making a splash

tpm Learners and Staff are ‘Making a Splash’ with their resilience model

At tpm, leaders were quick to recognise the pressures on young people caused by the pandemic. As all learning moved online, leaders were aware of the need to support learners as they adapted to the change. This concern about the well-being of all learners was the catalyst to develop a resilience model. tpm created ‘Making a Splash’ to help learners overcome challenges and build resilience using five key steps.

This quick action by leaders was the correct judgement, as it became evident that young people across the country were struggling. Indeed, a CDC survey indicates that young people between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to suffer mental health problems during the pandemic than any age group. A report by Young Minds describes how young people spoke of loneliness and isolation, concerns about school, college or university work and a breakdown in routine when asked what was affecting their mental health. 

tpm’s MD Brian Quinn explains the support the model gives learners;

 “For me, ‘Making a Splash’ is the embodiment of the outstanding support that tpm extends to its learners. The pandemic of 2020-21 unleashed an unprecedented level of stress on the world. The resilience modelling that we used to respond to the wide range of support, not least of which was a huge spike in reduced mental health, led us to formalise this as a standardised learning module.”

Five Key Steps

Making a Splash consists of five key steps to enable learners to think about their mental health and resilience. Furthermore, it allows them to become more self-aware and understand how to tackle situations. Learners can use the model as a broad concept or look at each step individually in more depth. 

The five key steps are;

Staying Power – have the determination to see things through. 

Logic – breathe and take five to check reality. 

Awareness – be mindful. Attitude is everything. We have no control over the lockdown, but we can control how we respond.

Support – who is your support network? Think about how you can use support networks. 

Health – keep mentally and physically healthy.

Taking Best Practice Forward

Despite being developed for lockdown, Making a Splash has become a fundamental tool for learners and staff. It is now part of the curriculum, and lessons fully embed it. Now, when apprentices first start, they are introduced to Making a Splash as part of their induction. Additionally, a workbook supports this and demonstrates the practical application of Making a Splash. It provides meaningful and purposeful exercises to encourage staff and learners to use it. Furthermore, staff model its use, and it has quickly become the consistent whole organisation approach to resilience. 

Measurable Benefits

The benefits of Making a Splash have been measurable. Despite lockdown, tpm learners have remained on target. Moreover, some learners have even managed to complete their courses ahead of time. Furthermore, using the model has allowed teachers and tutors to discuss matters that learners may have previously shied away from. This has helped with safeguarding and the pastoral care of all learners. 

What’s more, Making a Splash supports the ‘Cultural Capital’ personal development of all learners. Making a Splash encourages learners to think about how they learn skills and realise their talents. Additionally, it develops character and resilience. It also links to British values, diversity and equality. Furthermore, it encourages learners to consider their mental health and well-being. 

Making a Splash has also fed into other ‘value added’ modules of learning. Brian Quinn believes that the model has enhanced the learning provision and experience;

 “It’s now part of our other value-added learning such as digital citizenship skills, the prevent duty, online safety and equality and diversity learning that all tpm learners undertake as we onboard them with their learning programmes.”

The Future of Making a Splash

Moving forward, as tpm takes on the best of the initiatives developed in lockdown, Making a Splash will continue to play a crucial role. Learners will continue to work through the model independently and with their teachers and tutors. What’s more, Lin Hankinson from What If You Can has recorded accompanying videos for staff and learners to use. These videos give practical advice on using Making a Splash. Lin is a well-respected and highly qualified mindset coach and counsellor and is popular with staff and learners. Lin’s videos are accessible, relatable and easy to engage with. They will be a valuable resource. 

The tools and skills Making a Splash develops will be an asset to every learner as they progress through their career.