“A resource for life” – That’s how parents and professionals have described the exclusive workbook participants receive as part of the program. Developed as a partnership between Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Kimberley O’Brien, Author Barbara Gonzalez (former ABC), renowned Australian Illustrator Connah Brecon, and the Quirky Kid design team, the result is an effective, engaging, educational resource.

Combining rich stories, illustrations and various activities, the five chapters cover themes as told to us by young clients at the Quirky Kid Clinic. The activities are carefully designed to cover essential areas of social-emotional learning and the Australian Curriculum.

The Benefits of SEL

Social and emotional learning (SEL) opportunities significantly increase student outcomes, both academically and in life. The BoF program helps students gain the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, show empathy for others, develop and maintain friendships and make good decisions.

SEL have short and long term positive outcomes like increased self-regulation and better social choices; reduced conduct problems and risk-taking behavior; decreased emotional distress and improved test scores, grades, and attendance.1

Learning Goals

  • Self-awareness:
    A child’s realistic understanding of his/her strengths and limitations, and consistent desire for self-improvement.
  • Social awareness:
    A child’s capacity to interact with others in ways that show respect, tolerance, and cooperation.
  • Self-management:
    A child’s success in controlling his/her emotions and behaviours, especially in new and challenging situations.
  • Relationship skills:
    A child’s skill at promoting and maintaining positive connections with others.
  • Goal-directed behaviour:
    A child’s initiation of, and persistence in completing, difficult tasks.
  • Personal responsibility:
    A child’s tendency to be careful and reliable in his/her actions and to contribute to group efforts.
  • Decision making:
    A child’s approach to problem-solving, learning from experience, using values to guide behaviour and accepting responsibility.
  • Optimistic thinking:
    A child’s attitude of confidence, hopefulness, and positive thinking

The Best of Friends workbook is a resource for parents and children to refer to at home. Parents will find the stories and activities relate to common issues children experience in the playground.

Below are general ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ for parents when referring to workbook over the course of The Best of Friends program.

Do

  • Show an interest in the workbook content and discuss any areas of particular interest to your child.
  • Help complete any unfinished activities started by your child.
  • Allow 10-15 minutes to prepare your child for each ‘Fieldwork’ activity.
  • Re-read stories already completed from the workbook.

Dont

  • Read stories in advance.
  • Allow your child to work ahead of the group, but starting new activities at home (except for one Fieldwork task between sessions)
  • Be concerned if your child doesn’t want to talk about the program – We’ll send you weekly email updates.

The five stories feature characters in everyday social and emotional situations offering a perfect springboard to the SEL learning activities. These range from direct instructional techniques (modelling, behavioural rehearsal, coaching, problem-solving) to activities designed to improve performance deficits (e.g., role plays, verbal praise, feedback and incentives).

Aligned with the Australian Curriculum, the result is a comprehensive SEL resource for primary school-aged children.