Our school counselors work in collaboration with teachers to help our Early Childhood and Lower School students begin to develop social, emotional, and academic skills to help them thrive in a wider world. Children gain confidence, resilience, and empathy as they take their places as members of a caring school community.
Supported every step of the way
Social and emotional learning is integral to the Seven Hills experience. Each of our Lower School divisions has a full-time school counselor who provides and oversees direct instruction with students, specifically focusing on the areas of self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. In a dedicated partnership with faculty, administrators, parents, and a caring community, our counselors nurture and develop children through instruction that corresponds to their age and stage of development.
Additionally, school counselors are available to work with students individually or in small groups, collaborating with classroom teachers to accommodate students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Parents are welcome to meet with the counselors when they have concerns about child development in general, or their child in particular.
Using puppets and stories, the pre-kindergarten guidance curriculum teaches students about joining a group, acceptable group behaviors, recognizing feelings, and respecting others.
In kindergarten, selections from children’s literature are used to help students understand their feelings, and to teach them self-acceptance, self-reliance, and social skills.
First-grade students focus on ideas for working together, understanding and appreciating differences, and valuing others. The methods used to explore these ideas include children’s books, role-play, art, and class discussion.
Working within the theme of making choices and accepting consequences, stories with open endings are used to show students how to explore possible choices and outcomes, and how to examine their own real-life situations.
In third grade, students concentrate on conflict resolution: identifying sources of conflict and acquiring communication strategies like listening, paraphrasing, and using “I” messages. They also learn how to recognize and respond to bullying. With new strategies and techniques for meditation and anger management, they come to gain better control of their own emotions.
By fourth grade, students are beginning to realize that we all have individual strengths and weaknesses. They’re encouraged to develop interests in a variety of areas, and to recognize the talents of other students. They also learn how to identify and respond to stress, understanding our physical and emotional responses and developing strategies to reduce it.
With a few years of education under their belts, fifth-grade students are beginning to realize that everyone has individual strengths and weaknesses—and through an assessment, they find their own. They’re encouraged to develop interests in a variety of areas, and to recognize the talents of other students. They also learn how to identify and respond to stress, understanding the physical and emotional responses to it and developing strategies to reduce it.