Lower School Social and Emotional Learning
At Sandy Spring Friends School, we approach learning holistically. Here, we believe that social and emotional learning (SEL) is just as important as academic learning—and that academic success is intertwined with social and emotional competencies, especially for our youngest learners.
Because of this, each of our teachers have been extensively trained in evidenced-based SEL strategies and thoughtfully deploy them within SSFS’ inquiry-based learning environment. How exactly do we help our preschool and elementary-aged students toward some of the most integral parts of education and human development?
The Lower School’s curriculum features a standalone weekly SEL class called SHINE, which is taught by our Lower School Counselor and Assistant Head of Lower School. The SHINE curriculum aims to improve each student’s understanding and practice of RECESS—and not the kind that involves free play and social connection on our spacious playground…although Lower Schoolers enjoy that, too!
E motional safety
S elf regulation
As a part of learning RECESS skills, SHINE helps students
Develop and maintain a consistent mindfulness practice, including mindful pausing, speech and language, listening, presence, and movement
Explore issues of belonging, justice, identity, diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in processing complex historical and current events
Embrace a culture of self reflection and self improvement that is kind, thoughtful, and non-judgemental
Involve their families in their learning, as the School embraces them as active partners in their child’s moral, social, and emotional development
- Supporting student learning, development, and engagement with CASEL’s Core Competencies
- Helping students begin the understanding and practice of SSFS’ community norms and guidelines for civic engagement
- Actively partnering with parents and guardians on social and emotional learning
- Collaborating with other faculty and staff related to each student’s social and emotional development