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Building Sustainable Change: The Keys to Effective School-Based Projects

The Anxiety Project

Resilience in Our Teens

Childhood anxiety

Teen anxiety


13th November, 2023

Building Sustainable Change: The Keys to Effective School-Based Projects

What makes a change project effective and sustainable?

Behind our whole-school community change projects The Anxiety Project and Resilience in Our Teens are proven strategies to ensure sustainable change toward new habits that reduce anxiety.

The Power of a Roadmap: The Theory of Change

At the heart of these initiatives is ‘Theory of Change’, a model utilised by organisations like the UN for its ability to provide a structured roadmap toward achieving long-term goals. In the context of schools, this model is a powerful tool for both educators and stakeholders, offering a clear understanding of the connections between activities and desired outcomes. The Theory of Change isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It's a dynamic framework that allows schools to tailor their strategies to their unique contexts, goals, and challenges. By identifying and addressing assumptions, strategies, and causal pathways, educators can better navigate the complex landscape of change within their institutions.

Affecting the Few to Effect the Many: Empowering Significant Adults

A pivotal principle guiding these projects is the notion of "Affect the few to effect the many." Recognizing the influential role that significant adults—parents, teachers, and caregivers—play in children's lives, the initiatives focus on equipping these key figures with simple yet impactful strategies. By teaching significant adults effective tools to foster resilience thinking structures, a ripple effect is created. These adults, interacting with numerous children daily, become catalysts for change in various environments, be it at home, in school, during sports activities, or beyond. This approach leverages the multiplier effect of the influence these adults have on the well-being of the many children they engage with regularly.

Small Steps, Big Impact: The Power of Consistency

The magic often lies in seemingly modest interventions consistently applied over time. The projects recognise that to reduce a child's anxiety and build resilience, it's not always about grand gestures but the cumulative effect of small, consistent changes. Language choices to strategic questioning and embracing everyday opportunities to reinforce resilience with an incremental approach. Through these deliberate and sustained efforts, children are provided with the scaffolding needed for problem-solving and the development of resilient thinking. It's about recognising that resilience is not built overnight but through a series of intentional, manageable steps. Behind our effective and sustainable change projects are evidence-based strategies and models that guide the project framework. The combination of a clear roadmap, the empowerment of significant adults, and consistent, incremental interventions create a formula for transformative change, fostering resilience and reducing anxiety for the benefit of the entire school community.

To learn more about our whole-school community anxiety management projects, check out the links below.

Primary - The Anxiety Project - https://nswppa.org.au/the-anxiety-project

Secondary - Resilience in Our Teens - https://www.parentshop.com.au/professionals/resilience-in-our-teens


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