What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Why is it Important?
At Fraser Academy, we are continuously working on how we can best prepare our students for life success. While academics are an essential component of a student’s growth, longitudinal studies show that emotional and social skills (SEL) are far better predictors of success than academic achievement. There are 5 essential components to SEL:
- Self-awareness: Assessing our feelings, interests, values and strengths; maintaining self confidence
- Self-management: Regulating emotions to handle stress, controlling impulses and persevere in overcoming obstacles
- Social awareness: Understanding different perspectives and empathizing with others; recognizing and appreciating similarities and differences; using family, school and community resources effectively
- Relationship skills: Maintaining healthy relationships based on cooperation; resisting inappropriate social pressure; preventing, managing and resolving interpersonal conflicts; seeking help when needed
- Responsible decision making: Using a variety of considerations, including ethical, academic and community-related standards to make choices and decisions
In our Junior School, we have unified our SEL approach by integrating SEL activities into the Grade 2-6 schedule. Here are some examples:
- Every Tuesday, students participate in a 5-minute skills session focusing on the 5 SEL components during homeroom.
- Throughout the school year, the counselling department and staff members who are trained in other SEL skills, such as Mindfulness, present 20-minute sessions. This provides an opportunity for in-depth discussions and practice of SEL skills.
- Grade 6 students prepare and present on virtues such as friendliness, compassion, tolerance and flexibility.
We encourage parents to have conversations with their children about what SEL skills they are learning and practice them at home as well.