Monday, 23 June 2008

Social and emotional aspects of life seem to have dominated my week and it made me realise, once again, how important emotional intelligence is in our world...

Lats week I had lunch with colleagues from a European project looking at the education of young people in public care. They were in Leeds to look at our Stepping Stones project; the fabulous work that Ken Campbell and his colleagues are doing with some amazing young people. We had colleagues from the Bertelsmann Prize team over in Leeds for a couple of days filming our work for the symposium and award ceremony in September; which will celebrate the brilliant work that Pauline Rosenthal, Denise Trickett, Peter Saunders, Steve Smith and their colleagues are doing. I spoke at the secondary 'Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning' Conference at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel; Chris Pollard and her colleagues organised a really special day to build on the fantastic work they have been doing on SEAL in primary schools. I also visited Wykebeck Primary School where Helen Cockerham and her colleagues are doing a brilliant job and releasing the magic with some wonderful children. I also saw Shirley Parks who is having a great time working for Partnerships for Schools on the Building Schools for the Future programme and now making a real difference on a national stage.

What is it about these colleagues that mark them out as special? They are all emotionally intelligent and recognise that if we are really serious about excellence, high quality and creating a culture where everyone is happy, healthy, safe and increasingly successful it is vitally important that we connect with colleagues, with young people and their parents and carers; notice them, notice how they are feeling, look into their eyes, pick up on their body language and show them that we are interested and that we care... whatever it takes!

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