Emotions play a central part in our daily lives. The way we respond to life, our ability to thrive and to succeed in life are strongly influenced by our emotional responses.
Understanding and appreciating awareness of emotions can have a very positive impact on all that happens in schools.
The resources in this section have been created and collated to support a deeper understanding of the role that emotions play in school life. They have a specific focus on the ways in which emotional awareness can be enhanced to ensure that wellbeing is supported most effectively.
Key stage 1
A Dark, Dark Tale
Andersen Press (1992)
Children will delight in following the black cat’s progress through the dark wood, into the dark house, and eventually to the surprise discovery at the back of the toy cupboard, in this mysterious, beautifully illustrated picture book.
Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?
Walker Books (2005)
While Big Bear tries to read his Bear Book, Little Bear tries to sleep, but can’t. He’s scared of the dark. So Big Bear keeps bringing him progressively bigger lanterns. But nothing seems to work, until he leads Little Bear out of the Bear Cave into the dark nights.
Red Fox (1993)
When Dave loses his favourite toy, Dogger, he is very sad. But when Dogger turns up for sale at the neighbourhood fair, everything seems all right—until someone buys him before Dave can get the money! Shows the distress the loss of a toy can cause a child.
Don’t Worry Grandpa
Red Fox (1998)
As the thunder draws nearer, the rain buckets down and the lightning begins to flash overhead, Grandpa gets more and more jittery. But luckily Charlie is close by to hold his hand and keep him calm with an ingenious story of what is really happening in the sky outside.
George and the Dragon
Red Fox (2003)
Far, far away in the high, high mountains in a deep, deep valley in a dark, dark cave – there lived a mighty dragon. He was an awesome and frightening creature, terrorising whole armies, destroying castles, demolishing forests and kidnapping princesses. But this mighty dragon had a deep, dark secret.
Walker Books Ltd
Ever feel like you need a hug, a really big hug from someone who loves you? That’s how Bobo the little chimp feels. Walking through the jungle he passes creatures enjoying a cuddle together: elephants, chameleons, and lions, but Bobo is alone, will he find the hug he needs?
I Feel Angry
Wayland; New edition (1994)
Describes the day to day situations that young children experience which make them angry. Looks at the ways in which they might make other people angry and ways of controlling temper and dealing with anger.
I’ll Take You To Mrs Cole!
About a boy who lives with his mother, who when he is naughty his mother threatens him with Mrs Cole, who appears to be a disreputable character living in squalor. He runs away and finds himself outside Mrs Cole’s house. Invited in, he discovers that the chaotic house is welcoming.
Genechten, Guido van
Little Tiger Press (2006)
Little Fish is looking for his mummy. He meets a red crab, an orange starfish, a green turtle, a purple octopus and a blue whale. But what colour is his mummy and where can she be?
Little Rabbit Foo Foo
Walker Books Ltd; New edition (2003)
The bully-boy bunny likes nothing better than to ride through the forest bopping everyone on the head. Wriggly worms, tigers, no one is safe. But here comes the Good Fairy – and she is not amused!
Not A Worry In The World
Walkers Book (1992)
A boy learns how to chase away the ever-escalating fears that plague him. But he learns “the secret of worries”: when they are talked about they get so mad they run away. So the boy manages to rid his worries, which are personified by tiny figures with arms and legs.
Not Now Bernard
Red Fox; New edition (1984)
The perennial and well-loved classic picture book story about parents too preoccupied to notice their own child. Bernard’s parents are so busy doing their own thing, that the monster can eat Bernard’s dinner, break his toys, and even eat Bernard, without being noticed!
The Adventures of the Little Tin Tortoise
Plummer, Deborah M
Published by Jessica Kingsley Books 2006
This is a practical, interactive storybook to support the building and maintenance of healthy self-esteem in young children.
Using the tradition of oral storytelling, children are encouraged to consider the self-esteem issues encountered by a little tin tortoise on a journey to discover who he really is. The various obstacles and helpers he encounters along the way include worries, dealing with teasing, making decisions and forming friendships.
Macmillan Children’s Books (1999)
A witty, sly little story, The Gruffalo is both stylish and hilarious, simple in its execution, as it plays skilfully on a child’s fears and then shows that even the most threatening of monsters are not always as scary as they seem.
The Huge Bag Of Worries
Hodder Children’s Books (2004)
Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her – in a big blue bag. They are there when she goes swimming, when she is watching TV, and even when she is in the lavatory. Jenny decides they will have to go. But who can help her?
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Walker Books (1993)
Follow the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of the bear. A surprise awaits in the cave on the other side of the dark forest, fight through a whirling snowstorm, and enter a gloomy cave.
What Will Emily Do?
Matthew can’t wait to start school, and it isn’t until his first day that he begins to wonder what his little sister Emily will do while he’s away. At first he finds a way to keep her busy, but the first week holds surprises for both of them.
Where the Wild Things Are
Red Fox; New edition (4 May 2000)
Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without supper. That night a forest grows in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are.
Key stage 2
Hodder Children’s Books (2009)
Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. But now his baby sister is ill, his parents are frantic. Michael steps into his garage and finds a creature beneath spiderwebs, with his friend, Mina, they together carry the creature out into the light, and Michael’s world changes forever.
Willy The Champ
Willy is different. He likes to read books and listen to music; he’s no good at sports, although he tries; and wherever he goes he gets laughed at. But when he’s threatened by the horrible Buster Nose he really comes into his own.
Key stage 3
OUP Oxford (2008)
An entertaining and poignant tale about four friends thrown together by fate. But if fate brought them together, it’s a different, life-threatening accident that will test their friendship to the limit.
Ember has celebrity parents who have money to burn but dad’s more interested in blazing to the top of the charts than why you got kicked out of school; it can make you seriously angry. But Ember knows the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble.
The Stuff of Nightmares
Corgi Books (2007)
Kyle has always been afraid of things, especially dying. Whilst on a train on a school trip, Kyle realises that he isn’t the only one who has buried fears and, more importantly, he now burns with the desire to live, and to live without fear. But will death release him?
Faupel, A., Herrick, E., & Sharp, P.
David Fulton (1998)
Children’s Stories in Play Therapy
London: Jessica Kingsley (1997)
Connecting with Kids through Stories
Lacher, D., Nicols, T. & May, J.
London: Jessica Kingsley (2005)
Emotional Growth and Learning
Published by Routledge 1994 , ISBN 0415101344
Bloomsbury Publishing 1996, ISBN 0747528306
Continuum International Publishing, ISBN 9781847064110
Feeling, Communicating and Thinking
Davou, B. & Xenakis, F. (eds) (1998)
Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends
White, M. & Epston, D. (1990)
New York: W.W. Norton
Nurturing Emotional Literacy
David Fulton (2003)
Once Upon a Time: Therapeutic Stories to Heal Abused Children
Davis, N. (1990)
Oxon Hill: Psychological Associates of Oxon Hill
Self-Esteem Research Theory and Practice by Chris Mruk. Published by Free Association Books London. 1999, ISBN 1853434590
Waters, T. (2010) Story Links: Therapeutic Storywriting with Parents and Pupils at Risk of Exclusion, J. & M. Ficksman (eds) (2010) The Dynamics of Educational Therapy. New York: Routledge
Hunt, C. & Sampson, F. (1998) The Self on the Page. London: Jessica Kingsley
Bettelheim, B. (1991) The Uses of Enchantment (new print edition). London: Penguin Books
Mills, J.C., & Crowley, R.J. (1986). Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within. New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers.
Waters, T. (2004a) Therapeutic Storywriting: A Practical Guide to Developing Emotional Literacy in Primary Schools. London: David Fulton
Storywork Sunderland, M. (2001) Using Story Telling as a Therapeutic Tool with Children. Milton Keynes: Speechmark
Young Minds in Our Schools
How interested are teachers in the emotional life of their pupils? How interested should they be? Can they listen and help pupils find the language to express their thoughts and feelings?
These are some of the questions that this book seeks to address. Providing a comprehensive guide to the facts and issues surrounding the emotional wellbeing and mental health of pupils, and emphasising the importance of school vision and culture, this book highlights the crucial role which teachers have and the importance of developing emotional literacy in everyday school life.
Waters, T. (2011) Story Links: Engaging parents of pupils with behaviour difficulties and poor literacy through therapeutic storywriting
The Journal of Educational Psychotherapy, Issue 18, Autumn 2011
Evaluations of the impact of the Story Links intervention on parental engagement and the emotional wellbeing and learning of pupils at risk of exclusion.
The Emotional Literacy Assessment and Intervention Resource for 7-11 and 11–16 can be purchased from GL-Assessment.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists resources for young people:
A collection of well-researched information sheets and book recommendations on a wide range of issues concerning the mental health of children and young people.
The Royal Society: debate about the neuroscience of emotion
Waters, T. (2008) The Use of Therapeutic Storywriting Groups to Support Pupils with Emotional Difficulties, British Journal of Learning Support Vol. 23, No 4 pp 187-192
Writing Stories with Feeling (pdf), Waters, T., (2004)
An evaluation of the impact of Therapeutic Storywriting groups on pupils’ emotional wellbeing, behaviour and engagement with writing. Commissioned by the South-east Region SEN partnership (SERSEN).
Anxiety UK: national charity for those affected by anxiety disorders.
Centre for Therapeutic Storywriting
Provides a wide range of information and resources related to the therapeutic use of stories in schools.