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What is it?

The ability to understand your own emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence your

behaviour and others’ behaviour.

How does it show?
  • Being able to describe how you are feeling.

  • Noticing what others may be feeling.

  • Understanding that your behaviour can communicate what you are feeling.


What can we do to stimulate?

Understand what "makes your day". Notice when someone makes your day and tell them "You've made my day".

'Make My Day' refers to actions or words that make an otherwise ordinary or dull day pleasingly memorable for someone.

When you make someone's day, you make them feel happy and awesome on that particular day.

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  • Stop-think-do-check. The 'stop-think-do method' is a way of working that is based on a self-instruction method.

Stop: I read my assignment.

Think: How do I plan my work? What do I need to make my work?

Do: I do my work

Check: I check my work, did I forget something?


  • Reflection scheme. This can be used to think about things that have already happened.  It helps you understand the consequences of your actions and behaviours so that we can celebrate achievements and consider how things could be better next time.

What have I learned?
What new ideas have I received?  
What am I going to change?
What went well?




What is it?

Being able to understand why you feel a particular way and how to manage that feeling yourself.


How does it show?
  • You can recognise and name feelings such as jealousy, cheerfulness, panic...

  • You can recognise that how you feel can change the way you behave. For example, you may shout when you’re angry and talk calmly when you’re happy.

  • You know how to calm yourself down when you’re having a strong emotion.

  • You know that your behaviour can have an impact on others around you. You can explain the part you played in a situation that got out of hand.


What can we do to stimulate?
  • Analyse your emotions and thoughts. You can make the link between your feelings, thoughts and behaviour in this model. You can use this model when you have a strong emotion (e.g. anger) and you want to reflect on it.

Event: what happened?

Thoughts: what are my thoughts about it?

Feelings: what do I feel about this event?

Behaviour: I act differently because of how I feel or how I think about it.


  • Bears by Meichenbaum

Wat do I have to do (task)? E.g.: Doing my maths.

How am I going to do it? E.g.: I divide the tasks into smaller pieces.

I do my job/task. E.g.: I do the task.

I check my work - what do I think about it? What went well? What can I do better next time? E.g. I was distracted by my sister. Next time I will do the task in my own room.

Image by Tengyart


Social awareness

What is it?

To understand the feelings, thought and behaviour of someone else.


How does it show?
  • Being able to see how others are feeling.

  • Understand that someone else can have a different or similar feeling.

  • Understanding how others behave.

  • Ask how others are feeling.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • Look at the movie 'Inside Out'.

  • Recognise and describe some emotions in others.

  • Use and recognise different emoticons.

Kids Spelen Tug of War
Relationship skills


Relationship skills

What is it?

The ability to make friends and work with others (children and adults).


How does it show?
  • Listening to people carefully to see how others see and understand things.

  • Understanding that everyone has something to offer.

  • Sharing ideas and feelings to play and work together.

  • Working things out when things are tricky.

  • Being able to ask friends and peers for help.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • Practise smiling and see how many smiles you get back.

  • Ask curious questions to find out about others.

  • Put yourself in another person’s shoes to see how they might be thinking and feeling.

  • Make someone’s day by being kind.

  • Encourage and practise kindness everyday.

  • Friendship Cards. Use this Friendliness Recipe Card to notice and practise your friendship skills.

  • Magic glasses. Everyone of the class makes a pair of ‘magic glasses’. When you put on the glasses of your classmate: you imagine you see the world through the eyes of your classmate!

Exercise: tell your teacher or your classmates how the world looks through the glasses of someone else.

Studenten tijdens de pauze


What is it?

It is the SKILLS we LEARN that we use to REGULATE our feelings, thoughts and behaviours. It is like a CAPTAIN/COMMANDER of our MIND. It helps us to keep track of what is happening. It helps us to think about different OPTIONS and to DECIDE what is the right thing to do. The CAPTAIN then helps us to STEER ourselves and KEEP track of how things are going and to know that we are moving in the right direction.

How does it show?
  • When you need to reach a goal, you need to regulate yourself.

  • Some examples: When being a good friend, learning things in school, handling a challenge...

  • For example in school, when working together with your classmates: Talk about what the assignment is about so that everyone understands. Discuss and make a PLAN e.g. what does the first step need to be. Start the work. CHECK (Monitor) how things are going. When you reach the end, check if you did what you planned to do and if you reached the GOAL (EVALUATE).

What can we do to stimulate?
  • Think about our feelings and thoughts and become more AWARE of them.

  • Think about different options and strategies before we act.

  • Check if we did what we decided to do (evaluate).

  • Look at how others do this.

  • STOP for a while and carefully observe how others do.

  • Learn from our friends, other pupils and adults.

  • Ask for help.

  • Do things together first, before we become independently skilled.

Image by Byron Sterk


EF Working memory

What is it?

Memory is the ability you have to remember things, but there are different types of memory. Working memory allows you to store information temporarily.  When you need a particular bit of information, you can retrieve it. Once you've finished using the information, you quickly forget it.

How does it show?
  • When a teacher asks you to write something, you only remember the words until you have written them.

  • You use working memory in daily life, for example if mum or dad tell you to "go to the kitchen and bring water, glasses and cutlery", we remember this only until we have done what they have asked.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • We can train working memory to remember more and more things. For this we can play fun games such as memory, sequence (memory of series of coloured lights), who is who, play to see who remembers increasingly long numbers…

  • You can try this online-game of Simon Says.

  • Also at home you can train this. For example: follow a recipe for baking a cake

Working memory



What is it?

The ability to stop inappropriate behaviour and ignore distractions or irrelevant information.


How does it show?
  • You can finish an assignment when other pupils are talking.

  • You can wait for your turn e.g. in a game.

  • You can stop playing when the school bell rings.

  • You can listen to the teacher even when another pupil is talking.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • You can think first before giving an answer in class.

  • You can write down the answer on an erase board.

  • You can discuss an answer with another pupil first, and then give an answer.

  • Count to 10 in your head before giving an answer.

Image by Anne Nygård
Cognitive flexibility


Cognitive flexibility

What is it?

Being able to switch from one piece of work to another easily. For example, being able to switch from playing to learning, or being able to adapt to new rules.


How does it show?
  • Being able to understand the view of your brother or sister.

  • Trying a different way if something doesn't work out.

  • Being able to switch from one task to another.

  • Switching from playing to doing homework.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • Setting an alarm. If it beeps: stop playing and start your homework.

  • Use step-by-step plans, e.g. calculation diagrams.

Problem solving



What is it?

You can see a problem and find a solution to the problem.


What does it look like?
  • Being able to solve a problem step by step.

  • Being able to talk about a conflict between your friends.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • Reflection-scheme

What's the problem?

Come up with as many solutions as possible.

Choose one solution.

Run the solution.

Reflect: Would you do the same/differently next time?

  • Bears by Meichenbaum

What do I have to do (task)?

How am I going to do it?

I do my job/task.

I check my work. What do I think about it? What went well? What can I do better next time?

Image by Susan Q Yin
Planning and organisation


Planning and organisation

What is it?

Planing your work, organising your time and considering which tasks should be done first.

What does it look like?
  • Making your school bag.

  • Preparing a big task (e.g. a presentation for your class).

  • Making a plan for the week.

  • Organising your homework.

  • Making a mothers or fathers day-gift.

  • Playing a board game.

What can we do to stimulate?
  • Use a marker when making your book bag.

  • Split big tasks in little chunks.

  • Try to make a plan for the week: you can ask a teacher or parent to help you.

  • Use a planner.

  • Use a timer.

  • When will you start your homework? When will you take a break?

  • Keep your desk tidy.

Image by Laura Ockel
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