At Billesley Primary in Birmingham staff noticed that after the school closures children were struggling to interact with each other in class - to listen, take turns, have conversations. The school’s work on social and emotional learning had previously focused on emotional awareness and emotion regulation. Now they decided to work on two other social and emotional learning core competencies - social awareness and relationship skills. Staff planned regular teaching time at the start of every lesson. Children were given an engaging, open ended question to discuss that was unrelated to the learning. At the same time they were introduced to four simple rules for respectful interactions, represented as a visual cue chosen by the children. Teachers and support staff consistently modelled these skills, drawing attention to the class’s respectful rules visual, which was then kept in sight throughout the rest of the lesson.
The approach is being carefully monitored and evaluated, Lessons are observed and after every lesson teachers record how engaged the pupils were, and how well they interacted with each other. These notes are compared with previous sessions, and staff regularly discuss successes and points for improvement.