Resilience and PSHE

In Resilience in year 7 and PSHE in year 8 and 9 we deliver a creative and engaging curriculum. This includes changing attitudes, and developing skills that are essential for the engagement, academic success and ultimate well-being of each and every student.

Adversity isn’t always to be avoided, it is often a necessary prerequisite to building both character and resilience. In year 7 students are encouraged to learn the skill of Juggling.

Every year 7 student has five lessons a week to develop:

  • A growth mindset
  • Flexible thinking skills
  • An optimistic outlook

We teach students the practical skills that they can use to make their lives at the academy and at home go better.

Resilience is closely related to optimism. It is a cognitive skill that enables students to climb over life’s obstacles rather than be defeated by them.

Resilience involves building personal coping skills and developing protective factors in the individual’s environment. The skills which enable a young person to be resilient include:

  • Being resourceful and having effective coping skills
  • A willingness to ask for help
  • The self-knowledge that they can do something that will enable them to manage their feelings and cope
  • Strong connection to family and friends

Resilience is focused around “The 6 R’s” – Resilience, Responsibility, Reflection, Reasoning, Respect and Resourcefulness.

We focus on developing the following areas of Resilience:

  • Academic – The ability to apply and commit to academic challenges.
  • Behavioural – The ability to behave in an appropriate manner when appropriate.
  • Cognitive – The ability to apply and adapt to new situations.
  • Cultural and spiritual – The ability to show tolerance and respect in all situations.
  • Emotional – The ability to control emotions and empathise with others.
  • Endurance – Mental and physical strength in the face of adversity.
  • Physical – The ability to control your body and push yourself under pressure.


A wide range of topics are studied to encourage self-motivated learners to flourish as they progress through school in all their areas of study. They include:

  • British Values and Democracy
  • Wellbeing
  • Resilience and Diversity
  • Thinking Matters
  • Resilient individuals
  • Resilience and citizenship in the UK today
  • My ideal place to live


Year 7 Resilience Camp
Each year in late September the new intake in year 7 are taken on a 3 day resilience camp during which they will demonstrate varying levels of resilience according to a series of cognitive an physical challenges typified by the camping experience. This would include tent construction, cooking and outdoor physical activities.
Future plans include extending challenging, physical and mental activities to the formal curriculum in years 8 and 9 so that students can apply the resilience learned in year 7.

Year 8 PSHE

PSHE education contributes to personal development by helping young people to build their personal identities, confidence and self-esteem, make career choices and understand what influences their decisions including financial ones.

In year 8 all students have one lesson a week. Content ranges from Drugs education to challenging Racism and Discrimination.


Year 9 PSHE

In year 9 all Students have one lesson a week. Content ranges from “Careers” to “Thinking Methods”. The aims of the course are as follows:

To teach students how they learn, and thus how they can be more effective learners.

To create lifelong learners who are resilient, resourceful, responsive and who are able to reflect and reason.

To develop and deepen students’ thinking skills.

To allow students to reflect on aspects of 21st Century life.

Both Resilience and PSHE are subjects which “form a bridge between education and public health”. The department aims to instil the qualities and attributes which our young people need to thrive in an increasingly complex and challenging society.

John Smeaton Academy is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538)
and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.