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Social and Emotional Learning



What Is Social Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) seeks to improve pupils' decision-making skills, interaction with others and their self-management of emotions, rather than focusing directly on the academic or cognitive elements of learning.


Social emotional learning (SEL) is a methodology that focuses on helping students connect with their emotions. Through this curriculum, students learn to identify their emotions and fully experience them. As a result, they empathize easier with others, make responsible decisions, and build meaningful relationships. 


The SEL teaching modality includes five core competencies: 

  • Management of self
  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • People skills and relationship development
  • Responsible decision-making skills

These principles are applicable at school as well as at home and within a community. 

Why do social and emotional skills matter?


There is extensive evidence associating childhood social and emotional skills with improved outcomes at school and in later life, in relation to physical and mental health, school readiness and academic achievement, crime, employment and income.



There is also evidence that children’s skills can be improved purposefully through school-based SEL programmes, and that these impacts can persist over time. Numerous large evidence reviews indicate that, when well implemented, SEL can have positive impacts on a range of outcomes, including:


• Improved social and emotional skills;

• improved academic performance

• improved attitudes, behaviour and relationships with peers;

• reduced emotional distress (student depression, anxiety, stress and social withdrawal);

• reduced levels of bullying;

• reduced conduct problems; and

• improved school connection.



SEL is just as important as learning traditional academic subjects, such as Maths and English, as it gives students a toolkit of how to manage their emotions, behaviours and attitudes as they grow up.


It has been scientifically proven that starting to include activities from an early age which work on a child’s social-emotional development doubles the likelihood of a student successfully finishing their education.


Pinders Primary have based their bespoke Social Emotional Learning on the EEF research


S.E.L   5 Core competencies




We use a bespoke SAFE curriculum as recommended by the EEF: Sequential, Active, Focused and Explicit


1. Sequenced activities that lead in a coordinated and connected way to skill development. New behaviours and more complicated skills usually need to be broken down into smaller steps and sequentially mastered.
2. Active forms of learning that enable young people to practise and master new skills. This might include role play or behavioural rehearsal.
3. Focused time spent developing one or more social and emotional skills. Sufficient time and attention must be allocated for children to practise applying knowledge and skills.
4. Explicitly define and target specific skills. Programmes should identify specific skills that they want children to develop, and teach these purposefully, rather than having a more general approach.