course, there are many ways to build resilience and independence in classroom learners: risk taking, ICT, AfL and more.  This was a starting point and there is much more to be developed, we think.

Any links to further material  or idea online
CREATE Learning to Learn Programme Overview
Presentation – History and Geography SSAT and Royal Geographical Society conference in London