Making the most of opportunities in the school day
Throughout the course of a school day there are many situations that may enable children to feel good about themselves and to achieve success. These opportunities may need to be adapted to enable every child to experience positive results, just as we are able to differentiate a child’s learning to achieve this. An example of this can be a ‘Star of the day award’ that can be presented to a child in class at the end of each day. This is an excellent way to ensure that every child receives this award at some point as it can be given for effort made, being kind etc. rather than achieving a specific goal. There are also opportunities at school for children to experience disappointment and failure and for school staff to help them with the feelings these situations may evoke. This is an important aspect of developing resilience. The task of all adults in school is to acknowledge these feelings as they occur and help the child to manage them. It is important not to let a child win a game every time they play with an adult as this is unrealistic and will not build resilience. It is far better to help the child understand that everyone wins and loses at times and to help them explore and express their feelings about this. This can help them to develop persistence, determination and motivation rather than feeling overwhelmed and devastated.