SEAL Newsletter Issue 6 - SEAL in secondary schools

Practical tools

Here Julie Casey tells us about a brilliant idea to reinvigorate SEAL for staff and students in secondary schools.

SEAL Newsletter Issue 6 - SEAL in secondary schools

As children went back to school this month, new Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan was asked in an interview with the TES whether PSHE should be statutory. She responded:
One in three business leaders is concerned at youngsters’ poor attitude to work, while more than half (52 per cent) are dissatisfied with school...
A recent survey undertaken by YouGov on behalf of the PSHE Association has shown that 90% of parents believe that schools should teach children or...
The Early Intervention Foundation and Save the Children got together in June to host a roundtable on the subject of ‘character’/social and emotional skills. The debate sprang from the widespread support across all the political parties that such skills are important (see Newsletter 5for a summary of the positions of each of the major parties). Being able to stick with tasks and see them through, to bounce back from adversity and to monitor and regulate one’s own behaviour are now widely recognised as critical to a child’s ability to do well in life.
The government in England have now announced the content of the new 2016 baseline assessment, to be undertaken by teachers in the first few weeks of their Reception year. Schools will be free to use their own choice of assessment tool from an approved list. All approved tools will measure children’s language and communication, literacy and maths skills, but will not have to assess personal, social and emotional development.
There has been a threefold increase in the number of teenagers who self-harm in England in the last decade, according to a World Health Organisation collaborative study. The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) report, due to be published in the autumn, will reveal that of the 6,000 young people aged 11, 13 and 15 surveyed across England, up to one in five 15-year-olds say they self-harm. 
Freedom of Information requests by the charity YoungMinds to every NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and every local authority in England have revealed: •             74 out of 96 (77%) NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have frozen or cut their CAMHS budgets between 2014/2015 and 2013/2014 •             59 out of 98 (60%) local authorities in England have cut or frozen their Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) budgets since 2010/2011
Teachers looking for advice on managing mental health in their classrooms can access free resources at https://www.minded.org.uk/. Funded by government, the new website MindEd is designed to help people working with children to deal with any mental health or behavioural issues they may meet in the young people they work with.
The DfE have launched guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and-behaviour-in-schools--2 to help England's schools recognise potential mental health issues in their pupils.

Sharing practice

Implementing SEAL in secondary schools is a tricky business. We know a whole-school approach is important, so that SEAL is not just something taught in PSHE or tutor time, but is modelled and reinforced in subject lessons and pastoral systems. But how do you ‘sell’ SEAL to busy subject colleagues? How do you embed it in existing systems so it is not seen as yet another burdensome initiative?
Bedford Academy is one of the original academies set up in a deprived urban area to replace a failing secondary school. It is sponsored by the Harpur Trust, a local charity, and by Bedford College. It will have 1,400 students when it is fully operational.
Schools that place emphasis on social and emotional learning tend to fall into two groups – those serving challenging areas, where staff know that without paying attention to these skills their pupils just won’t be able to learn, and schools with the most well-off pupils, where academic standards are high and there is time and energy to devote to pupils’ personal development.

Resource roundup

With Going for Goals/Keep on Learning themes in mind, we’ve uploaded new films and lesson ideas to the SEAL website. Going up in age from early...
f so we think you will like these 24 new, free social and emotional learning lesson plans. The resource is called ‘A Mindfulness-based Kindness...
Sesame Street have launched a resource portal focused on helping children from birth to age six deal with difficulties and challenge. The online...
This animated film for upper primary, co-created by teachers and children for the Anna Freud Centre, helps children talk about mental health and...
he Skill Force Prince William Award is an award programme for children aged 6–14, which aims build their character, resilience and confidence to...