Where to start?
We recommend that all students are introduced to the theme of emotional health by starting with the introductory session ‘What is Emotional Health?’
After this, you can pick and choose which sessions to use from the four themes depending on students' previous learning, level of maturity and understanding and current needs and issues . There is no set order to the themes.
These are designed for staff to use as part of an INSET day or staff meeting. You may also wish to invite volunteers from your local Samaritans branch to support you. Get in touch with the schools team today if you would like support using DEAL.
To complement these activities you can use the DEAL staff training slides, which introduce why we should have resources such as DEAL in schools.
The DEAL teachers notes give further guidance on using DEAL and some top tips on how to run a successful session. Teachers new to DEAL may also be interested in this handout of DEAL background information as an introduction.
Flexible Session Plans
DEAL teaching resources are designed to be flexible so that they fit in with time restrictions. There are sessions designed to last a full lesson and sessions that can be used in tutor time or shorter. They can be used flexibly to meet the needs of the students in the time available. Individual sessions can be used or several sessions can be put together to create a termly unit.
There is no set order to the topics covered. However, some sessions should be covered before others, and these are noted on the session overview in the relevant themes. We have also highlighted where we consider a plan to be a ‘core session’. These cover areas we consider to be essential learning and should be prioritised within the curriculum.
Film and audio clips have been created to support sessions, or can be used separately to initiate discussion on issues that relate to the sessions. We hope that educators and young people will use these resources as inspiration, and that students will be keen to create their own materials.
Some sessions naturally link together. We have provided suggested sessions that link into the content at the end of each plan that you may find useful.
Our suggested ‘learning journeys’, also link sessions throughout the themes creating half termly, or termly schemes of work. This is to assist you in planning a series of classes if this is appropriate to your students’ needs. These are suggestions rather than prescribed programmes. The resources are designed to be used as flexibly as needed.
We have suggested some ideas for assessment activities designed to help teachers identify the progress made by students.
What is emotional health?
Emotional health is part of our overall health and is about the way we think and feel. It relates to our sense of wellbeing and our ability to cope with life events. Good emotional health allows us to understand and manage our own emotions as well as those of others.
We all constantly use our emotional and social skills. Every day we interact with people at home and in our community and have new experiences, developing thoughts and feelings about the world around us. Emotional health education is not just about people who may be at risk of emotional health issues, but for every person who is part of the school community – students, staff and parents. When delivering these sessions, keep in mind how each of these groups can get involved.
Get in touch
If you have any queries about the DEAL resources or want to request support for staff training, contact the schools team today.