Resilience

Resilience

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is a necessary skill for coping with the ups and downs of life and one of the key ingredients of success. A number of things impact on a person’s resilience, including their previous experiences, their sense of self, the coping strategies they have developed over time and their mindset.

Students need to be taught that failure can be a precursor to success and is a necessary component of learning. The only way to succeed with tasks, assignments and exams, in physical activities such as sport, and in life in general is through perseverance and persistence, and by embracing and learning from failure. This is a growth mindset and a key aspect of developing resilience.

A mindset is the sum of the various beliefs people hold about themselves. These self-perceptions determine their behaviour, outlook and mental attitude. For example, people may believe that they are either ‘intelligent’ or ‘unintelligent’. Developing a growth mindset is essential in building students’ personal and social capabilities, including self-awareness and self-management.

Resilience is directly related to wellbeing; it is about having the ability to cope with and adapt to new situations. Being resilient and positive, with a sense of wellbeing, enables a person to approach other people and situations with confidence and optimism. This mindset is especially important for students given the enormous changes and challenges they face throughout adolescence.

By helping students to develop the skills to build resilience and a growth mindset, we can minimise the effects of negative, stressful situations. These skills allow students to face challenges, learn from them, and develop ways to live a happy and healthy life.

This resource includes classroom activities for developing resilience. The activities have been designed to help students explore and develop a growth mindset and to understand how they can bounce back from adversity. It includes Wellbeing Fives and links to articles that can be shared with the whole school community.

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Classroom resources

Designed to be engaging and relevant to your students

Bouncing back

Students learn how to understand resilience through the concept of bouncing back.

7-10

60 minutes

Character strengths

Students review their personal strengths and reflect on how to apply them to various tasks and activities.

7-10

60 minutes

What is mindfulness?

Students learn about mindfulness and how they can use it in their everyday life.

7-10

60 minutes

Understanding fixed and growth mindsets

Students reflect on their understanding of ‘failure’, and on the impact of different mindsets.

7-10

60 minutes

That part does WHAT?

Students work collaboratively to develop an understanding of the different parts and functions of the brain.

7-10

60 minutes

Observing and building mindsets

Students work collaboratively on a difficult exercise and reflect on their learning process.

7-10

60 minutes

Emotional awareness and self-regulation

Students identify how their feelings, emotions and thoughts impact on day to day life and their self-awareness and self-regulation.

7-10

60 minutes

Connectedness and reaching out

Students analyse their understanding of ‘connectedness’ and the importance of reaching out to various friendship circles.

7-12

60 minutes

Learning from failure

This lesson is aimed at continuing to develop a growth mindset and learn from failure by encouraging students to think of the learning process in terms of ‘mastery’ and ‘not yet’.

7-10

60 minutes

Flexible thinking

Students examine the concept of ‘flexible thinking’ and how recognising other points of view is essential to developing resilience.

7-10

60 minutes

Impulse control

Students unpack the meaning of impulse control and develop strategies to manage their reactions to situations.

7-10

60 minutes

Empathy

Students explore their understanding of empathy and recognise how to respond to people’s feelings.

7-10

60 minutes

Self-efficacy

Students develop self-efficacy skills, learning the importance of creating and maintaining a sense of self-belief.

7-10

60 minutes

Optimism

Students illustrate their understanding of optimism by reflecting on personal examples and case studies.

7-10

60 minutes

Training minds to stretch and grow

Students learn that the brain continually creates new neural pathways and alters existing ones in order to adapt to new experiences, learn new information and create new memories.

7-10

60 minutes

Wellbeing Fives

Energise, refocus and develop wellbeing in your students in 5 minutes

Breathing exercise 7/11

Use this mindfulness breathing exercise with your students to help them feel relaxed.

7-10

5 minutes

How thoughts affect feelings and actions

Students evaluate how thoughts affect feelings and behaviour.

7-10

5 minutes

In the zone

Students unpack the concept of being in the zone and how it applies to their own experiences.

7-10

5 minutes

Music as a coping strategy

Students understand how creating a music playlist can help them to cope and focus.

7-12

5 minutes

Self-care hand

When students learn to look after themselves, it builds their self-confidence and helps them focus more on the positive things in their life. There are some steps students can take to encourage the habit of self-care.

7-12

5 minutes

Acceptance

A helpful way to cope with things that are out of our control is to practise acceptance. Instead of seeing ourselves as victims or our situation as negative, acceptance makes us feel empowered about the things we can do.

7-10

5 minutes

What mindset do you have?

Students complete a quiz to learn about the type of mindset they have.

7-10

5 minutes

What's in a name?

Feeling part of a group and knowing the names of others in the group can enhance connectedness. This activity is fun and requires students to listen carefully to each other, helping them to feel part of the group.

7-10

5 minutes

‘I woke up early on the weekend’ meditation

This meditation uses the focused meditation technique to develop kindness and acceptance in a frustrating situation.

7-12

5 minutes

Stop. Think!

Being able to control impulses and reactions to different situations is an important skill. This activity asks students to stop and think before they react.

7-10

5 minutes

‘Ways to chill for cheap’ exercise

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. This activity provides students with an opportunity to discuss different low-cost ways to chill out.

7-12

5 minutes

Positive vibes

Resilient individuals are more likely to experience more positive emotional responses, including such things as happiness, serenity, optimism and joy, than negative emotional responses such as anger.

7-10

5 minutes

Rephrasing for a growth mindset

Students learn to rephrase negative statements into positive thoughts to encourage a growth mindset.

7-10

5 minutes

Growth mindsets: Learning to walk

As a class, record and reflect on skills and activities that students have mastered, but that had taken time, effort and patience to achieve.

7-10

5 minutes

Using rewards to stay motivated

Students identify one goal they wish to achieve and look at ways to keep motivated to achieve it.

7-10

5 minutes

'FAIL' acronym

The word ‘fail’ has negative connotations for most people. Students will ‘rebrand’ the term by creating an acronym in order to create a more positive connection with the notion of ‘failing’.

7-10

5 minutes

Resources for parents and carers

Share with parents and carers to support a whole school approach to student wellbeing. 

Resilience and teens

Positive coping skills will help your teenager be resilient and have good mental wellbeing.

How to have a great conversation

Use these tips to start positive and constructive conversations with your teenager.

Teens and coping skills

You can do some simple things to help your teenager put coping skills into action.

Teach your teenager to be resilient

Resilient teenagers recover from setbacks, adapt to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.

Resources for students

Engaging and reliable content for young people to support their wellbeing. 

Chilling out

Chilling out is super important for your health and wellbeing, especially when you're going through a stressful time. Fortunately there are heaps of ways to help you relax.

Problem solving

Problem solving is a skill. Approaching a problem the right way may not guarantee the outcome you want, but you can feel good about making the best choice possible.

Self-talk and self-awareness

Self-talk and self-awareness - the way you talk to and feel about yourself - is the key to learning how to be more positive.

Setting goals

Learning how to set goals will help you to plan your future, and clarify what's important to you. The first step in achieving them is deciding what they are!