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Welcome to the SEAL Community!

Social and emotional learning helps children and young people to:

‘… learn how to communicate their feelings, set themselves goals and work towards them, interact successfully with others, resolve conflicts peaceably, control their anger and negotiate their way through the many complex relationships in their lives today and tomorrow’.

This kind of learning underpins positive behaviour and attitudes to learning, personal development and mental health and wellbeing. It is at the heart of PSHE, relationships and health education.

Research shows it also helps raise attainment. Social and emotional learning is attracting increasing attention in schools. On this website you will find age-related teaching resources and whole school frameworks to support your work.

Many of them come from the national ‘Social and emotional Learning’ (SEAL) initiative. By registering with us (which is free, quick and easy), you can immediately find and download all of the national SEAL curriculum materials and teacher guidance. There’s a progression in learning objectives that can be used in any school, and training materials if you want to introduce or refresh a whole-school SEAL approach. Click on National Resources  then click the Getting Started with SEAL tab.

If you would like regularly updated teaching resources, you can also join our SEAL Community. Set up and supported by leading experts in the field, the SEAL Community is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote and develop SEAL through sharing news, practice, resources and expertise. Joining costs £30 for individuals, £75 for schools/settings and £100 for local authorities or other multi-school organisations. Click the Join button on this page to join.

News update

Last year Jean Gross from the SEAL Community worked with a group of London teachers to help them develop approaches to social, emotional and mental health needs. They identified particular issues in their class groups (behaviour in class, playground problems, anxiety) and implemented approaches like Zones of Regulation and conflict resolution ..

Don’t forget to register your school to take part in Empathy Week – this year free for all schools. It takes place 26th February - 1st March 2024 and you can register here. You’ll be able to book students ...

To celebrate the launch of the eighth Read for Empathy collection, EmpathyLab are offering new, online training exploring how to make the best use of the collection. This practical 90-minute twilight session on 20th February will provide ...

More schools are 'off-rolling' weak pupils a few months before their GCSE exams in an attempt to protect overall results, according to a report ‘Suspending Reality’ ...

‘School is too much pressure’. More than half of young people taking part in a survey identified school as a contributing factor to poor mental health, including factors such as the stress, worry and fear they experienced in school, as well as ...

Sharing practice

Ladybridge High School have created a distinctive approach to personal development, in which learners can elect to visit the ‘Human Library’ during weekly 30-minute personal development time...

How about a cross-curricular module on stress, taking it beyond just PSHE? This is what they’ve done at an American high school...

Anna Parker, an elementary school teacher at Lister Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, asks students to rate problems on a scale from 1 to 5, and reflect on what sort of response each problem merits. Students discuss ...

More and more primaries are creating calm-down corners where children can independently take themselves when they need to self-regulate. But is it really possible to have spaces like these in secondary schools? This US school suggests it is ...

Y1 children at Pembroke Dock Community School read the fantastic text ‘The Invisible’ , by Tom Percival, which is great for work on empathy

Resource roundup

Here we have a 2024 collection of primary resources for primary school work on self-awareness and emotion regulation, relevant to the Good to be Me SEAL theme. We’ve also uploaded a new collection of great picture books for work on feelings. For secondary here is a PSHE lesson on healthy coping strategies ...

The hare-shaped hole by John and Thomas Docherty is one to use if a class member has experienced bereavement.

This is a new animation and teacher toolkit from Anna Freud, which looks at the topic of anxiety

We’ve featured these before but just as a reminder, do look at Beano’s KS1 and 2 resources on understanding and managing emotions

In case you haven’t see them, we’d also like to flag up the National Literacy Trust’s lovely primary wellbeing resources

Practical tools

Teaching children how to work together in groups is a big part of SEAL, as is promoting a sense of belonging in the class group. Using the Jigsaw technique will do both, helping learners get to know others outside their friendship group. Have a look at...

Everyone is talking about the post-COVID increase in attendance problems, and we’ve been thinking about the contribution that social and emotional learning can make to tackling the issue – particularly by creating a sense of belonging in school. You can read ...

Have your students work in groups to come up with their on criteria for deciding whether something is banter, and when it might actually be bullying. Use these sentence stems:

In the last newsletter we shared Empathy Lab’s emotion maps , which children can use to identify how they are feeling. One of them - Islands of Emotion – inspired The SEAL Community’s Julie and her family to come up with some very creative ideas for places on their own Islands , to describe their ‘worst days’...

You are probably teaching your students about the neuroscience of emotions (the fight or flight response, the upstairs and downstairs brain and so on).We can also teach them the reason why we often seem to look on the downside of life ...

New research

Back in 2015 the primary SEAL resources were chosen by the Chinese Ministry of Education as the basis for a pilot social and emotional learning curriculum in five provinces in China. Julie Casey and other members of the SEAL Community visited China regularly to provide support. The programme is now very much alive and running in eight provinces, and its impact has been researched in this study of a SEAL-based programme.

 In 2023, several major reports added to the long-standing evidence base for social and emotional learning.

According to the Word Economic Forum's Future of Jobs 2023 report, qualities associated with emotional intelligence such as resilience, curiosity, lifelong learning, motivation, and self-awareness, are highly prized by businesses and will continue to be so for the next few years. Empathy and active listening figure highly too. Read more ...

 You may have heard of the ‘marshmallow experiment’ which tested young children’s ability to delay gratification.

This study investigated the effects of introducing daily 10-minute physical activity or mindfulness breaks within regular school lessons, for a period of two weeks. The children involved were aged ten to eleven. In the physical activity intervention children’s attention improved, and in the mindfulness intervention reading comprehension improved significantly, compared to a control group....

Top resource

My Life on Fire by Cath How is a great book to use in upper KS2 to discuss and develop empathy.

We loved these sheep memes, to use in emotion check-ins ...

We love this new book for children from EmpathyLab. Written by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, with stunning illustrations from Juliana Eigner, it gives young people concrete, fun, accessible ways to practice and build their empathy skills.

We’ve created three new resources, to support work on self-awareness/self-regulation

- A progression in vocabulary for describing emotions – words to teach from EYFS through to Year 7
- Twenty simple exercises to help children stay calm – a collection of breathing and relaxation exercises, with instructions and video links
- Top emotion check-ins – thirteen different ways for children to show how they are feeling at points during the day

We can think of a thousand ways to use this emotion wheel in the classroom.