SEAL Newsletter Issue 5 - SEAL in the Early Years

SEAL Newsletter Issue 5 - SEAL in the Early Years

The government in England are planning to introduce a new baseline assessment, to be undertaken by teachers in the first few weeks of their Reception year. The current Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) will no longer be compulsory. The change will take place in 2016. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum itself remains unchanged. It will, government say, ‘continue to be statutory, supporting children to experience a broad and engaging programme of learning in reception’.
Ofsted have published updated grade descriptors for PSHE education. They include a greater focus on promoting pupils’ resilience and mental health....
The government have just published their new Child Poverty Strategy for consultation. It notes that ‘character’ or non-cognitive skills such as...
Recent speeches by politicians shed light on the different views of the two main parties on social and emotional learning, and what might go in next year’s election manifestos. Both Michael Gove and Shadow Education Minister Tristram Hunt have emphasised the need for character education within schools, but offered a radically different interpretation of the concept.For Michael Gove, it’s about extracurricular activities. Classrooms are for academic learning, but a future school day ‘nine or ten hours long’ would allow time for the clubs and sports that can build character.
An all-party parliamentary group has issued a Character and Resilience Manifesto and report ( which argues that more importance should be given to the development of character and resilience. The Manifesto says schools should make it part of their core business to nurture pupils' self-belief, perseverance and ability to bounce back from set-backs.
Urged in a debate in the House of Lords to make PSHE compulsory , Education Minister Lord Nash affirmed his own commitment to PSHE as a central feature of good schools, but noted that ‘perhaps I have been a little bit slow to grasp ...that not all schools share the belief that PHSE and SRE are so central and important.’ The Minister said that he intended to ensure a ‘culture change’ – not by making PSHE statutory, however, but by giving schools ‘all the help we can to link them to organisations which are specialists in the various areas and are able to update their advice, guidance, trainin
RSA report Schools with Soul has found that SMSC is ‘sliding to the margins’ in the education system. A survey of teacher education courses found that many offered only a single-session introduction to SMSC. All the headteachers interviewed for the report said that it was difficult to prioritise SMSC development in the context of current accountability frameworks, despite their strong feeling that it should be a core purpose of schools.
In a report called Careers 2020: Making Education Work, an independent advisory group of business leaders and economists published a set of recommendations on the transition from school to work.
In March of this year the DfE issued updated guidance for schools on preventing and tackling bullying. It retains the definition of bullying used in the SEAL resources but includes new sections on cyberbullying. There are useful links to relevant organisations such as ChildNet International, who provide specialist resources for young people to raise awareness of online safety and how to protect themselves.
The annual cyberbullying survey carried out by charity Ditch the Label found that seven out of ten young people aged 13-22 are now the victims of cyberbullying, with 37% very frequently cyberbullied. An estimated 1.26 million have been subjected to extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis. Boys and girls were equally at risk. Facebook, Ask.FM and Twitter are the most likely sources of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying was found to have a catastrophic effect on the self-esteem and social lives of up to 70% of young people affected.

Sharing practice

Bishop Road Primary is a popular four-form entry school in Bristol. Here SEAL has over the years proved an important element of the work that Reception teachers need to do with each new class – from establishing a framework of expectations and routines, helping the children recognise and manage the volatile emotions of the very young, and helping them learn how to work towards goals and tolerate frustration and setbacks.  SEAL and the revised curriculum
Fairoak Nursery School in Newport, Wales is a stand-alone nursery working with almost 200 children a day on part-time placements. Children start at a Flying Start playgroup linked to the nursery in the term after their second birthday and move on to the nursery school in the year they become three. The nursery serves a very disadvantaged area.

Resource roundup

Every teacher has to deal with students who totally ‘lose it’. Many of these children have experienced trauma from a variety of adverse childhood...
Working with your students on setting and reaching goals? Try teaching them the ‘Woop’ technique. Woop stands for ‘wish, outcome, obstacle, plan’. It...
  Early Years and KS1 educators - have a look at Kindness in the Classroom, a video series designed to make the Centre for Healthy Minds...
New uploads We've lots of new uploads to SEAL Community members’ resources to report – the product of some summer browsing. For EYFS and KS1 ‘...
Common Sense Media has published an