Child psychology: Social skills

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By Kairen CullenCPsychol AFBPsS, Independent Chartered Psychologist and journalist

Discover how child psychology can help create a healthy social scene in your classroom

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Psychologists view social development as central to children’s academic progress and their overall development. Throughout Key Stage 2, friendships between children become increasingly important. Teachers play a key part in the small society of the classroom by ensuring a supportive social context and through direct teaching about social skills. They can also identify and help to address individual problems in this area.

The importance of friendship

The powerful effect of friendships on overall wellbeing, emotional resilience and coping with daily life is widely recognised. Friendship is commonly defined as a connection between two people, who are not related to each other. It usually results from a shared situation or activity and is frequently between individuals of similar ages and/or with similar interests. Many friendships arise within school and it is not unusual for these to continue into adulthood. Of course, not every social interaction necessarily develops into a friendship, but children can still be encouraged and helped to be friendly. This is essential for a supportive learning context.

Friendships make us who we are

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