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SPARK Resilience fits in perfectly to our PSHE curriculum

Ruth Mead, SPARK Resilience Teacher and SENCO at Virginia Primary School in Tower Hamlets shares her experience of delivering SPARK Resilience to her Year 6 class thanks to funding from Allen & Overy.

“Year 6 really love PSHE and SPARK Resilience fits in perfectly. The programme builds on our school ethos of growth mindset and resilience. We already have a big focus on mental health and resilience within the school so work around the resilience gym is quite familiar for the pupils and the type of thing we regularly discuss in circle time. However, other aspects of SPARK Resilience, particularly the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy elements are challenging them more, pushing them out of their comfort zones where they are learning to be more analytical which is good.

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The programme definitely builds children’s reflective skills, allowing them to reflect on situations and giving them the language around this. It also builds their empathy when looking at different people’s situations. Finally, it gives us a framework within which to talk about resilience – helping them to see resilience isn’t just about a one-off big event or something solely physical or even determination to keep learning things they find difficult. It’s actually very important for social situations they face every day. As the programme progressed, it was great to see more of the children identify the differences between the positive and negative parrots and to be able to think about how they can use that knowledge to regulate their emotions and reassess a situation.

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I enjoy delivering the programme and the training I completed before I started was a good coverage of all the different aspects of SPARK Resilience we needed to know about. Importantly, all the teaching materials are very clear, well labelled on the online system and easy to navigate.

Overall, it has been an amazing opportunity to have this programme funded for us thanks to the support of Allen & Overy – the skills children learn through SPARK Resilience are really important and something which is not fully on the curriculum so to have a programme like this which focuses on it is fantastic. So far we are finding it a really positive experience and are enjoying running the programme with them.”

Ruth Mead, SPARK Resilience Teacher and SENCO at Virginia Primary School
3 October 2022