With the implementation of the social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) in most primary schools in the UK it is important for schools to feel that they are reinforcing the SEAL ethos across the whole-school. One effective way to complement and support the SEAL programme is to use your school assemblies. That is why, here at Optimus Education, we decided to make sure that you had a resource that could support you in doing this.

Primary SEAL Assemblies is a collection of 40 assemblies written by the authors of the Primary Assembly File that are designed to tackle the five areas outlined in the SEAL programme:

Each assembly deals with a different story with different characters and themes to provide your students with lessons to help them towards a life of peace, strength and emotional stability.

The assemblies are ready to use, so if you do not have time to prepare for assembly time then simply lift your chosen one out, and deliver it to your pupils, safe in the knowledge that you can rely on the content of the assembly.

Primary SEAL Assemblies: Tailor made to follow the SEAL agenda

Published in April 2008, Primary SEAL Assemblies will provide 40 ready-made assemblies – divided into ‘themes’ under the same headings as those used by the SEAL programme itself:

Each assembly can also be used completely independently of SEAL and are designed to be perfect for all pupils, regardless of age or ability.

Save time – no need for preparation!

The stories within each assembly are clear with lots of characters. Simple, predominantly family or school, settings are used, against which familiar dilemmas, problems and joyful events are played out.

Each assembly is written to be read aloud meaning that you can pick an assembly off the shelf and deliver it minutes later with the confidence, knowing that you can rely on the content at those times when there is little or no time to prepare.

Tailor-made to suit your own approach

Each assembly offers the chance for your pupils to participate so that they can become fully involved in the meaning of the story being told and therefore understand the message more clearly.

Though there are clear indicators within most of the assemblies, we have made sure that all of the assemblies included have room for you to be able to tailor them to your school’s needs. We have made sure that nothing can get in the way of individual approaches to delivering an assembly.

Emotional Wellbeing: An Introductory Handbook is an essential book for those wishing to make a positive contribution to the emotional ethos of their school.

Written by two popular and experienced authors who offer training to school staff, it aims to help people learn about emotional literacy and promote it with individuals, groups or whole classes. Each section includes a theoretical explanation, a description of particular vulnerabilities, plus activities, resources and a case study.

Topics covered include:

  • recognising and managing feelings
  • active listening
  • self-esteem
  • understanding and managing anger
  • friendship skills
  • therapeutic stories
  • social skills.

About the authors Gillian Shotton works as a senior specialist educational psychologist in Northumberland where she has a specialist remit for looked after children. She facilitates the team who roll out the ELSA programme across the county. Sheila Burton is area principal educational psychologist for the West of Hampshire. As a senior educational psychologist, she was responsible for the training of school-based emotional literacy support assistants (ELSAs) in Hampshire.

Click here to read more and order your copy now

Inclusion in the Primary Classroom is a practical resource to help promote inclusion and disability awareness, for teachers working to raise awareness in the area of diversity and inclusion.

Both disabled and non-disabled children need help in recognising and understanding aspects of disability and inclusion. Bestselling author Margaret Collins provides a resource for the busy classroom teacher to engage all children in inclusive education. The book will create positive attitudes and will challenge and help change the children’s perceived negative feelings. It demonstrates:

  • that there are different kinds of disabilities
  • what they can do to help
  • how to show empathy
  • how to interact.

The first section focuses on making sure all disabled pupils are given a voice. The second section provides eight units of work that examine areas such as:

  • race
  • speech and language
  • stereotypes
  • special educational needs.

The author follows her usual pattern of providing facing pages with differentiated activities for younger and older pupils. This allows a pick-and-mix approach. The book includes teacher notes, Circle Time and extension activities, and photocopiable resources (also on CD-Rom).

About the author

Margaret Collins is senior visiting fellow in the School of Education, University of Southampton. Author of 24 publications, she writes teaching material for children and articles for early years journals, and researches children’s perceptions of health education topics.


Inclusion in the Primary Classroom is suitable for ages 5-11. To read more and order your copy simply click here now.


ca_children-9293556 Controlling Anger: A Solution Focused Approach for Children
Authors: Tina Rae & Sara Daly

Controlling Anger: A Solution Focused Approach for Children will help to empower children to manage strong feelings more positively.

Many pupils experience difficulty in controlling their strong feelings and in managing conflict in both school and home settings. This programme aims to help children:

  • avoid or manage situations of conflict, understand that they can create change
  • realise that it is possible to resolve difficulties and achieve a positive outcome.

In this thoughtful approach to anger management, the authors suggest a teaching and learning model and use ‘story’ as the focus of pupil engagement. During the 10-session programme participants will:

  • understand anger in a variety of situations, learn about physiological and behavioural aspects of anger, rehearse coping strategies
  • plan positive responses to provocative situations.

Controlling Anger: A Solution Focused Approach for Children contains eight stories to help pupils develop emotional literacy through topics such as:

  • fighting with friends
  • bullying
  • swearing
  • humiliation
  • exclusion.

The stories also reinforce some of the key themes and concepts introduced via the Primary National Strategy’s SEAL Curriculum.

To read more and order your copy of Controlling Anger: A Solution Focused Approach for Children click here.

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Mediation and Restoration in Circle Time

Author: Teresa Bliss

Suitable for ages 8-16

Published June 2008

Mediation and Restoration in Circle Time will help increase participation and help develop emotional literacy.

Evidence suggests that the processes of restorative justice and mediation can:

  • improve the school climate by increasing understanding of rules
  • build a community capacity to respond to problem behaviour
  • increase the skills and self-awareness of all participants

In this authoritative publication, Teresa Bliss applies her experience and expertise to the processes of Circle Time. The book not only provides guidance on organising Circle Time sessions, but also looks at the Every Child Matters agenda. It highlights how restorative justice and mediation can be advantageous, both for increasing children’s participation and for developing their emotional literacy. It considers the specific skills of the two processes and explains how these can be taught in Circle Time.

Skills include:

  • empathy
  • listening
  • cooperation
  • paraphrasing
  • problem solving.

About the author Teresa Bliss is a senior educational psychologist with Gloucester Educational Psychology Service. She has published a number of books for teachers and one for parents with a focus on behaviour and Circle Time.

Mediation and Restoration in Circle Time is suitable for ages 8-16.

To order your copy today simply follow this link and enter your details on our secure online form.

Strategies for Changing Behaviour

Ready-to-use techniques to build positive attitudes to learn

Brought to you by the authors of the bestseller Strategies for Learning

Click here to order your copy now

People with problem behaviours are good at giving themselves negative messages. This can cause them to lock themselves into a cycle of failure. Breaking this pattern can be difficult for a person of any age.

Strategies for Changing Behaviour is a book designed to help you, as an adult who works with children and young people with behavioural problems, to unlock this damaging cycle.

The book offers you practical work-sheet-based techniques that give you a step-by-step guide to dealing with the underlying issues that cause behavioural problems.

Working through them with young people will enable you to sort out their negative attitudes and improve their behaviour. The book is specifically designed to help you to:

build a relationship with the children and young people you work with, despite their behavioural problems and issues

understand different approaches to people and their problems and thereby help you to personalise the work that you do with them

find solutions to particular problems easily – so that you can start tackling difficulties early on

manage and record the progress that you have made with each individual case

develop a deeper understanding of children and young people with behavioural problems and how to work through a range of problems with them.

Click here to order your copy now or read on for more information on this exciting new title

Save time with the easy-to-use reference tool. The book is sub-divided into nine parts, with each section detailing a particular approach. A simple reference tool allows you to identify a specific problem that you are dealing with and select the appropriate technique to address the situation. Helping you to find solutions to behavioural problems Many of the strategies and techniques brought together in this essential resource will be recognised by those familiar with modern psychotherapy, though an understanding of

psychotherapy is not required.

They are derived from a variety of sources including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming and Gestalt Therapy. A major strength of these therapies is that they focus on solutions rather than causes. Personalise your approach for each young person

The structure of the book means that it is easy to use as each section is built around working through particular problems with specific techniques. The approach is worksheet based, which means that you have a clear guide through each strategy for when you begin using the book. Once you have become familiar with the techniques there is a great deal of scope for you to use the material in a flexible way, tailoring your approach to each young person that you are helping.

Each technique is explained fully throughout the resource To help your understanding of the material, we’ve set out each section in a similar way. Firstly, you’ll find a brief description with suggestions on how the particular technique can be used. This is followed by a set of background notes that explain and place in context the ideas underlying each technique. This will be useful to you if you are interested in developing the approach further. Whilst the methods presented here are soundly based on the most successful ideas and techniques of modern psychology, this is not a theoretical book. Strategies for Changing Behaviour is a practical interpretation of those ideas and one to be used by adults who are simply interested in helping young people to deal with their problems. You don’t have to read the background section to be able to understand how to work through each

technique but they will help you if you are interested in understanding how the methods have been developed.

To get your copy of Strategies for Changing Behaviour follow this link.

Frequently parents, carers and the pupil himself will know so much about the individual need that, whilst you can learn from them, your lack of knowledge does not always enable you to offer the pupil the best, most professional support immediately. This book will provide the class teacher and the school with the knowledge about whether their general ‘good practice’ will provide the care and educational access that a pupil will require and also provide direction if additional or different resources or practice is necessary.

For quick access to information about a particular specific special educational need the editor has ordered each chapter in alphabetical order, according to the individual need. There is also a list of abbreviations used in the book and an index at the back of the book.

Inclusive Strategies for Meeting Individual Needs contains the following chapters:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – Including pupils with ADHD by Finton O’Regan

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)/attention deficit disorder (ADD) – ADHD Inattentive Type: the trouble with girls by Finton O’Regan

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) – Managing ASD pupils in the mainstream classroom by Sarah Rhodes

Bilingual learners with SEN – Inclusive strategies for teaching bilingual learners with SEN by Lisa Kalim and Jenny May

Cerebral palsy – Teaching pupils with cerebral palsy by Claire Hewitt

Complex needs – Meeting the needs of pupils with complex needs by Julie Newman

Double exceptionality – Gifted pupils with special educational needs by Diane Montgomery

Down’s syndrome – Teaching pupils with Down syndrome by Sandy Alton

Dyscalculia – Distressed or dyscalculic? by Judith Boosey

Dyslexia/specific literacy difficulties – Challenging Talk by Marian McCormick

Dyspraxia – The dyspraxic pupil in the classroom by Jan Long

Epilepsy – Working with epilepsy by Amanda Cleaver

Hearing impairment (HI) – Deaf pupils: teaching and learning strategies for successful inclusion by Stevie Mayhook

Mental health difficulties – Strategies for teaching pupils with mental health difficulties by Mary Penwarden

ME (Chronic fatigue syndrome) – How to help ME in school by Dr Esther Crawley

Moderate learning difficulties (MLD) – Brain-Friendly teaching for MLD pupils by Jean Parry

Mutism – Supporting pupils with selective mutism: strategies to help in class by Maggie Johnson

Physical impairments – Strategies for teaching young pupils with physical impairments by Jackie Casey

Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) – Strategies for teaching pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties by Colin Bowpitt

Speech and language difficulties – Supporting pupils with speech and language difficulties by Stuart Norman

Visual impairment (VI) – Including a pupil with a visual impairment by Suzy McDonald

Click here to order your copy now

This book focuses on specific interventions which can be used for children within the four definitions of areas of need as identified in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfES, 2001):

  • autism spectrum disorders (ASD); speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and dyslexia
  • physical impairments
  • cognitive needs
  • social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD).

The interventions and strategies offered in this book will provide you with ideas to try with a pupil and to get you thinking about how best you can meet their needs with the resources you have available. Many of the chapters also provide you with additional ideas to try with all the pupils in the class, improving access, engagement and participation with the curriculum for all.

This book has been divided into the four areas of need in which there are a number of chapters about probably the most frequently used intervention programmes and strategies to support learners with those identified needs. All the interventions and strategies offered are well tried and tested and so hopefully will provide you with the confidence to try out other ideas you think will also be effective.

Specific Intervention Programmes and Strategies contains:

Part 1 – Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and dyslexia

Chapter 1 Circle of friends by Pat Haworth

Chapter 2 Cued articulation by Marion Emmerson

Chapter 3 Social stories by Stuart Norman

Chapter 4 Miscue…..then what? By Ann Callander

Chapter 5 Augmentative and alternative communication by Gillian Hazell

Chapter 6 Music interaction by Julie Newman, Alex Smith and Michael Rodwell

Chapter 7 Thinking in pictures – mind mapping and thinking skills by Ann Callander

Part 2 – Physical Impairments

Chapter 8 Brain Gym in primary schools by Gillian Hindshaw

Chapter 9 Kinaesthetic learners – move through the day by Alison Silby

Chapter 10 Understanding perception by Jill Jenkinson

Chapter 11 Teaching handwriting by Janice Rolnick and Jacquie Buttriss

Chapter 12 Boosting auditory learning by Alison Silby

Chapter 13 Boosting visual learning by Alison Silby

Part 3 – Cognitive Needs

Chapter 14 Improving spelling skills by Ann Callander

Chapter 15 Improving memory skills by Jacquie Buttriss

Chapter 16 Developing an understanding of concept vocabulary by Ann Callander

Chapter 17 Coping with mental mathematics by Janet Rees

Chapter 18 Improving writing skills by Sue Soan

Chapter 19 Improving ICT skills by Terry Freedman

Chapter 20 Improving mathematical skills by Steve Chinn

Part 4 – Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Chapter 21 Developing social skills by Stuart Norman

Chapter 22 Developing young children’s social and emotional skills by Tina Rae

Chapter 23 Managing behaviour in the classroom by Jenny Crisp

To order your Specific Intervention Programmes and Strategies click here now!

Learning to Become Socially Talented Children

This resource complements and supports the SEAL curriculum. It uses exciting graphics, games and activities to engage and stimulate children in the learning process. It deals with a wide range of issues that affect children today. Contents include: • Introducing me • I feel good about me • Getting to know my body • Feelings • Anger • Ways to help me manage my behaviour • Calm and chilled • Communication • Friendship • Concentration • Classroom behaviour • Mind your manners

• Sort it out. These worksheets are an excellent tool for generating discussion, promoting positive role modelling, and developing greater insight and understanding. Includes a FREE CD Rom from which the whole book can be printed in colour.

Click here to order this title at a 10% discount now

The Feelings Artbook

Promoting Emotional Literacy Through Drawing

Feelings Artbook 48 activities that explore emotional issues through drawing. By Ruby Radburn. For many children, drawing is a more pleasurable activity than writing. These activities and worksheets use drawing as the basis for exploring emotional issues and promoting children’s emotional literacy. The book is intended for anyone who spends time with children, including teachers, learning mentors, therapists and parents. It is organised in three sections: • Self-esteem. The activities in this section promote a positive sense of self by helping children to identify their strengths and preferences, their achievements and aspirations, the people and things they value. Many of the activities creatively explore a sense of personal power, something that children of this age have little opportunity to do. Understanding this concept helps them to take responsibility for their emotions and actions. • Emotions. In this section children identify and define a wide range of feelings, expanding their emotional vocabulary beyond the basic ‘happy’, ‘sad’ or ‘angry’. More complex feelings such as jealousy, pride and embarrassment are examined, and children are encouraged to define these feelings in both words and drawings, and through personal experience. When children understand what causes strong emotional reactions, they are better able to manage their feelings in an appropriate way. • Empathy. These activities encourage children to consider other people’s feelings and preferences, and to think from different perspectives. Some offer specific viewpoints to focus on such as an old lady, a baby or an alien. Others promote empathetic skills such as listening. For each activity the instructions include a clearly stated aim, a suggested outline of how to conduct the activity and two optional follow-on ideas. Flexibility is central to the design: the activities can stand alone or be incorporated into an emotional literacy programme. The finished drawings can be displayed or kept by children as a visual reminder of their learning.

About the author: After graduating with a degree in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College, Ruby Radburn taught in London schools, working with both adults and children. This book arose from the time she spent as a Learning Mentor in a primary school working with children who needed help in overcoming barriers to learning. There she developed her own resources to meet the demands of the role. Age: 4-11 Photocopiable. Includes a FREE CD Rom containing whole book in colour.

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