“School can be a happy and satisfying experience that provides a training or further development in awareness about our interactions with others. The goal for social and emotional learning/skills for life programmes is to give children the tools and understanding in order to enhance their resilience and develop their ability to cope capably with the ups and downs of life.”
— Christopher Clouder from Introducing Social and Emotional Education
‘Connection’ is one of Kamaroi’s core values. Alongside the Creative Arts, we place a strong emphasis on social and emotional education. We consider this integral to the development of individuals who are innovative, optimistic and resilient learners. During the Main Lesson, children are able to absorb a wealth of stories and images of humanity and ideals that have meaning. Each support the notion of ‘connection’ and reaffirm the notion that we each have a place, purpose and task and that we can help create a more positive future.
For example, in Class 1, children meet Beauty, from the fairytale, Beauty and the Beast. Beauty offers her life in exchange for that of her father’s. With this selfless act of love, Beauty fulfills her destiny and frees the prince locked within.
These timeless examples of resilience in the face of impossible odds have a real effect on the children. While legendary, the stories take on an extraordinary level of reality, due to the truths within each tale that the child is able to absorb.
At Kamaroi, we have a number of strategies involving the whole school in social and emotional learning:
The Talk Matters programme is based on Non-Violent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg), and arts-based emotional literacy strategies. The programme is implemented throughout the School community, as a means to strengthen communication, develop social skills, resolve conflict and increase connection between children, parents and teachers. Class teachers develop with children, a vocabulary to express feelings, needs and requests. Talk Matters can be used with individuals, groups or the whole class.
Additionally, Kamaroi uses Restorative Justice and method of shared concern approaches with regard to any ongoing bullying/teasing/excluding issues.