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The SEAL Curriculum

Most social, emotional and behavioural skills are developmental and change over time. For example, if we think about the experience of loss, we know that children’s capacity to manage the feelings involved, and the range of strategies at their disposal, will be very different in the early years than, for example, their experience at the age of 11. We cannot therefore ‘teach’ these skills as a one-off. There is a need to revisit and develop the concepts, understanding and skills over time, building on what has been learned previously.

 

The SEAL programme has a spiral curriculum which revisits each theme (and the skills associated with that theme) every year. A child entering the school in the Reception Class and leaving at the end of Year 6 will have experienced each theme at a new and appropriate level each year. Children can therefore demonstrate progress in the key social, emotional and behavioural skills as they progress through the school. (DfE)

New Beginnings

This theme focuses on developing children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in four key social and emotional aspects of learning: empathy, self-awareness, social skills and motivation. The theme offers children the opportunity to see themselves as valued individuals within their community and to contribute to shaping a welcoming, safe and fair learning community for all. Throughout the theme, children explore feelings of happiness and excitement, sadness, anxiety and fearfulness, and learn shared models for ‘calming down’ and ‘problem solving’.

Getting On

&

Falling Out

This theme focuses on developing children's knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of learning: empathy, managing feelings (with a focus on anger) and social skills. This unit extends the work of 'Theme 1: New beginnings' on cooperation and valuing diversity, and focusing on four key content areas: developing the social skills of friendship, working well together in a group, managing anger and resolving conflict.

Say No

To Bullying

This theme focuses on bullying – what it is, how it feels, why people bully, how we can prevent and respond to it, and how children can use their social, emotional and behavioural skills to tackle this crucial problem. The four aspects of learning in which knowledge, skills and understanding are developed are self-awareness, empathy, managing feelings and social skills. The theme fits in with the national Anti-Bullying Week in November.

Going

For

Gold

This theme focuses primarily on motivation and self-awareness. It gives an important opportunity for all children’s abilities, qualities and strengths to be valued. It provides opportunities for children to reflect on themselves as individuals, particularly their strengths as learners and how they learn most effectively.

Good To

Be Me

This theme explores feelings in the context of the child as an individual, developing self-awareness and helping the child to realise that it really is ‘Good to be me'. It is about understanding our feelings as well as considering our strengths and weaknesses as learners. It aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings and empathy. The theme focuses on:

  • Understanding feelings, and why and how they lead us to behave the way we do – excited, proud, surprised, hopeful, disappointed, worried and anxious;
  • self-awareness – feeling good about myself, taking risks;
  • managing my feelings – relaxing, coping with anxiety;
  • standing up for myself – assertiveness, standing up for my views.

 

 Relationships   

This theme explores feelings within the context of our important relationships including family and friends. The theme aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings and empathy. In addition, there is a focus throughout the theme on helping children understand the feelings associated with an experience that we all need to cope with at some time: that of loss – whether of a favourite possession, a friend, a family home or a loved one.
Changes This theme tackles the issue of change and aims to equip children with an understanding of different types of change, positive and negative, and common human responses to it. The theme seeks to develop children's ability to understand and manage the feelings associated with change. It aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in three key social and emotional aspects of learning: motivation, social skills and managing feelings.

 

Information from the Primary National Strategy Guidance for Excellence and Enjoyment: social and emotional aspects of learning (DfE)

 


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