Fostering Social-Emotional Learning at OWIS Riyadh

In the dynamic landscape of education, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) stands out not only for its academic rigour but also for its steadfast commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals. Central to this holistic approach is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), a cornerstone of the PYP curriculum that equips students with the vital skills needed for success in life.

At OWIS Riyadh, we go beyond acknowledging the significance of SEL; we actively integrate it into our classrooms, fostering an environment where students thrive emotionally and socially. Our commitment to social-emotional growth is evident in our Physical, Social, and Personal Education (PSPE) lessons, as well as our heartfulness sessions every Thursday, key components of the OWIS Riyadh curriculum.

In the early years, from PreKG to KG2, our PSPE lessons serve as a rich tapestry of stories and books, carefully curated to instill invaluable life lessons. These lessons delve into essential aspects of social-emotional development, including friendship, sharing, taking turns, caring, kindness, empathy, and managing emotions. Through engaging narratives, young learners are not only captivated by the tales but also immersed in the profound messages they convey.

Teachers at OWIS Riyadh understand that SEL is not a standalone concept but an integral thread woven into the fabric of daily interactions. By modeling positive behavior and communication skills, educators become beacons of emotional intelligence for their students. Encouraging the identification and expression of emotions creates a space where children feel seen and heard, laying the foundation for self-awareness and self-regulation. Collaboration and teamwork take center stage in our classrooms, where students are given opportunities to work together, share ideas, and navigate group dynamics.

Perhaps one of the most impactful aspects of our PSPE lessons is the explicit teaching of conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. As students engage with stories of characters overcoming challenges, they learn practical strategies for addressing conflicts, a skill set crucial for navigating the complexities of human relationships.

Celebrating individual strengths and achievements is woven into the OWIS Riyadh ethos. By highlighting and appreciating the uniqueness of each student, we empower them to embrace their identity and contribute meaningfully to the learning community. This celebration of diversity lays the groundwork for building strong relationships and social awareness. In essence, our approach to SEL in PYP classrooms goes beyond the theoretical; it is a lived experience.

The PSPE lessons at OWIS Riyadh exemplify our dedication to equipping students with the social and emotional tools they need from the earliest stages of their education. By cultivating empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship-building skills, we are not just preparing students for academic success but for a fulfilling and balanced life journey.

OWIS Riyadh boasts a Heartfulness Program, where mindfulness and relaxation takes center stage.Students actively engage in yoga, breathing exercises, and kindness affirmations. This program is not merely an activity but an integral part of our commitment to promoting social and emotional well-being and development.

Mindfulness, woven seamlessly into our daily routine, serves as a powerful tool for students to cultivate self-awareness and emotional regulation. Through yoga, they learn the art of connecting mind and body, fostering a sense of tranquility and balance. In the realm of kindness, students not only embrace positive self-talk but also learn the profound impact of uplifting others. The ripple effect of kindness resonates throughout our learning community, creating an ethos of empathy and connection.

Beyond the physical aspects, mindfulness in our Heartfulness Program extends to mental well-being. Students are guided through moments of reflection, honing their ability to be present and fully engaged in the learning process. These practices transcend the classroom, empowering students to face the complexities of life with a composed and centered mindset.

In essence, the mindfulness and relaxation component of our SEL approach is a transformative journey that extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of education. It is an immersive experience that nurtures not just academic intellect but also emotional resilience. We are sculpting individuals who not only excel academically but radiate a profound sense of social and emotional well-being—a testament to our commitment to fostering brilliance in every facet of a student’s journey.

Ms. Taleah
PreKG B Homeroom Teacher | + posts


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