Northern Ireland

Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College teaches resilience

Child hand up
Image caption Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College has produced a booklet on dealing with negative feelings, and bouncing back from setbacks and mistakes

A Belfast school has developed a six-week course of resilience lessons for year 11 pupils.

Our Lady and Saint Patrick's College, Knock, is to share the course with every post-primary school in Northern Ireland.

Teachers and pupils have produced a 32-page booklet with guidance and worksheets detailing each lesson.

They include developing resilience, and dealing with negative feelings, setbacks and mistakes.

The principal of Our Lady and Saint Patrick's, Dermot Mullan, said that the booklet was a joint effort between students and staff.

'Social pressures'

"The lessons were trialled with Year 11 classes, and revised with their input," he said.

"With added social pressures on young people it is more important than ever to equip them with resilience and mindfulness techniques to live full and happy lives.

"The skills the pupils are learning promote positive emotional health, mental well-being and stronger academic and personal performance.

"Resilience enables then to deal with difficult situations, to learn from them and to grow."

'Inner voice'

As well as a six-week programme of lessons, pupils were given tasks to carry out between lessons.

For instance, pupils were asked to spend five minutes each day listening to their inner voice and reflecting on their mindset.

This was in order to help them develop more helpful ways of thinking.

Pupils were also asked to do things like create a playlist of songs which made them feel better and to learn basic meditation techniques.

The school has named the course "The Floreo Project" as the Latin verb Floreo means to flourish, bloom or thrive.

It is to send the course to other post-primaries before the end of the current school year.

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