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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School

Emotional Literacy Programme

Students are helped to make the link between emotional feelings, thinking and behaviour. How we are feeling affects our thinking, but it is also the case that what we are thinking affects the way we are feeling. Our thoughts and our feelings together have a strong impact on our behavioural reactions. Emotional literacy addresses:

Recognising and managing feelings: while children can experience a full range of emotions they are often unable to identify them accurately. Being able to name feelings will bring order to their emotions.

Self-esteem: Many children in schools experience low self- esteem especially if they find learning difficult or have weak peer relationships. They need to recognise the skills they have and appreciate their unique personal value.

Understanding and managing anger: strong emotions can be difficult to handle, even for adults who have had years to practise.  Some of the children that we work with have not learnt how to keep themselves or other people safe when they are frustrated and become angry.

Friendship skills: for most children friendships develop naturally. Others need help to learn how mutually supportive relationships are established and maintained. Some may even be unaware of their need for friends but without them will miss out on the richness of learning that springs from special relationships built on shared interests and trust.

Therapeutic stories: this narrative approach is an invaluable way of helping children find hope and possible ways of coping with the difficulties they have. By identifying with the experiences of the central characters they come to realise that they are not alone in their difficulties and may be encouraged to try new approaches for themselves.

Social skills: the skills of social interaction do not come naturally to all children. They need to be modelled and sometimes overtly taught in order to help children relate effectively to adults and to the other children around them.

Supporting children through loss and bereavement: experiencing loss is an inevitable part of life learning to cope with the grief that particularly accompanies the loss of significant people in our lives, whether through separation or death, is essential if we are to develop the resilience that enables us to continue building for the future after major setbacks.