Tag: SEL

Building Social and Emotional Learning during the School Holidays

No Comments

Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

child inside a backpack. social and emotional skills for kids

The school holiday period can be a great time to reflect on the last term, prepare for upcoming changes and review skills that need to be improved.

Returning to school is typically experienced with mixed emotions. For some parents, it is a welcome relief after what feels like a very long holiday. For others, the return to school signals the end of a carefree, relaxing break and there can be feelings of sadness and/or anxiety associated with the return to routine and the academic and social demands associated with the school.

Children and young people equally experience a range of feelings about the return to school. For some, there is great excitement about starting a new school, seeing friends or perhaps finding out who their new teacher will be. For others, there may be sadness about the end of the holidays or anxiety about a raft of possible concerns such as making friends in their new class or coping with the work/homework requirements.

A tried and test way to prepare for changes and transitions is by focusing on your child’s social and emotional adjustment.

Tips to Help Your Child Settle Into Term 3

Whilst a lot of focus is placed on the academic tasks associated with school, paying particular attention to a child’s social and emotional adjustment over the coming weeks/months is also critical. Below are 3 tips to get you started:

  • Make time to check in with your child about how they are feeling and coping with the school year so far. It’s important to really listen to what your child is saying. To do this, begin by just repeating back or paraphrasing what your child is telling you. Where your child is experiencing uncertainty try to normalise this and remind your child that it can take a few weeks to really settle in. It is not uncommon for children (and parents) to express disappointment about a new teacher they may have been assigned or about the discovery that they don’t have as many close friends in their class. Rather than jumping to solve the problem for your child, build resilience by encouraging your child to come up with some ideas about ways to help themselves cope in such a situation.
  • It can often be a good idea to make time to check in with your child’s teacher as soon as terms resume. Whilst you will, of course, wish to discuss their educational strengths/weaknesses, also address how your child is feeling about their progress and to highlight anything (e.g. camp, homework) that may be worrying your child.  Make sure you also discuss your child’s social skills with the teacher. If they are struggling with friends, ask your child’s teacher how the school can help in facilitating friendships. If your child has had any ongoing incidents of bullying/teasing it is critical to mention this again and ask how they can help to ensure that such incidents don’t occur again during the next terms. Equally, if your child has a history of seeking attention from others in a class by misbehaving, check on how this is been handled at school. Teachers will undoubtedly find your insights into what works and what doesn’t work at home very useful.
  • Encourage friendships and further consolidate social skills in by organising playdates or outings with any new classmates made throughout the term. Whilst children often request existing friends, it can be worthwhile trying to extend friendship networks by inviting new children over. This is not only good for your child but can also help to expand social support networks for you as a parent. In secondary school, it is equally important to encourage friendships by providing opportunities for your son/daughter to have friends over or by offering to drive them to a movie etc. This not only helps foster friendships but also gives parents valuable insights into the type of friendships that your child is building.

Why social-emotional learning is so important

The importance of focusing on the social and emotional well being of children is becoming increasingly acknowledged. In the current climate of increasing rates of mental illness in young people and concern over youth suicide rates, the NSW government has reportedly decided to tackle the problem more aggressively by proposing to adopt a more preventative approach in addressing such issues. The Government’s decision to begin at the grassroots level and start better-educating school-aged children (from Kindergarten) about mental health issues is welcome news to everyone here at Quirky Kid.

The changes to the Personal Development, Health, Physical Education (PDHPE) syllabus which are apparently due for implementation from 2020 include a more comprehensive effort to address social-emotional learning and mental health issues from primary school onwards. Beginning in Kindergarten, it is proposed that children will begin with simple social-emotional concepts such as feelings and building relationships with others, but as they progress to higher grades the aim will be to address important issues such as coping with success and failure, overcoming adversity, grief and death, coping with controlling behaviour in others, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Helping Children to Build Important Social-Emotional Skills

Equipping children to cope with the social and emotional demands of school fosters increased coping and resilience skills. The evidence suggests that well developed social and emotional skills are both protective and helpful. Strong social and emotional skills in children not only predict fewer behavioural problems in the classroom but they are also related to positive academic outcomes and improved school performance  (Myles-Pallister, Hassan, Rooney, & Kane, 2014; January, Casey & Paulson, 2011; Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011)

The government and other mental health agencies hope that by tackling such topics in school and by better-educating children about mental health, steps will be made to not only demystify such issues but will crucially equip children with a more effective toolkit for managing difficult feelings. It is further hoped that lessons learned at school will have a lasting impact as children become adults.

How Can Quirky Kid help develop your child’s social-emotional learning skills?

At The  Quirky Kid Clinic, we are strong advocates for prevention and early intervention when it comes to children’s mental health issues. Prevention, is, of course, the preferred approach. In our experience, providing intervention to children and families before problems become too entrenched can often be the key to success. Where issues have been developing for some time, it can be much harder to address problems and for both the child and family such situations can feel insurmountable.

The Best of Friends® gives children the knowledge skills and confidence to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, develop and maintain friendships and make good decisions. Designed for children aged 7 to 11, the program teaches these critical skills to children in an age-appropriate and practical way.

So embrace this potentially challenging time with your son/daughter and remember children tend to take the lead from their parents. With this in mind, try to model calm, brave behaviour whilst at the same time keeping the doors of communication wide open. By adopting these strategies your child should feel a little braver about adapting to their new classroom, teacher and school expectations.

Term 3 Social and Emotional Learning Programs for Children

If you are looking for a more extensive approach to preparing your child for Term 3, book now for our The Best of Friends® holiday and Term 3 Programs.

——-
References:

Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., & Schellinger, K.B. (2011).  The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions.  Child Development, 82(1), 405-432

January, A.M., Casey, R.J., & Paulson, D. (2011). A Meta-Analysis of Classroom-Wide Interventions to Build Social Skills: Do They Work?.  School Psychology Review, 40(2), 242-256

Myles-Pallister, J.D., Hassan, S., Rooney, R.M. & Kane, R.T. (2014).  The efficacy of the enhanced Aussie Optimum Positive Thinking Skills Program in improving social and emotional learning in middle childhood.  Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 909.

Advertisement

Vocational Partner Group and BoF

No Comments

Posted on by Sarah Doyle

Vocational Partner Group and The Best of Friends

We are proud to announce Vocational Partnership Group (VPG) has just confirmed they will be implementing ‘The Best of Friends’™ program during 2018.

VPG empower youth, strengthen families, and broker partnerships between education & industry. VPG consists of several different programs aimed at improving child and youth transitions. With a range of different services such as work experience, professional youth services, indigenous transitions, career transitions, Every Family Program, Transition To Work (TTW) Program and RespectMe.

Their enrolment continues to establish our Social and Emotional program as the most effective intervention to foster children’s social and emotional wellbeing. We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

About Vocational Partnership Group

Vocational Partnership Group has strong expertise in building the capacity of schools through innovative staffing and program solutions. The range of programs available at VPG is customised to meet schools needs and outcomes. VPG also works with parents, the industry and with youth. Their key goal is to improve child and youth transitions.

Social and Emotional Learning

Equally, with their commitment to empowering young people with a range of different training programs, VPG has demonstrated a clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of their clients. We were impressed with the knowledge, focus and commitment the team share with their clients.

About The Best of Friends and the School.

The implementation of The Best of Friends ® will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologists Dr. Kimberley O’Brien.

Participants will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators and teachers will have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required.

The Best of Friends ® is a Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic. Find out more.

Interested in offering ‘The Best of Friends ®’ program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.

Advertisement

Valli Jones & Associates and BoF

No Comments

Posted on by Sarah Doyle

We are proud to announce Valli Jones is now a Licensed and Accredited Facilitator of ‘The Best of Friends’® program.

Valli Jones is a Gold Coast-based psychologist with a special interest in child and adolescent psychology. Working from a holistic, person-centred perspective, Valli uses evidenced-based methods to assess and treat a range of common behavioural and mental health concerns. Valli holds a Master of Clinical Psychology, is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Her clinic enrolment continues to establish our Social and Emotional program as an effective intervention to foster children’s social and emotional wellbeing. We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

Dates for workshops and registrations are available here.

About Valli Jones

Valli Jones works one-on-one with children, adolescents and families to help them develop the skills they need to manage their emotions and behaviour. Using evidence-based therapies delivered in an engaging and play-informed style, children are supported while they learn to understand and regulate their inner world, and adopt more positive ways of behaving and relating.

Social and Emotional Learning

Equally, with their commitment to academic results and positive psychology, Valli Jones has demonstrated a clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of her clients. We were impressed with the knowledge, focus, diligence and commitment Valli’s practice commits to their clients.
About The Best of Friends and the Clinic.

The implementation of The Best of Friends ® will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologists Dr. Kimberley O’Brien.

Participants taking part in the groups will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators and teachers have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required. The Best of Friends is a Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic.

Find out more.

Interested in offering The Best of Friends ® program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program® has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.

Advertisement

Kids Inspired and BoF

No Comments

Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kids Inspired and The Best of Friends Program

We are proud to announce that Kids Inspired has just confirmed they will be implementing ‘The Best of Friends’ ™ program during 2017 at their wellbeing centre in Kirrawee. Clients from Kirrawee and surrounding areas will now be able to benefit from this engaging and effective Social and Emotional Program.

“At Kids Inspired we are passionate about providing children with opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to face difficult situations throughout life, managing their emotions in healthy and helpful ways, and drawing on interpersonal effectiveness skills to engage positively with those around them. The concept of Kids Inspired is built on providing skills development through fun and engaging group work programs. Imparting knowledge and tools, whilst in a supported peer/social setting.” ‘The Best of Friends’™ program ticks all the boxes.

Their enrollment continues to set a landmark moment for us at Quirky Kid as we continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative and effective programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

Dates for 2017 workshops are available here.

About Kids Inspired

Principal Psychologist, Deni Fowle, has over 15 years experience working with children, adolescents and young people.

After working for many years in Child, Adolescent and Youth Mental Health, through NSW Health and Dept. Juvenile Justice, Deni first set up the private practice in January 2011.

Deni is excited to be expanding the practice in 2017, to work collaboratively with clinicians from the fields of allied health, holistic and natural therapies, to offer a unique variety of programs to children, young people and their families.

Social and Emotional Learning

Equally with their commitment to providing consistent and effective services to young clients and their families, Kids Inspired has demonstrated clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of their clients.

About The Best of Friends and the School

The implementation of The Best of Friends™ will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologist Dr. Kimberley O’Brien and our team. Participants will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators will have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required.

The Best of Friend is a Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic. Find our more.

Interested in offering ‘The Best of Friends™’ program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.

Advertisement

LEAP for Kids and BoF

No Comments

Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

LEAP for Kids and 'Best of Friends' Program - Emma Cooney

We are proud to announce that Emma Cooney will be implementing ‘The Best of Friends’™ program in 2017 at her private practice LEAP for Kids in Kew, Victoria. Clients from Kew and surrounding areas will be able to benefit from this engaging and effective Social and Emotional Program.

“Emma has worked with children and adolescents in educational settings within both the public and private sector for 20 years. She is passionate about delivering evidence based psychology programs and interventions that make a difference to the education, health and wellbeing of young people.” 

LEAP for Kids’ enrollment continues to set a landmark moment for us at Quirky Kid as we continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative and effective programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

Dates for 2017 workshops are available here.

About LEAP for Kids

Leap for Kids is a practice offering psychological services to school aged children from Kindergarten to Year 12 and their families. LEAP for Kids provides a range of programs to ensure that there is a pathway for growth for every child and their family. Equally, with her commitment to providing consistent and effective services to young clients and their families, Emma Cooney has demonstrated a clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of her clients.

About The Best of Friends and the School

The implementation of The Best of Friends™ will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologist Dr Kimberley O’Brien and our team. Participants will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators will have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required.

Interested in offering ‘The Best of Friends™’ program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.

Advertisement