Route to Resilience

“Route to Resilience” is an exciting venture for the whole school which we are thrilled to be taking part in. It builds on the work we have already completed in relation to the 6Rs and how these can build life-long learning skills. It also supports the Lionheart Character Award work that our Year 4 children are currently participating in.

We have started our R2R journey this year on a project led by Steve Harris from Wellbeing Education and we are linked with several other schools in Leicester and Leicestershire. Within the project, we are developing ways to create and foster strong “character muscles” in the children to prepare them for life-long learning.

Our Character Muscle Vocabulary

As a school, we have decided to have 30 “Character Muscles” which are listed below:

Concentration Making Links Independence Curiosity Self-esteem
Imagination Perseverance Enthusiasm Reasoning Optimism
Imitation Communicating Questioning Problem Solving Self-efficacy
Feeling Safe & Secure Humility & Gratitude Integrity Co-operation Teamwork
Peace Friendship Good Humour Kindness Courage & Risk-taking
Confidence Revising & Improving Empathy & Compassion Managing Impulsivity Metacognition

We will learn about these in lessons and assemblies throughout the year.

Teaching Character

There is growing recognition for the need to equip young people with strong character muscles that will support them in becoming successful in future occupations and will help them to develop into healthy and happy adults. The basic concept of character must be taught first before becoming an integral part of teaching and learning. Guy Claxton’s metaphor of seeing characteristics as “muscles” is very helpful as it suggests a number of key points that the teaching phase needs to help children understand:

  • Everyone has these character qualities
  • Through conscious focus and exercise, they can be made stronger and developed
  • Characteristics built through one “exercise” are transferable to different situations
  • Using the correct combination of muscles to achieve the task at hand is the route to success
  • The best response to perceived weak areas is to not avoid this ‘muscle’ but to make yourself exercise it.
  • Successful people are a combination of these character muscles.

It is vital for children to understand the idea that we each have the full range of characteristics celebrated at Riverside Primary school and that they can be strengthened through sustained effort. 

Our Route to Resilience

It explains what each character muscle is and does, that at different times (and different tasks) we need to draw on different aspects of our personality to achieve success. Children must learn that current strengths and weakness are not fixed. Areas of weakness are made stronger through practice. Areas of strength are to be maintained by continued use.

It gives children opportunities to use these character muscles through the school day. To help pupils explore their own strengths and those of others. Develop children’s language around these character muscles.

It allows children to independently apply their choice of character muscles to a given situation or task and comment on how the skills needed for that task could be applied in a different way.

It shows children the transferability of character muscles. To succeed in various fields or careers, there is a lot of common ground and that we find many different ways to strengthen our character muscles.