What is the SEEN Programme?
The SEEN programme is an online platform packed with free resources for schools, helping them to teach students about early neurodevelopment and its links to long-term health and learning outcomes.
The lesson plans and learning materials are designed mainly for primary- and secondary-aged students, but schools can adapt them for other age groups. The programme also provides additional support and staff training.
Why use the SEEN Programme resources?
With the SEEN Programme resources, teachers, caregivers and decision-makers can help bridge the attainment gap in the next generation of children. By providing understandable lessons about the brain, it helps to fill the void in many school curricula.
The SEEN Programme resources are designed to be easy to use. With fully-resourced lesson plans and detailed teacher guidance notes, teachers can seamlessly integrate these materials with their own teaching. The lessons introduce students to the field of neuroscience through topics like neuroplasticity, helping to enhance their understanding of the Science of Learning. Schools can also easily link the versatile content to other initiatives such as mental health and well-being, Growth Mindset, personal development and careers programmes.
Who is the SEEN Programme for?
Designed for teachers, the programme’s resources are perfect for using in Science lessons with 11-14 year olds, as well as PSHE-style lessons. They are also suitable for primary school students.
As the lesson content is so versatile, The SEEN team is open-minded about finding new applications for its core content – they would love to discuss with users who want to explore different ways to use their resources.
The SEEN Programme curriculum is crafted by a team of experts in neuroscience, psychology, child development and education. Based on reliable evidence from these fields, the resources highlight the importance of early brain development and the life experiences that shape future success.
To test the SEEN Programme’s effectiveness, the University of Oxford conducted a pilot in 29 schools, with 100 teachers and 3700 students. Encouragingly, of those who provided feedback, 100% of teachers and 91% of pupils said that the curriculum content should be taught in school. The students also found the content engaging and fun.
Teachers can easily download the programme resources from the SEEN Community Hub. The signing-up process is very quick and the resources are designed to be delivered by non-experts. The site also includes an accompanying teacher pack full of lesson plans, suggested adaptations, scientific background and suggested reading.
The resources are regularly updated, so it’s best to go to the Hub for the latest versions. It is worth noting that classrooms using the SEEN programme will need internet access. Plus, if schools wish to customise the resources for their own teaching purposes, the SEEN team are happy to adapt or develop materials for them.
Value for money
With completely free and consistently updated resources, the SEEN Programme is naturally great value for money. Additionally, the SEEN team are also willing to join department meetings online and run bespoke training at no extra charge. Schools can enjoy a wide range of impactful lesson materials and support from the SEEN team, without having to pay a penny.
Why we like it
- Relevant to young people – Students can learn about how their brain works and develop a better understanding of their behaviour, and that of younger children. They also discover how to apply the knowledge and make life choices that support their brain’s development.
- Easy to use – The resources are accessible for all teachers and come with support packs, so no training is needed. To quote a teacher from their pilot, it’s the “Fisher Price toy” of lesson resources.
- Adaptable – The resources can be changed and adapted to meet the local context and specific student needs. Plus, the SEEN team will help with this to reduce teacher workload.
- Opportunity to make an impact – A child’s development by 22 months is a strong predictor of educational outcomes at age 26. The SEEN Programme provides an opportunity for schools to impact what happens before children start formal education, ensuring future generations arrive at school ready to learn.
The SEEN Programme is a valuable tool worth taking advantage of. With its free, expert-led resources, it encourages awareness of early brain development and its lifelong impact.
Using accessible and adaptable materials, teachers can seamlessly integrate brain-focused content into the curriculum, without feeling overwhelmed. Ultimately the SEEN Programme makes it easier for all schools to positively impact students’ development.
You might also be interested in…
- Frontiers for Young Minds – A child-friendly alternative to the main Frontiers website, exploring of state-of-the-art research. The “Everything you and your teachers need to know about the learning brain” collection includes accessible articles on neuroscience and a free downloadable e-book.
- Brain Facts – An online resource provided by the Society for Neuroscience. It offers a wide range of articles, videos, interactive activities and lesson plans about the brain and nervous system.
- The British Neuroscience Association – This neuroscience community provides free resources for students from primary school to Sixth Form. These include webinars upon request and downloadable toolkits for teachers and guardians. They cover different topics about the brain and offer content specifically designed for GCSE and post-16 studies.
To get a deeper insight into the brain and factors that positively influence learning, we recommend these guides:
For real-life examples of factors that impact brain development and learning, check out these blogs: