Emotions for Learning

Emotions for Learning (E4L), is a social and emotional curriculum that forms part of our whole school culture. E4L aims to teach our children about emotions, minds, communication and relationships so they can become effective learners and grow up to be a happy, resilient and fulfilled young people.

Research tells us that when adults engage in positive interactions with children with whom they have strong emotional ties, four key processes develop: attachment, emotional regulation, mentalisation, and the development of a sense of self.  E4L is all about building strong teacher pupil relationships so children can learn to manage their emotions, develop their minds, build a healthy and realistic sense of self and become effective learners.

All teachers and assistants have been trained to understand the theory underlying E4L in a series of training workshops.  The E4L training helps staff recognise the importance of the teacher-pupil relationship and it explains how the E4L lessons, E4L processes and E4L activities, foster strong relationships with children and enhance children’s learning.

The three E4L core activities – Stilling (guided visualisations or mindfulness practice), Reflection and Story – are short, teacher-led activities that support the development of emotional regulation, mindsight and self-organisation, both by teaching mindfulness and by engaging children in mindfulness practice. They offer quiet times in the day when children can physically and mentally relax and process, consciously or unconsciously, the experiences of the school day.

The E4L lessons are taught in a sequence that has been planned and trialled to meet the developmental needs of children in each year group. Since the curriculum revisits all the themes and many of the lesson topics annually, children have the opportunity to build and consolidate their E4L learning from year to year.

© St Luke's Church of England Primary School, Cambridge