Quick tips

Greeting at the door … and the virtual door

Here’s a top tip from the Edutopia website. A 2018 study showed that positive greetings at the door increased academic engagement by 20 percentage points, and decreased disruptive behaviour by 9 percentage points—adding as much as “an additional hour of engagement over the course of a five-hour instructional day,” the researchers said.

Nip in the bud: tips for returning to school video

Share with parents and staff this eight minute film, in which clinical psychologist Dr Jess Richardson makes straightforward suggestions for parents and teachers to deal with any potential apprehension or anxiety children may experience on returning to school.




Use emotional check-ins to widen students’ emotional vocabulary

We’ve previously featured Yale University’s RULER mood meter. It shows how all emotions can be placed somewhere on two dimensions – high/low energy and pleasure/displeasure. From these dimensions you get four zones.

At the extreme edge of the high-energy/displeasure "red zone" are feelings emotions like fury and panic. Still at high energy but moving over to the far edge of the high pleasure "yellow zone" would be an emotion like elation or – even more intense - ecstasy.

Develop a classroom charter on return to school

SEAL suggests that every year you work out a classroom charter with a new class or tutor group, which sets out how people will behave towards each other.

Tackling girls' friendship problems

We came across an article by Andrew Hampton, headteacher of Thorpe Hall School in Essex. He described what sounds like a very effective approach to tackling girls’ friendship problems in secondary schools – ‘Girls on Board’. Girls on Board is delivered ‘through workshops that empower the girls to resolve their problems for themselves. The workshops hold up a mirror to all forms of relational aggression, inviting each girl to reflect on her own attitudes and behaviours.

Back to school in COVID-19 times

When children return to school after staying at home for many months, they will bring with them accumulated baggage of anxiety, frustration, low mood and in some cases trauma and bereavement.  There will be ongoing economic stressors and more children affected by poverty. There will also be feelings of excitement, and hope.

Tips for remote learning

1. Secure your own safety belt first. Put self-care at the top of your list – take time for a  mindfulness meditation

2. Prioritise connection as well as content.  

Tips for helping children manage unexpected endings and transitions

1. Make explicit that unexpected endings and transitions are difficult, and that it is normal to feel unsettled or upset.


2. If you have previously worked on the feelings associated with loss (for example, in the SEAL Relationships theme resources), help children understand that even without bereavement the lockdown period will have involve loss for everyone – whether of a holiday or special event or normal ‘moving in/moving up’ events in school. Revisit what the children learned about loss and how to get through it.


Try these images and tips to help students manage anxiety by understanding the brain

First, have them use the comfort/growth/panic zone model, which gives students a way of articulating and understanding their levels of anxiety or comfort during classroom learning tasks.

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