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Developing-the-Social-and-Emotional-Aspects-of-Learning-(SEAL-

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					       Developing the Social and Emotional Aspects of
                Learning (SEAL) Curriculum


         The value of SEAL for improving school attendance

Context and rationale

The SEAL curriculum in primary schools is designed with the intention of
improving children’s emotional well-being, behaviour and attendance in
school. The five broad areas of SEAL referred to within this curriculum are:

       Self-awareness;
       Managing feelings;
       Motivation;
       Empathy;
       Social skills.

All of these areas of SEAL are key contributors to ensuring that children have
high attendance and good punctuality in school.

The SEAL curriculum is a universal provision and aims to enhance all
children’s social, emotional and behavioural skills (SEBS), which will lead to
their improved emotional well-being, behaviour and attendance. It is a
proactive and preventative approach in aiming to minimise the occurrence of
high absence, poor punctuality and challenging behaviour.

Some children within the primary phase are particularly vulnerable to having
irregular and low attendance at school and poor punctuality. For these
children, it is vital that school and parents/carers work together
collaboratively and involve other agencies as appropriate. The resources
within the SEAL curriculum to support small group work can provide children
with further necessary skills and understandings and also increase the
engagement of parents/carers and facilitate effective home-school
collaboration.

The potential for the SEAL group work to improve the attendance of
vulnerable children is an area to be further explored and developed in
collaboration with LAs and schools.


Developing SEAL small group work to support good attendance

The Primary National Strategy is collaborating with LAs and schools to further
develop the SEAL curriculum, including in the area of improving attendance
and punctuality. Networks of schools may choose to focus on this area
together.


Ref: Primary National Strategy
Behaviour and Attendance Network meetings 2006/2007
For children with high absence, low punctuality or at risk of these, being part
of a small group may be supportive. Development work is planned to support
vulnerable children using the SEAL small group work (silver sets). A particular
SEAL theme to be further developed in this context is ‘Going for goals’.

As part of this small group work, we are keen to increase the involvement of
parents/carers in working with school staff to promote good attendance.


SEAL small group work; the silver set

Please refer to the Introduction at the beginning of the silver set for small
group activities booklets. This includes a section on the membership and
focus of the small groups:

‘Schools can decide on the nature of the small groups. They might be:
    for specific groups of children (for example: anxious or quiet
      children, children who have irregular attendance);
    to promote a specific skill or explore a specific issue (for example:
      assertiveness, resolving conflict effectively, coping with change or
      loss).

Groups should:
   include children who provide good role models for at least some of the
     skills to be explored;
   be balanced, drawing from children with a range of needs. This will be
     particularly important in supporting children who find it hard to resolve
     conflict.’

The membership and focus of small groups to improve attendance and
punctuality will need to be agreed with schools in further developing the
application of the SEAL resource in supporting vulnerable children at risk of
high absence or with existing poor attendance.

For group work to be successful, parents/carers need to be involved and this
particularly the case where attendance is an issue for a child and their family.
In terms of engaging parents/carers in small group work, the SEAL silver set
booklets outline some possibilities within the Introduction:

       providing follow-up activities for children to do with their parents/carers;
       inviting parents into the group for one or more sessions to be involved
        in activities and to see what their children have been doing;
       involving parents in assessment of their child’s learning;
       running a parallel group for parents/carers.’

Schools engaged with this work will explore the above ways in engaging
parents/carers to enable maximum benefit from the small group work for the
children.



Ref: Primary National Strategy
Behaviour and Attendance Network meetings 2006/2007
Examples of outcomes of this development work:

       examples of effective group work practice to support children’s
        improved attendance;
       supplementary group work (silver set) materials to support a focus on
        improving attendance;
       examples of new approaches to group work to support the attendance
        of vulnerable children and to develop the social, emotional and
        behavioural skills of group members;
       examples of effective school work with the parents/carers of children
        within a small group, to increase school-home collaboration and so
        improve attendance;
       supplementary activities and materials for involving parents/carers in
        small group work to support improved attendance;
       examples of effective practice in which school and home collaborate
        with external agencies, as appropriate, to support a child’s attendance.

Criteria for identifying schools which may wish to focus on this aspect
of:

       A school that is already implementing the SEAL curriculum across the
        school, with staff familiar with the resource;
       A Headteacher who is committed to this developmental work;
       Capacity within the school to lead the work;
       Capacity within the school to deliver small group work and actively
        engage parents/carers;
       Schools where attendance/punctuality is a whole school issue or in
        which there are vulnerable children with a rate of absence which is
        causing concern.

Impact of SEAL
Research is currently being undertaken in 9 primary schools to evaluate the
impact of SEAL over 3 years. The tool which is being used to track progress
will be made available at a later date




Ref: Primary National Strategy
Behaviour and Attendance Network meetings 2006/2007

				
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