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

Young Minds have released their latest wellbing Advent Calendars, for pupils and staff. Really useful . Find them here

Don't miss these primary assembly and teaching resources for World Kindness Day, developed by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Pengion Random House and Charlie Mackesy, author of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Find them at ...

According to NHS figures, the number of antidepressant prescriptions being given to GPs has now exceeded one million per year.

Help build the #EmpathyGeneration Empathy Week, the global initiative for schools, will be back for a fifth year from 26th February - 1st March 202

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.

We’ve just heard that the programme is now very much alive and running in eight provinces , and that there are plans to develop a national secondary SEL curriculum to follow on ...

Sharing practice

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

Last year a group of London schools worked together on a project to tackle social, emotional and mental health needs.

One school in the US has turned a room into a brilliant social and emotional learning centre.

Eight schools in the Pentrehafod cluster in Swansea (seven primary, one secondary) did some great work with the organisation EmpathyLab.

Resource roundup

If you’re planning work on SEAL themes Getting on and falling out/Learning to be together , or any work on peer relationships/conflict/valuing differences you’ll find these lessons useful

We liked these two lessons about non-verbal communication. There is one for secondary from Place2Be, about how we communicate, especially through non-verbal signals

It feels important to help boys explore what masculinity means, and to be able to understand and communicate their feelings. Here are some books to share with them ...

This, from the Book Trust is a nice list of picture books for 3-8 year olds that help develop empathy and inspire compassion ...

A new charity has developed useful video-based teaching resources for children with Down Syndrome (but also relevant to other types of learning difficulty) ...

Practical tools

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 ...

Yes you can! Tell the class a story based on the picture book Ordinary Mary and the Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson...

Help children understand that ‘we have more in common than that which divides us’  by playing Just Like Me:

New research

The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (NSCDC) in the US have summarised research on the resilience factors that

Many European countries are now using a social and emotional learning curriculum called PROMEHS, which has been found to improve students’ mental health, with an increase in prosocial behaviour and a decrease in both internalising and externalising difficulties, according to teachers’ and parents’ evaluations ...

This study looked at what happened when Chicago Public Schools adopted restorative practices.

An outside organisation provided training to school staff that emphasized less punitive and more reparative strategies when engaging with students (for example, developing restorative mindsets and language in school staff, creating and implementing restorative protocols and processes in response to disciplinary incidents, and strengthening student-teacher relationships)....

Researchers at the University of Oxford suggest that a growing body of quantitative research indicates that some school-based mental health interventions can cause adverse effects – specifically, an increase in ‘internalising’ symptoms relative to control groups.

Top resource

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.

This is a great new book from Tina Rae, with activities to support children and young people who have lost someone they love