Early Years Foundation stage

Social and emotional aspects of development: SEAD

This national document offers guidance and professional development for implementing SEAL in early years' settings, including nurseries, primary provisions with nursery classes, childminders, playgroups etc.

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Theme 7 Changes Red set

This theme tackles the issue of change and aims to equip children with an understanding of different types of change, positive and negative, and common human responses to it. The theme seeks to develop children’s ability to understand and manage the feelings associated with change. It aims to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in three
key social and emotional aspects of learning: motivation, social skills and managing feelings.

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Theme 6 Relationships Red set

This theme is the second of two focusing specifically on feelings. It explores feelings within the context of our important relationships including family and friends. The theme aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of
learning: self-awareness, managing feelings and empathy. In addition, there is a focus throughout the theme on helping children understand the
feelings associated with an experience that we all need to cope with at some time: that of loss – whether of a favourite possession, a friend, a family home, or a loved one.

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Theme 5 Good to be me Red set

This theme is the first of two focusing specifically on feelings. It explores feelings in the context of the child as an individual, developing self-awareness and helping the child to realise that it really is ‘Good to be me’. The theme is about understanding our feelings as well as considering our strengths and weaknesses as learners. It aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings and empathy.

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Theme 4 Going for goals Red set

This theme focuses primarily on the key aspect of motivation, with a subsidiary focus on self-awareness. It gives an important opportunity for all children’s abilities, qualities and strengths to be valued. The theme provides opportunities for the children to reflect on themselves as individuals, particularly their strengths as learners and how they learn most effectively.

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Theme 3 Say no to bullying Red set

This theme aims to develop and revisit four of the key social and emotional aspects of learning covered in previous themes, through a focus on bullying – what it is; how it feels; why people bully; how we can prevent and respond to it; and how children can use their social, emotional and behavioural skills to tackle this crucial problem. The four aspects of learning in which knowledge, skills and understanding are developed are self-awareness, empathy, managing feelings and social skills.

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SEAL - Getting on Foundation

This theme focuses on developing children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of learning: empathy, managing feelings (with a focus on anger) and social skills. Each colour-coded set is organised around developing the ethos of the classroom – extending the work of Theme 1 New beginnings on cooperation and valuing diversity, and focusing on four key content areas:

  • developing the social skills of friendship
  • working well together in a group
  • managing anger
  • resolving conflict.

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SEAL - New beginnings Foundation Stage

The theme offers children the opportunity to see themselves as valued individuals within a community, and to contribute to shaping a welcoming, safe and fair learning community for all. Throughout the theme children explore feelings of happiness, excitement, sadness, anxiety and fearfulness, while learning (and putting into practice) shared models for ‘calming down’ and ‘problem solving’.

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