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What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-Emotional Learning refers to a child’s interpersonal (social) development with others while the emotional aspect relates to the child’s intrapersonal development of self.

The purpose of social-emotional learning is to enable children to manage the complexities, demands and pressures of everyday life by developing confidence, resilience and the ability to self-manage, make good choices and build healthy relationships. Research has shown that social-emotional learning contributes significantly to overall health and happiness as well as academic progress. SEL programmes focus on teaching children how to manage emotions and their behaviours and interactions with others.

It focuses on 5 core competencies:

  • Personal awareness,
  • Social awareness,
  • Responsible decision-making,
  • Self-management,
  • Relationship building.

Some would argue that there simply isn’t time to teach or coach social skills in a time of intense academic demands and challenges, but research and data world-wide, show that it’s possibly the best investment to make as it reveals significant impact on academics.

View our courses for at home and at school

What is COOL TO BE ME’s role in social-emotional learning?

COOL TO BE ME has developed a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum from grades 1 – 7 that supports the Life Skills subject at primary school. The intended outcomes are developed skills, behaviours and attitudes that learners need to effectively manage their emotional, cognitive and social behaviour.

Our programme has the critical competencies identified as quintessential outcomes for social-emotional learning, namely, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and, responsible decision-making capacity. (casel.org/why-it-matters/what-is-sel.)

Broadly speaking, The CTBM SEL Learning Programmes teach the following skills:

  • Increased awareness about emotions and moods
  • How to better understand other people’s feelings so as to appreciate others’ points of view and to choose personal behaviour based on this
  • How to better understand and control the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviours
  • The ability to identify negative thoughts or irrational beliefs and re-frame them
  • How to physically relax when under pressure
  • How to learn effective communication and listening skills for problem solving
  • How to build resilience

Testimonial Slider
"CTBM is a great programme. It changed my life and helped me feel great about myself." - Grade 6 student
“I would just like to say thank you so much for all you have done for the grade 6 girls through COOL TO BE ME. They are so lucky to have had experienced such profound self-analysis and self-discovery at their age. I think that the work you are doing is so important and the core philosophy of resilient self-esteem is brilliant.” – Springfield parent
"CTBM has helped me believe in myself and take the pressure off." - Grade 6 student
“I thoroughly enjoyed the feedback to the COOL TO BE ME sessions at Springfield last night. It is a fabulous course and my daughter enjoyed it tremendously. Also from the response of the parents I think they felt the same way.” – Springfield parent
CTBM helped me so that if someone says you are ugly, don’t listen to him and in your mind say “I am beautiful and I know who I am.” - Grade 6 student

"I now have confidence to say stuff even if people laugh at me." - Grade 6 student

"Thank you so much. I have always felt like I was weird to make good decisions that were right. Now I don’t feel that way." - Grade 6 student 

"It was really fun. It was a great learning experience and helped me know who I am and show that everyone is great." - Grade 6 student
“My daughter spoke of the programme so much and I know it has had a profound effect on her confidence and acceptance of others.” – Springfield parent
"Thank you so much. I have always felt like I was weird to make good decisions that were right. Now I don’t feel that way." - Grade 6 student
“I just wanted to let you know that I've been reading Bouncing Back and the Telling Truth stories to my kids this past week. We've been reading a few chapters each night before going to bed. My son is four and a half and my daughter six and a half and in Grade 1. They have both absolutely LOVED them! We have had very late bedtimes as they've insisted that I keep reading! Even though they are both so young (and I thought too young which is why I hadn't read them the stories until now), they were completely compelled and fascinated! At the end of the each book, they both without any initiation started discussing some of the themes. After the bouncing back story, they both started to talk about some of things they had learnt in the day. From the 'learn the lesson and move on' refrain, my daughter told me that she had learnt that she can tell her friend NO if she doesn't want to do something! What an important thing to learn!” – Nicole, Cape Town

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