*Please note, this e-workshop is not open to the general public*
The project forms part of the Doncaster Children and Young People’s Plan 2017-2020 which has identified key themes of Achievement, Healthy and Happy as priorities for action. This includes ensuring children and young people are resilient and equipped to access education, employment or training. Children and young people’s voice-driven priorities tell us that they want to be equipped to handle bullying, be more resilient and better able to handle difficult situations.
The Doncaster Mental Toughness and Resilience programme launched in 2018 and aims to gain a clearer understanding of how children and young people living in Doncaster deal with adversity and the effect this has on their school attendance, performance, welfare and behaviour (including transition). The project also aims to equip young people with the skills needed to deal with challenges and opportunities in life.
Research indicates that mental toughness and resilience are key skills in children managing their learning and adapting to new situations and challenges. This is crucial during year 6 with rigorous tests followed by the transition into secondary school. There is further evidence to suggest that many pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds struggle to adapt to the new challenges of secondary school.
The programme offers opportunities for primary and secondary schools to collaborate and track pupils as they transition from year 6 to year 7 and to work in partnership to improve pupils’ mental toughness and resilience.
Schools will receive comprehensive training on the concept of mental toughness, psychometrics and mental toughness development interventions. Staff will have the opportunity to complete the MTQ48 – a measure to assess mental toughness. Research shows a link between staff and student levels of mental toughness.
Following this, year 6 and 7 pupils will complete the MTQ48 Young Person’s Questionnaire as a diagnostic tool. This is an online self-assessment. Access is given via hyperlink. Two feedback reports will be produced for each pupil to allow for 1:1 support where possible. An aggregate report of the group’s overall data will also be provided to allow a clear picture of a class and a year group. Interpretation of results is taught in the workshop. Additionally, materials are provided to aid in the interpretation of results and to help to direct development activity.
A series of mental toughness development activities will be implemented based on the results of the MTQ48 Young Person’s Questionnaire. Activities are taken from the Mental Toughness Development Toolkit – a bank of activities containing delivery guidance, review and reflection which is provided free of charge. Most activities in the toolkit take on average 10-20 minutes to allow them to be easily implemented into an existing curriculum. The key to developing mental toughness is purposeful practice, reflection and self-awareness.
How and when you implement activities is up to you. For example, activities can be implemented as starter/plenary activities or a specific time once a week could be allocated to development activity. We recommend at least one hour per week (this can be spread across the week). Direction and support will be provided.
At a later date, pupils will be reassessed using the MTQ48 Young Person’s Questionnaire to evaluate the impact of development activities and changes in mental toughness. Results may also be correlated with attendance, classroom behaviour and grades etc to examine the wider impact.
There is no charge for participating schools in Doncaster – the programme is funded by the Doncaster School’s forum.
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