The Second Step programme is a universal, classroom-based intervention designed to increase students’ school success, improve peer relationships, and decrease problem behaviors by promoting social-emotional competence and self-regulation. It teaches skills that strengthen students’ ability to learn, have empathy, manage their emotions and behaviors and solve problems.
This evidence-based programme keeps students at all grade levels engaged and participating actively through story-driven content, group discussion, skill practice, partner and group work, and hands-on activities. Additional learning strategies include Brain Builder games designed to increase executive function skills, original songs, puppets, video vignettes, and visual aids and posters.
The programme is based in part on the risk and protective factor prevention science framework. Research has consistently shown that children with poor self-regulation and social-emotional skills are at risk for developing problems in school and later in life and that social competence, peer friendships, school connectedness and many of the specific skills taught in the Second Step programme protect children from negative outcomes. Therefore, the Second Step curriculum is designed to develop skills that are central to children’s healthy social-emotional development, including self-regulation, empathy, emotion management and problem solving.
Committee for Children, the developer of the Second Step programme, is a nonprofit organisation located in Seattle, Washington, USA. Committee for Children develops additional evidence-based programmes for the prevention of child abuse and bullying. The organisation’s programmes are used in over 25,000 schools across North America, and culturally adapted editions are used in a dozen other countries as diverse as Brazil, Australia, Sweden, and Turkey. Currently, the University of Manchester is leading a process evaluation of Reception Year and Year 1 levels of the programme.
Learn more about the Second Step programme: www.cfchildren.org/secondstep