Social Skills at The Levels School
All students across the school have access to a social skills group run by specialist Speech and Language Therapists and specialist Occupational Therapists. For KS2, this is a timetabled lesson; for KS3 and KS4, it will be run during tutor time. Both Speech and Language Therapists and the Occupational Therapists are involved in deliverings social skills groups, where therapists focus on helping students to ensure that their ability to speak and engage in everyday social situations is as well developed as possible.
Students are taught using the Zones of Regulation Programme. The Zones of Regulation Programme is a cognitive behavioural approach to teach self-regulation by helping students to understand the different emotions and states of alertness that they feel through four coloured zones. This programme teaches students how to become more aware of their emotions and impulses and it helps them manage this by looking at their sensory needs and increasing their problem solving skills. This is done through common language and visual displays within each classroom, where students can indicate to their teachers which zone they are in. All staff will use the same common language to help the students regulate their behaviour and staff will be able to suggest ways to get students back into the zone where they are ready to learn. Students also have specific teaching within their social skills sessions with games and strategies to support them in understanding and regulating their behaviour and emotions.
Key Stage Two
In KS2, children will learn about the different zones and how to recognise these zones in the behaviour of themselves and others. They will also learn strategies to help them to be in the right zone for the right occasion. For example, the yellow zone can be a positive zone for playing games in the playground but is not appropriate for lessons. Teachers across the school will support the students with helping them to start to understand their own levels of alertness.
Key Stage Three
In KS3 the Zones of Regulation programme is extended to use social thinking resources which link to the Zones of Regulation. Once students understand their own emotions and what they can do to change the zone they are in, the students will then learn in KS3 about how to be part of a group, how to read other people’s emotions and how to use and interpret language (both verbal and non verbal).
Key Stage Four
In KS4 students work through the Building Happiness, Resilience and Motivation in Adolescents: A Positive Psychology Curriculum for Well-being Programme. This programme helps students to understand their role within the world and develop their empathy. It helps students to be motivated, maintain positive mental health, and to flourish in all areas of their lives, drawing together the Zones of Regulation and social skills they will have learnt throughout their time at The Levels School.
The Zones of Regulation
We use the Zones of Regulation programme to support our students' social and emotional development. There are many fantastic resources on the Zones of Regulation website to support parents who want to use the system at home. Try the link below.
If you're looking to support your child's social skills at home, try these free downloadable resources made by our in-house therapy team.