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Resilience Project

The Resilience Project was a programme designed to promote character formation and teamwork.

It combined teambuilding and problem solving activities with military boot camp style physical training. The initiative was designed to show how individual challenges can be overcome by working together and how character education is linked to personal and academic achievement.


2nd May 2017: St Helens Star feature Resilience Project in Follow-up Article

Read the article below

Army challenge helps pupils build resilience

PUPILS were put through their paces as part of an extreme classroom challenge project featuring an army assault course.

Students at Penkford School, which caters to children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties,got stuck into the six week challenge as part of a Key Stage 3 Resilience Project.

It was led by the school’s military mentor, Ciaran Muir, who is an amputee who served in Afghanistan.

He said: “The project has been incredibly successful. Pupils have been involved in personal challenges, have experienced team building activities, participated in a student enterprise competition and had a mock interview.

“We have also had several inspirational guest speakers in school like Corie Mapp, a double amputee who is a Paralympian bob-sleigher and Ashleigh Nugent also worked with the pupils on developing Music Raps on the theme of Confidence and Self Esteem.”

“Pupils have participated in several extreme classroom challenges recently, including reaching base camp of Mount Everest, cycling around Mont Blanc and kayaking down the River Ardeche.

“A military style assault course is another opportunity to show true grit and resilience.”

Headteacher Julie Johnson, said: “One of our aims is to help pupils manage their own behaviour and to be aware of their own mental health issues.

“Initiatives like our Resilience Project will have a lasting impact on our pupils and help them to develop coping strategies and transferrable skills.”

Article written by Kelsey Maxwell 30/04/17 St Helens Star


28th March 2017: UK Military School

This week's visitors were the UK Military School! Their former soldiers delievered workshops for our pupils designed to promote teamwork and attainment with a military ethos! Everyone who took part enjoyed the experience and UK Military School gave us a great day - with some fun (and challenging!) activities that are designed to make full use of communication and leadership skills. You can find them at


2nd March 2017: Corrie Mapp speaks to pupils at Penkford

This week's guest speaker was Corrie Mapp, a former soldier turned Paralympic athlete. Corrie, who lost both his legs whilst on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan came into school to share his story with the pupils. Explaining how his resilience has helped him overcome adversity on numerous occasions throughout his life and career.


28th Feb 2017: Ashleigh Nugent visits Penkford

As part of the Resilience Project, rapper Ashleigh Nugent visited school and held workshops for pupils. Ashleigh spoke about his own experiences, and discussed the types of barriers to learning and success that our pupils may be facing in their lives, and how he overcame them.  The outcomes became inspiration for a rap that Ashleigh performed at the end of the workshop. It was a great day for our pupils as part of the Reslience Project and how they could work on building their own self esteem and engagement skills. 



25 Feb 2017: The Resilience Project was featured in the St Helens Star! 

Read the article below!

Pupils to take on military boot camp to help boost confidence

PUPILS are taking on personal challenges as part of a new project combining a military boot camp with The Apprentice .

The six-week project for Key Stage three pupils at Penkford, will be delivered by the school’s military mentor, Ciaran Muir, an amputee from Afghanistan.

It aims to promote character formation and team work, combining team building and problem solving.

Ciaran said: “I hope to bring my own personal experiences to the fore during this exciting project.

“Pupils will face individual personal challenges and also work in teams and tackle problem solving activities.

“I have also invited a number of guest speakers into school including professional athletes, community figures and those that have battled with adversity and gone on to succeed.

“We have invited back a former pupil who is studying for a degree to showcase that Penkford pupils can overcome personal obstacles and achieve academically”.

Head teacher Julie Johnson added: “We are delighted to give our pupils the chance to learn more about themselves and to understand the importance of working as a team.

“Our pupils have social, emotional and mental health issues and opportunities like this help boost self-esteem and confidence”.

The school has been at the forefront of several initiatives since being judged ‘Good’ in all areas by OFSTED in February 2016.

Readers can follow how pupils cope with the challenges they face by following the blog on the school website.

Article written by Kelsey Maxwell 25/02/17 St Helens Star

Penkford School. Wharf Road, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside WA12 9XZ

Tel: 01744 678745 | Fax: 01744 678748 | Email: