Tag Archive: schools

Measuring social and emotional skills

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At a Welsh provision that supports young people excluded from mainstream schools or at risk of exclusion, the curriculum includes explicit sessions using the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme – http://www.sealcommunity.org.

On entry, pupils rate their own social and emotional skill levels, using a booklet which offers six pupil friendly illustrated ‘quizzes’ focusing on the five aspects of learning in the SEAL programme. The quiz titles are:

  • ‘My feel-good factor’ (focus on self-awareness)
  • ‘In control?’ (focus on managing feelings)
  • ‘Making it happen!’ (focus on motivation)
  • ‘Mind-reading’ (focus on empathy)
  • ‘My friendliness factor’ (focus on social skills)

From their ratings and adults’ ratings using a separate scale, targets for individual students are negotiated, support put in place, and progress tracked. This form of assessment is truly formative, as it promotes a deeper understanding of the skills themselves – what they mean, what they look like for that student, how they can be developed (as well as providing evidence of progress over time for parents, the local authority, and external inspection).

Source: From a blog by Jean Gross CBE, Early Intervention Foundation Trustee – http://bit.ly/1XDR93P 

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Acknowledging students’ psychological state

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A ‘traffic light’ method has been successfully used by several schools that wanted their teachers to gain a greater insight into the psychological state of students at different stages during the day. The hope was that by gaining this — usually hidden — information, teachers would be able to modify their practice in order to help students to enjoy a better climate for learning and thereby enter their Effective Learning Zone.

The system works by every teacher being issued with green, amber and red traffic light symbols for student use. When prompted, students hold up the traffic light that best sums up how ready they feel to learn. This gives them an immediate and confidential way to give feedback to the teacher about their readiness for learning.

From ‘Creative Teaching and Learning Toolkit’ by Brin Best & Will Thomas (2007) Read more here

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Professional relationships

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“We have professional relationships with staff external to the ward, such as schools and social workers, and we draw on the expertise of other disciplines within the CAMHS team itself. So it’s important to know the responsibilities of these agencies and have a good working relationship with them.”

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