Improving social and emotional learning in primary schools

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Authored by

Jean Gross

Last term the Education Endowment Foundation and Early Intervention Foundation published a guidance report, Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools, which reviewed the best available research and offered school leaders six practical recommendations to support good SEL for all children.

Here are some ideas for following up on the guidance with your staff team

  • Listen to a podcast about the report. In this episode of the EEF’s podcast series, Trialled and Tested, you’ll hear from EEF Head of Programmes and guidance report co-author, Matt van Poortvliet; fellow co-author, Jean Gross (co-Director of the SEAL Community), and headteacher Liz Robinson, who sat on the advisory panel for the report.  
  • Try out the audit tool Liz and Jean put together, which aims to provide starting points for useful conversations about SEL. The conversations will shape your view on where your school is on the path to providing all your children with the social and emotional skills that underpin personal and academic development – from early stages to developed practice.  The tool  represents a different way of thinking about an audit. We know that schools are under intense scrutiny, so this is not another ‘tick box’ process. The aim is to get you talking about your practice in ways that genuinely support you to understand what you are doing that is working, as well as promoting some new thinking and ideas.
  • See if you can grab part of a staff meeting to get staff thinking about how they can develop the children’s SEL by modelling social and emotional skills themselves. There’s a suggested short CPD session here
  • Read this case study about how a project in Lincolnshire schools is putting the EEF guidance into practice