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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Care charity rewards schools supporting children's wellbeing


Programme prioritises social and emotional development

Some 18 Schools and pre-schools in Renfrewshire have now received global recognition for putting children’s social and emotional learning (SEL) at the heart of learning.

Barnardo’s have adopted a social and emotional learning (SEL) programme called PATHS which supports children from a young age to raise awareness of their feelings and helps them to develop self-regulation skills.

The SEL award is given by the charity in recognition of the outstanding commitment to fostering emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and overall well-being among school children.

Those to receive the accolade are: Wallace Primary School (7 February); Moorpark ELCC (29February); and Todholm ELCC (29 February).

Delivery of the programme is supported by specialist coaches from Barnardo’s and activities are designed to help children’s development in learning to regulate their emotions, boost self-esteem, increase their emotional awareness and teach them problem-solving skills, including within relationships and friendships, improving the mental health of nursery and primary school pupils.

There are now 14 schools and four pre-schools settings in Renfrewshire that have achieved Model School recognition. Staff and pupils from the schools were presented with their awards on by a Programme Co-ordinator from Barnardo’s, who has been working closely with schools to support staff to embed the programme into everyday learning.

Mairead Ewart, programme manager at Barnardo’s, said: “To be an SEL worldwide model School using the PATHSProgramme requires more than to have teachers doing a high-quality job of teaching the lessons in their classrooms.

“These settings have worked to create deeper transformation nurturing whole-school systems change that has included embodying SEL skills in the school’s leadership, using SEL practices throughout the school, creating a school culture in which staff and pupils feel valued and nurtured, creating positive expectations that pupils and staff will utilise SEL skills throughout the school, with peers and adults, and communicating with parents and supporting the ability to use SEL skills at home.

“We are extremely proud of the way these settings have taken the PATHS Programme and made it part of the fabric of their schools. We’re delighted to work with SEL Worldwide to recognise this achievement.”

Diana Brooker, depute headteacher at Wallace Primary School and ELCC, said: “We are very proud that the PATHS Programme has been embedded across Wallace Primary and Early Learning and Childcare Class and has supported children’s development of their social and emotional literacy.

“Securing our award has meant that the hard work of all staff from the ELCC and school has been recognised.”

Pauline Thomson, head of centre at Moorpark Early Learning and Childcare Centre, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received the SEL Worldwide Model School Award. This programme has had such a positive impact on staff, children and families who attend our centre.

“The programme is fun and engaging for children, and staff have truly been dedicated to the programme’s delivery, making the characters come alive through engaging curriculum experiences.

“We have seen an increase in our performance data collected for children, with a higher percentage of children meeting the health and wellbeing outcomes from the curriculum. This is a direct result of the PATHS Programme, the effective delivery by staff and the participation from our parents and children.”

Jennier Glover, early years graduate at Todholm ELCC, said: “At Todholm ELCC, the children, staff and parents all embraced the PATHS programme. The programme has now been embedded in the culture. This has supported staff with a consistent language around social emotional learning when supporting children who become distressed.

“As a team, we have embedded the programme into all areas of the curriculum from developing empathy in our intergenerational partnership’s experiences with Hunter Hill Care Home residences, to helping children recognise emotions in others.

“Our coach, Kristy, was very supportive, and I would recommend the programme to others in education establishments. The programme has helped children and staff develop understanding of equity and how our feelings impact on our actions. Parents have fed back that the programme has guided discussions at home with regards to emotions and behaviours.”



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