At Westtown, educating the whole child includes nurturing the social and emotional development of students, and social-emotional skill development is an important aspect of the educational approach in Lower School. The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum is based on themes of identity development, identification of emotions, perspective taking, and empathy. Within this curriculum, a sequence of social and emotional skills are explicitly taught to students from Primary Circle through 5th grade; these skills are revisited at a developmentally appropriate level each year.
Conflict resolution and coping strategies are also explored, and increased independence in using these skills is expected as students progress through Lower School.
Additionally, students learn mindfulness exercises and activities which include focusing and breathing techniques. Teachers and the Lower School Counselor use aspects of The Zones of Regulation® curriculum to help students learn to navigate the different emotions they experience during the school day.
We believe that parents are our partners in SEL and through our Parent Speaker Series, seminars are offered to our parents and community by our Integrated Learning, Health and Wellness Team — comprising learning specialists, school counselors, psychologists, nurses, and equity and inclusion practitioners — as well as outside experts which explore a variety of topics on child development and behavior. Our Well-Lit Path Blog also offers information and tips for parents.