I’ve been thinking about interventions to do with social skills and emotional literacy (I suppose it is part of the job). We offer ELSA and Draw and Talk and these are really useful interventions but there seems to be a group across all ages of the school who are almost hidden and invisible by their quietness. They aren’t necessarily on the SEN register for their abilities, they definitely don’t appear in the school behaviour book but they do have needs.
These are the children who don’t have any real friends but are often clever enough to hang around on the edge of groups without actually interacting. There could be a lot of reasons for this and I do appreciate that some people like their own company or even need time on their own but those people tend to take themselves away from these groups.
I could think of several girls who fitted this criteria but an email around teachers has also picked up the names of some boys. I wonder if an email to our TAs will give a different set of names, children who manage to not draw attention to themselves in this way in class but who may stand out in the dining hall or playground.
I wonder whether these children are actually happy, do I really need to do something or am I imagining a problem? The fact that I got replies from several staff quite quickly makes me think that there may be a problem. To offer an intervention that takes children out of class time means it ought to have a positive impact on their learning, it is tricky to show that improving social skills and emotional literacy does in the same way that a maths or phonics intervention does.
I will still sort something out as even if literacy assessments don’t shoot up I feel that school should be more than just reaching Level 4 (or next year’s non-levelled equivalent). Despite the increased use of technology the children of today will still need to have good social skills and in a world of seeming ever increasing mental health problems good emotional health.
Now to think what exactly we want, who attends, when and other such technical difficulties!