innovatED Magazine - Issue 3 - Autumn 2019

IndependentSchoolsPortal

A lively mix of news, articles, opinion, research, insight and regulatory updates. We take a global perspective and bring the latest developments and outstanding practice from across the world and across different sectors to enable educators to deliver the very best for their pupils. Produced by an experienced and knowledgeable teaching and school leadership team, innovatED is a termly must-read for all staff rooms.

Leadership

Encouraging Risk Taking and

Building Resilience

Julie Keyes

ISP Network Leader

The Science Bit:

The stress response in humans is initiated by the

amygdala, this is the part of the brain responsible for

our instinctive and impulsive responses. Stressful

situations and circumstances can cause the

prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain to

temporarily shut down. The prefrontal cortex is the

control tower of the brain. It is responsible for

sustaining attention on a task, initiating problemsolving

activities, controlling impulses, and

regulating emotion. Sometimes not having too much

involvement from the prefrontal cortex can be a

good thing. Times when we can rely on our instincts

to choose the right path. Then there are the other

times. The occasions when we need to assert control

to successfully navigate a challenge.

Academic resilience

Resilience is having the capacity to access the

prefrontal cortex and calm the amygdala.

Developing resilience when it comes to school work can start from a very young

age and should not be the preserve of older children.

It begins with the understanding that some things will be hard to achieve and that

difficult situations are not to be avoided. Children should be allowed to

acknowledge their strengths, their effort and their bravery. When children do

encounter a challenge, practice the art of ‘reframing’. This involves looking at a

problem from a different angle so that they might be able to identify the

opportunities, rather than problems, this new challenge has brought them.

Page 30 | Issue 3 | innovatED | Autumn 2019

Nurturing a growth mindset when it comes to academic work can be immensely

valuable. Growth mindset culture is deeply rooted in language, instilling a culture

and ethos where children are equipped with the vocabulary that allows them to

change their mind and alter their viewpoint.

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