Developing and Maintaining Friendships

Developing and Maintaining Friendships

Developing and maintaining friendships is a key part of pupil wellbeing and positive social interactions are proven to support good mental health.  However, some pupils find this particularly challenging; and sometimes the reasons for this could include an underlying special educational need that hinders social interactions.  Your child’s class teacher and the school’s SENCo will work with you to establish whether this could be the case.

Social Skills

Social skills are the skills we use every day to interact and communicate with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication, such as speech, gesture, facial expression and body language. A person has strong social skills if they have the knowledge of how to behave in social situations and understand both written and implied rules when communicating with others.

Social skills are taught through our PHSE curriculum.  Children learn how to:

  • read and recognise a range of emotions in others
  • develop skills of empathy
  • recognise what a good friend is and how to be one
  • be flexible, compromise and resolve conflict
  • interpret ‘expected’ behaviours in social situations and recognise the impact of ‘unexpected’ behaviours.

For those requiring additional support with developing and maintaining friendships, we have a range of interventions (programmes of support that happen in small groups outside of the classroom). 

These include (but are not limited to):

  • Time to talk – a programme for children in EYFS and Year 1 that looks at social communication and oral language skills
  • SULP (Social Use of Language Programme) –which focuses on eye contact, listening, turn taking, appropriate distance for communication; volume, pace and tone of voice. Aimed at KS1 children or older children that have an additional educational need.
  • Socially Speaking - Socially speaking aims to improve a pupil’s self esteem, listening skills and expressive language abilities.
  • Socially Talented Children – a programme that addresses a range of issues that affect children today such as self-esteem, communication, friendship, concentration, manners and classroom behaviour. Aimed at KS2 children.
  • Lego Therapy – a structured programme that encourages collaborative working, communicating with others, turn taking and compromise.
  • Circle of friends – A structured intervention that facilitates a peer group supporting and resolving challenges an individual child may be facing
  • Conflict resolution

Plus other specific and targeted interventions that we have designed ourselves.



At the Discovery School we take our children’s wellbeing very seriously. Please click this link to check our anti-bullying policy.

What is bullying?

Here you can find some useful resources about bullying