This content is part of official issued curriculum providing the most up-to-date information (i.e., front matter). This content is applicable to all curriculum documents, Grades 1 to 12. Educators must consider this information to guide the implementation of curriculum and in creating the environment in which it is taught. 

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Social-Emotional Learning Skills

The development of social-emotional learning (SEL) skills helps students foster overall health and well-being, positive mental health, and the ability to learn, build resilience, and thrive.

Students will learn skills to: So that they can:
  • identify and manage emotions
  • express their feelings and understand the feelings of others
  • recognize sources of stress and cope with challenges
  • develop personal resilience
  • maintain positive motivation and perseverance
  • foster a sense of optimism and hope
  • build relationships and communicate effectively
  • support healthy relationships and respect diversity
  • develop self-awareness and self-confidence
  • develop a sense of identity and belonging
  • think critically and creatively
  • make informed decisions and solve problems

Social-emotional learning skills are an explicit component of learning in the elementary health and physical education curriculum. However, there are opportunities for students to develop SEL skills in connection with their learning in all subjects and disciplines. Skills to support mental health and well-being can be developed across the curriculum, in the context of school activities, at home, and in the community.

It is beneficial for students to make connections between SEL skills, transferable skills, and learning skills and work habits (see Growing Success, 2010, Chapter 2). Taken together, these interrelated skills support students’ overall health and well-being, positive mental health, and the ability to learn and to become lifelong learners. They enhance students’ experience in school and beyond, preparing them to succeed personally and to become economically productive and actively engaged citizens. School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) has resources to support the development of social-emotional learning in Ontario schools.