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Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL): Improving behaviour, improving learning

Publication date:
May 2005
B&A strategic lead, Deputy headteacher, Headteacher, Inclusion staff, Leading teacher
Guidance, Lesson resources, School improvement
Pack, Key resource, Resource sheet


This publication is available in a ZIP file (96.5 MB). (The contents of this zip file can be downloaded from the attachments area to the right.)

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This publication is a curriculum resource to help primary schools develop children’s social, emotional and behavioural skills. It includes assemblies and follow-up ideas for work in class.

Who will use it?

It will be used by schools who have identified the social and emotional aspects of learning as a key focus for their work with the children. These will be schools who know that the factors holding back learning in their setting include children’s difficulties in understanding and managing their feelings, working co-operatively in groups, motivating themselves and demonstrating resilience in the face of setbacks. These will not necessarily be schools where behaviour and attendance are poor. The materials will help develop children as effective learners and are therefore relevant to schools without significant behaviour problems as well as to those with behaviour or attendance as key issues.

How was it developed?

The publication has been developed as a result of work over the last two years in over 500 schools taking part in the Primary National Strategy’s Behaviour and Attendance pilot.

What does it do?

This curriculum resource aims to develop the underpinning qualities and skills that help promote positive behaviour and effective learning. It focuses on five social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills.

The materials help children develop skills such as understanding another’s point of view, working in a group, sticking at things when they get difficult, resolving conflict and managing worries. They build on effective work already in place in the many primary schools who pay systematic attention to the social and emotional aspects of learning through whole-school ethos, initiatives such as circle time or buddy schemes, and the taught personal, social and health education (PSHE) and Citizenship curriculum.

The materials are organised into seven themes: New Beginnings, Getting on and falling out, Say no to bullying, Going for goals!, Good to be me, Relationships and Changes. Each theme is designed for a whole-school approach and includes a whole-school assembly and suggested follow-up activities in all areas of the curriculum. The colour-coded resources are organized at four levels: Foundation Stage, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6. Pupil reference material and photocopiable teacher reference material accompany each theme.

There is a whole-school pack for the staffroom, a year-group pack with the same materials organised into a set of booklets for each year group from early Foundation Stage through to Year 6, and a resource file of photographs and posters.

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