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

These KS4 lessons from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) help students think about emotional wellbeing and film, TV and other video content. They include ...

Here's a really useful booklist on making friends, from the National Literacy Trust– ages up to twelve ....

Here's some nice text from Public Health England to share with parents/carers when you are working on wellbeing in school ...

Place2Be have developed Parenting Smart to help parents and carers support their children’s mental health, and manage their behaviour...

Sharing practice

Meath is a special school in Surrey that caters for children with speech, language and communication difficulties. In this year’s national children’s mental health week, the focus was on the theme ‘Dress to Express’.  On Thursday the children and staff were invited to wear bright colours or outfits that made them feel happy.

 

Students at Freehold Primary Academy in Oldham used a collection of memes displayed in their class to identify how they were feeling – and then tal

Staff at Billesley Primary in Birmingham have created a ‘Social Emotional Learning Toolbox’, a digital collection of content covering the core SEL competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships and responsible decision making. The toolbox includes visuals, videos and online interactive tools to support each competency.

In a blog for the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research school network, Laura Butler, specialist teacher and leader of SEL, describes some of the content.

At Cherry Tree primary school in Basildon, Essex 97% of pupils have English as an additional language and 57% of the population of the area are living in poverty, according to a report last year. Wellbeing is a priority for the school. Children aged eight to 10 in four classes do different mindfulness exercises for 10 minutes after lunch each day.

First aid stations have been converted into mental and physical health stations, with trained mental health first aiders to be there at break and lunch times.

Brighton teacher and national oracy lead for Voice 21 Katy asked her KS2 students to watch the first Trump/Biden TV debate and rate the candidates’ social and emotional and oracy skills. We wonder what their verdict was ……??  

Long term, the video of the debate could be a great resource to show children so they can identify the features of unhelpful interaction, then turn those on their head to come up with their own positive ‘talk rules’.

Resource roundup

Place2Be have developed Parenting Smart to help parents and carers support their children’s mental health, and manage their behaviour...

'Curious about conflict' is a KS3 resource (lesson plans with PowerPoint slides, resources and guidance...

For the new school year we ‘ve uploaded to The SEAL Community website  a new collection of resources...

Practical tools

We all understand R numbers now, and have been trying to keep the COVID R number below 1. From this podcast https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p096kzt8 I learned that research has shown that the R number for kindness is between 4 and 5. Each person being kind passes that on to 4 to 5 others. Each of these in turn pass it to four or five more, through three ‘degrees of separation’. The end point is that, using 5 as the R number, 1 person’s kindness will make 125 people happier. Tell that to your class!

LIGHT BULB MOMENT……SKIPPING GAMES – Could They Be The Best Social Distancing Games Ever?

Jenny Mosley has been collecting skipping games as a teacher since 1972 – so she had 48 years’ worth, either in published Positive Press books or handwritten in notebooks. She is now giving her collection of long rope skipping games away for free. ‘Just use a long skipping rope – one adult and a tall child hold either end of the rope with a child skipping in the middle. They can all line up 2 metres away. Everyone is always desperate for a go,’ says Jenny.

Stella Jones, Director of Town End Associate Research School, suggests ways of developing empathy using structured questioning about stories.

In INSIDE: OUTSIDE, staff use the template to help children explore the feelings of a specific character at a pivotal point. They are asked to consider what is happening beneath the surface (thoughts and feelings) based on observable behaviours (actions and interactions).

Try this on yourself and your friends… what is the ‘core message’ about how to live your life that you think you got from your parents? For us and our friends we got ‘Make something of yourself’, ‘Feel guilty about having more than others’, ‘What will the neighbours think?’

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.

New research

In this study, seven-year-olds were given a test of emotion recognition (ER) based on faces and voices. Three aspects of the school climate were assessed:  children’s well-being at school, positive relationships and negative relationships. Girls showed better greater ER than boys; children from socio-economically disadvantaged families showed lower ER than their better-off peers.

School-based humanistic counselling consists of one-on-one sessions with a counsellor employed by a school, and is based on a child-centred approach, with children talking about their issues and developing solutions with the aid of the counsellor, rather than therapist-led approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

 

An evaluation of the DfE funded pilot of peer mentoring has found that the programme had no discernible effect on the majority of wellbeing and resilience measures that were selected for the evaluation. This may, however, be because the schemes varied from school to school, and some may not have been intensive or long-lasting enough to have an impact.

 

INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament is a comprehensive KS1 school-based social and emotional learning programme. In-class activities focus on empathy and problem-solving skills using puppets that exemplify temperament typologies.

 

Researchers have found a significant rise in emotional and behavioural difficulties among primary school children following the 2020 spring and summer term school closures, a rise that was greater for children who were not prioritised to return to school for six weeks before the summer holiday. The study found a slight improvement in well-being once schools reopened in September, but not to pre-pandemic levels, and the gap between those who missed out on more vs. less time in school during the summer term remained wide. 

Top resource


We all want children to enjoy playtimes, benefiting from the physical and mental exercise and social interaction that effectively-run outdoor spaces allow. This book has been written to help you or your children teach exciting games that will encourage children's social and emotional development.

This new resource is invaluable in my reception class – there are stories for every occasion which really engage the children and they love the pictures! It’s a great SEAL resource for practitioners and so easy as it’s ready to use and full of brilliant ideas for follow up activities. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Louise Scruton-Evans, Reception Teacher, Bristol.