• Overview

    Helen Davidson & Claire Orange
    Who is this for?
    Who is this from?
    Primary teachers and staff, Allied health professionals, Other
    Mentally Healthy Communities, Family Partnerships, Learning Resilience
    Primary School
    Social and emotional learning, Bullying and cyber safety, Resilience
    Highway Heroes aims to develop children's proactive skills (forming friendships, gaining inclusion, thought/mood management) and reactive skills (dealing with play refusals, friendship difficulties, teasing and bullying) by using tools, resources and activities with structured stand-alone modules and lesson plans on particular topics such as Resilience and Bullying.
    Complete set of modules: $780. For more information on cost of singular modules and professional development session please see website.
    Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania
    BEST Programs 4 Kids Pty Ltd
    PO Box 15 Willetton WA 6955
    Phone number
    08 6102 3850
  • Implementation

    Detailed description

    Highway Heroes - Smart Skills 4 Life is a universal health promotion and prevention program for teachers to introduce and consolidate social and emotional skills with primary age children between 5-12 years of age. The program utilises an overarching metaphor of travelling along the 'Highway of Life' and becoming a 'Highway Hero'. By acquiring and learning 'Highway Tools', children are encouraged to successfully deal with the inevitable 'Bumps and Hazards' they may encounter along the way. The program consists of a series of stand-alone modules that teaches skills for social and emotional well-being. Separate versions of each module are tailored to Years 1-3 and Years 4-6|Each Module comprises five x 50 minute whole of class lessons or small group (6 participants+) sessions/lessons which comprise the following: has a common introductory section comprising:|General introduction: National Curriculum Framework links, specific relevance of skills taught to the Personal and Social Capabilities unit and How to Use This Module.| 'Roadmap Resources': explains the 'Highway Hero' metaphor and language. It requires only one occasion of teaching throughout the Modules series, and is comprised of the same (5) components listed under ňúProgram Structure and Content .| Lesson Plan: provides an overview of the 50 minute structure with the lesson outcomes, lesson theme, teaching activities, required resources and time frames.| Lesson Outline: a more detailed explanation of the lesson plan with background information on the lesson theme s applicability to social and emotional learning; a leader/teacher's script/guidance for the lesson's focus/ introduction/exploration, a series of experiential activities which showcase the focus skills of the lesson and the inclusion of the relevant resources for each activity.| Leader Resources: between 15-20 themed posters, role play scenarios, experiential activities and student work sheets, exploring/illustrating/demonstrating the lesson s topic.| Parent Information: an explanation of the content of the day s lesson, relevance to the area of social and emotional skill building, and suggestions for incorporating the learning into the home/family environment.| Home Activities: activity sheets for brief home completion on the lesson s topic. Includes suggestions for parental involvement.| Glossary of Terms " both for mental health and specific to Highway Heroes - plus a bibliography that has contributed to the authors thinking concludes each Module.| |

    Program structure & method delivery

    The first four stand-alone modules for Highway Heroes is:|Connecting 4 Friendships: Playground Resilience & Wisdom: |Lesson 1: Friends & the Friendliness SPICE| Lesson 2: The Friendliness SPICE| Lesson 3: The Triple A s 4 Refusals| Lesson 4: The Triple A s 4 Friendship Flare Ups| Lesson 5: Assert with Straight Talking|Sticking Up 4 Me: Beating Bullying & Taming Teasing:|Lesson 1: Identifying Bullying| Lesson 2: The PIGS Bullying Choices| Lesson 3: Types of Bullying & Straight Talk| Lesson 4: Taming Teasing| Lesson 5: The Triple A s 4 Teasing|Tricks 4 Getting It Done; The Secrets of Staying Power & Grit.| |Lesson 1: Filling The Tanks 4 The Learning Highway| Lesson 2: The Triple A s 4 Getting Things Done| Lesson 3: The Triple A 4 Approach and HEN| Lesson 4: The Triple A 4 Apply and POP| Lesson 5: Goal Setting|Strategies 4 Managing Me; Mood Management & Resilience. |Lesson 1: Filling The Tanks 4 The Learning Highway| Lesson 2: Mood, Drivers & Maps| Lesson 3: Thinking About Our Thinking| Lesson 4: The Triple B s 4 Calming Down| Lesson 5: The Map 4 Resilience|Methods of Delivery|The Modules have been structured, designed and written to facilitate a teacher/leader being able to ˜pick up and go with a ready-made resource in a class-room or small group setting. |In addition to the core content, each Year 1-3 and Year 4-6 module includes 3 ˜Pitstop Checklists for Teacher's, Parents and Child. These are unique to Highway Heroes and are linked to the Personal & Social Capabilities/CASEL areas of ˜Self-awareness; Self-management; Social awareness and Social management. They are for rating a child s skills pre and post module learning and have a skills rating scale of: ˜Not yet , ˜Developing , and ˜Achieved.

    Student assessment measures


    Professional learning compulsory


    Professional Learning is delivered in person or via video. Please enquire about the growing range of training videos available. Workshops delivered in person are available as follows: Social & Emotional Learning Workshops - 2 hours, 1/2 day, full day Specialised Childhood Wellbeing Workshops - 2 hours, 1/2 day Specialised Staff Wellbeing Workshops - 2 hours, 1/2 day

  • Evidence

    Identified theoretical framework

    Positive Psychology:|Helping children to flourish and function optimally in their peer relationships by incrementally building key social and emotional skills that help them to deal positively with every day events and challenges. To foster a growing awareness of their capacity to achieve their goals, deal with life events " challenging and otherwise - and achieve success and life satisfaction.|Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:|Introducing children to the connection between their cognitions, mood and behaviour illustrated through experiential exploration of common peer scenarios " seeking inclusion in games, being refused entry, responding to setbacks and disappointments, dealing positively and assertively with criticism, teasing and bullying.|Social Learning Theory: |The guiding structure of Highway Heroes is the use of experiential learning " role plays, direct instruction, observation and modelling and - one or all of these methods " is incorporated into each 50 minute lesson. The scenarios used and the skills coached are common to all children s interactions around the world.|Solution-focused Therapy:|Providing children with a range of skills and strategies, or tools, assists the development of active problem solving behaviours leading to a solution and positive outcome. Finding and amplifying strengths through explicit teaching and group exploration is an integral part of most lessons.


    Australian Curriculum, Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA), General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.|Bernard, M. E. You Can Do It! Education.|Biddulph, S. (1998). The Secret of Happy Children.|Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools.|Davidson, H. (2011). Kidzmix Helping Kids Become Social Heroes.|Fuller, A. (2001). A blueprint for building social competencies in children and adolescents. Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, 1(40-48).|Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why it matters more than IQ.|Goleman, D. (2006). Social Intelligence: the new science of human relationships.|Grotberg, E., (1995). A Guide To Promoting Resilience in Children: strengthening the human spirit.|Hanson, R. (2014). Hardwiring Happiness.|Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training & Youth Affairs (MCEETYA, 2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.|Pearse, A., & B., (2006). The Definitive Book of Body Language.|Prior, M., Sanson, A., Smat, D., & Oberklaid, F. (2000). Pathways from infancy to adolescence: Australian Temperament Project 1983 " 2000. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies.|Raphael, B. (2000). Promoting mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. Discussion paper: Key principles and directions. National Mental Health Working Group, Department of Health and Aged Care, Canberra.|Roche, M (2013) Every Child, Every Day; Life effectiveness skills to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world.|Siegel, D., (2011). The Whole-Brain Child.|World Health Organisation. (2006). What is the evidence on school health promotion in improving health or preventing disease and, specifically what is the effectiveness of the health promoting schools approach? Geneva, Switzerland: WHO|Worsley, L. (2009). The Resilience Doughnut: The Secret of Strong Kids.|Zubrick, S.R., Silburn, S.r., Burton, P. & Blair, E. (2000). Mental health disorders in children and young people: scope, cause and prevention. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 570-578
  • Authors


    Helen Davidson & Claire Orange

    About author(s)

    Helen Davidson, Occupational Therapist, Masters of Counselling, Diploma in Family Therapy. Employed since 1990 in child and adolescent mental health in public hospitals, community clinics and CAMHS Australia and UK. Founded own private practice and developed the Kidzmix Program " a social and emotional skills development group program in 1995. Author of Kidzmix Helping Kids Become Social Heroes (2011).|Claire Orange: Speech Pathologist, Adv Diploma Professional Counselling, Accredited Resilience and SEL Trainer and Professional Parenting Coach. Employed in major teaching hospitals in Australia and overseas since 1993. Established a Community Kindergarten with attached Language Development Centre, worked in private practise and developed a small group therapeutic program for children experiencing social issues at school for implementation in Allied Health clinics.