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Early Intervention Foundation. (2018) Introduction to social & emotional learning in schools. London: Early Intervention Foundation.

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Social and emotional skills play a crucial role in children and young people’s development, enabling them to achieve positive outcomes in school, work and life in general.

Definitions vary, but the term generally encompasses five interrelated sets of cognitive, emotional and behavioural competencies.

  • Self-awareness: Recognising your own thoughts and emotions and understanding how they influence your behaviour. Self-confidence, and accurately assessing your own personal strengths and limitations.
  • Self-regulation: Regulating your own emotions, thoughts and behaviours, managing stress, controlling impulses, and setting and working towards personal goals.
  • Social awareness: Empathy and understanding of others, respecting diversity, understanding social and cultural norms of behaviour.
  • Responsible decision-making: Making ethical and constructive choices about your own behaviour, based on an ability to empathise and see the perspective of others.
  • Relationship skills: Establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding relationships, communicating clearly, listening well, cooperating with others and negotiating conflict constructively.

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