Tracking the social and emotional well-being development of learners
The school identified an increasing number of learners who had difficulty understanding and managing their feelings, and working co-operatively in groups. Consequently the school prioritised the social and emotional well-being of learners as a key focus for their work in PSE in the school development plan. Working with the LEA educational psychologist, the PSE coordinator built on the existing strengths of the school PSE provision, which included a well established circle time programme. A decision was taken to introduce Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) across all year groups. The aim was to develop the emotional well-being of learners focusing on five elements:
- managing feelings
- social skills.
The school’s discrete PSE programme is organised into seven whole-school topics; one topic for each half term plus additional materials to support Anti-Bullying week. Each topic is launched with a whole school assembly and delivered through weekly PSE classroom sessions with each year group. Teaching staff have received training to raise awareness of the programme, during which positive classroom approaches to help learners express their feelings and boost their self esteem were discussed. Throughout each topic, learners are encouraged to nominate both their peers and staff who have demonstrated the key competences emphasised within that topic. As part of the weekly awards assembly these children and staff receive certificates. At the end of each theme a whole school award assembly is held to celebrate the success of individuals, and to share the learning that has taken place in each year group.
Systematic tracking of learner progress in PSE has been successfully introduced. The school undertakes an initial electronic baseline assessment of emotional intelligence. Assessments are completed for all learners by the class teacher and by the learners themselves. This evidence is then used to support individual learners and is also used to help identify pupils with additional learning needs. Provision for each child, depending on their needs, is then put into place, and recorded on the ALN provision map. The process is then repeatedly annually in the spring term allowing learner progress in PSE to be monitored and the impact of the PSE programme to be evaluated as part of the school’s self-evaluation procedures. Staff feedback is overwhelmingly positive. There have been tangible improvements in the development of personal and social skills, learner self awareness and self esteem. They are more able to empathise with others, manage their feelings successfully and there is a more inclusive ethos in the school. Positive comments about the personal, social and emotional development of learners are included in end of year reports to parents.
The school has received recognition for its work from the local Healthy Schools Network from whom grant funding has been received to extend the SEAL approach beyond the classroom. Peer supporters have been trained, play equipment purchased and teaching assistants deployed to support emotionally needy learners on the playground.
Links with the PSE framework
Learners are given opportunities to:
- make and maintain friendships and other relationships
- resist unwanted peer pressure and behaviour
- empathise with others' experiences and feelings
- manage different emotions and develop strategies to resolve conflict and deal with bullying.
This holistic approach to raising self esteem contributes to the Health and emotional well-being, Moral and spiritual development and Active citizenship themes. Learners are given opportunities to:
- feel positive about themselves and be sensitive towards the feelings of others
- develop respect for themselves and others.
They are also given opportunities to understand:
- the range of their own and others' feelings and emotions
- situations which produce conflict, the nature of bullying.
The school intends to continue to give PSE a high profile to ensure that the holistic approach to PSE impacts positively on the achievement of learners. The aim is to further develop the PSE tracking system to cover other aspects of the personal and social skill development of learners.