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 resources and a termly newsletter, you can 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 Join online here

News update

A report from Co-SPACE on children’s emotional, behavioural and attention difficulties during Covid-19 shows an increase in behavioural and attention difficulties for primary pupils and an increase in emotional difficulties in secondary school aged children during the lockdown period. The data was based on parent reports.

In 2017, Theresa May launched a £200 million initiative to offer mental health awareness training to every secondary school over the next three years. But when the scheme ended in March 2020, only 2,710 of the 3,456 state secondary schools in England had completed the training. A total of 4,178 teachers took part, but the scheme fell 746 schools short.

Most teaching staff in England think pupil behaviour has got worse since the Covid-19 lockdown, a survey for the Tes showed.

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of teachers, school leaders and teaching assistants reported that pupils' behaviour has dipped since the coronavirus lockdown closed schools to most pupils.

Sharing practice

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’.

Ryburn Valley High School recently won Character Education Kitemark Plus award from the Association for Character Education.

Headteacher David Lord and his team of senior leaders have put the development of character and personal confidence at the heart of the school’s curriculum

The school reviewed its PSHE provision and introduced a new ‘identity’ curriculum. The programme has three elements – iGEN, iD and iDays.

Billesley Primary in Birmingham is part of the Education Endowment Foundation’s Research Schools network and has recently described its work on social and emotional learning in a network blog.

June O'Sullivan, chief executive of London Early Years Foundation, describes how settings developed their work on kindness in a lovely blog which first appeared on the LEYF website and has been adapted here.

At Ysgol Bae Baglan School in Wales, Year 2 students were challenged by their teacher to choose a word and make a video explaining what it means and using the word in a sentence. The words were all based around emotions.

Resource roundup

This is a nice four minute animation explaining what the core social and emotional learning (SEL) capabilities are and how to develop them in schools. Useful with the Education Endowment Foundation’s SEL guidance

Education Support have launched a new website which offers free mental health and wellbeing resources. It is aimed at teachers and school staff in Wales, but mostly also relevant to education staff across the UK. The website provides schools with information, guides, top tips, videos, a school audit tool and links that will help put staff mental health and wellbeing at the heart of each school. See the website here.

For Getting on and falling out, we’ve uploaded a fantastic KS1 lesson sequence, with resources, based on the picture book Ravi’s Roar, that combines oracy with work on understanding and managing angry feelings.

Find it at http://sealcommunity.org/member-resource/angry-feelings-ks1

There’s a great read-aloud of the book by author Tom Percival here.

Also on the theme of friendship and empathy, have you seen the Sesame Street resources at

Just a reminder about the Samaritans excellent DEAL secondary resources

Try this one to help students learn to listen to and support others https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/schools/deal/deal-resources/connecting-others/listening-skills/

Practical tools

To take secondary students’ understanding of emotions further, try having them explore the wheel of emotions. This simplifies emotions for students and helps us focus on eight basic ones (anger, anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, and disgust). It will enable them to categorize their emotions and their responses to those emotions. Additionally, students can recognize that other emotions are an amalgamation of the eight basic emotions or are derived from one or more of them.

At John C. Haines Elementary School in Chicago, students place a pom-pom in a jar when they do something nice for their peers, and then describe the action to the class. Asking students to articulate their kindnesses and to work collaboratively to fill the jar reinforces a positive classroom culture. Once the jar is full, the entire class celebrates with a special treat or party. 
 

Teach children that stress and trauma can trigger a response in the amygdala, the part of the brain that sends the body into fight, flight, or freeze mode, hijacking the rest of the brain so it becomes focused solely on responding to or fleeing the perceived threat. That means we can’t access the parts of the brain we need to focus on learning.

One way of helping us to calm our minds and bodies is using ‘Rapid Resets’.

New research

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. 

This meta-analysis  examined the relationship between teachers’ use of emotional expression and regulation and their antecedents (in terms of job characteristics and individual characteristics) and consequences (in terms of burnout and job satisfaction).

Data from over 30,000 teachers showed that:

Top resource

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.