• Overview

    Claire Orange and Helen Davidson
    Who is this for?
    Who is this from?
    Early childhood educators and staff, Allied health professionals
    Mentally Healthy Communities, Family Partnerships, Learning Resilience
    Early Learning
    Social and emotional learning, Resilience
    Little Highway Heroes helps children in their early years education to lay down positive patterns of thinking and techniques of self-regulation that enable them to develop positive relationships and to deal with difficult circumstances in an emotionally healthy, solution-focused way thereby building resilience in their daily lives.
    Cost of training: This is determined by whether it is an organisation-tailored training or an independent workshop arranged by BEST Programs 4 Kids open to educators and health professionals. Per participant fee for a 1 day independent training is in the range of $375 - $425 and may include a discount on resources. Whole of organisation training is in the range of $1500 - $2000 per day.|Cost of Little Highway Heroes: The complete resources comprising Books 1 & 2, 9 puppets and 1 USB is $545 + gst until June 30, 2018 after which a review will occur.
    Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania
    BEST Programs 4 Kids, Little Highway Heroes
    PO Box 15, Willetton, WA 6955
    Mobile number
    Claire Orange (WA) 0438 872 061; Helen Davidson (VIC) 0410 387 787
  • Implementation

    Detailed description

    Little Highway Heroes uses an overarching metaphor of 'The Highway of Life' - along which everyone is travelling - and in this process meeting 'BUMPS' which need 'TOOLS' (skills) to deal with them in a socially and emotionally healthy way in order to continue on the journey, experiencing positive relationships and leading a satisfying life. Using the TOOLS to deal with BUMPS makes the child a Little Highway Hero. The TOOLS focus on two key concepts: 1) the child's thinking patters and 2) emotional self-regulation. Each TOOL has a 'Think-Say-Do' component to emphasise and differentiate between the 3 actions required to problem solve a BUMP by using emotional self-regulation - (Think); communicating your response - (Say) and the action to take - (Do). Additional TOOLS are the recognition of emotions and scenarios that could be problematic, the notion of assertiveness, the recognition of empathy for others and demonstrating self-care. The BUMPS - Little, Middle-size and Big - occur in common scenarios that children encounter in the playground and the classroom: - showing friendliness and pro-social behaviour - forming friends - joining in games - dealing with refusals to play or be included - recognising excitable, intense behaviour - responding to excitable intense behaviour - being assertive - demonstrating empathy and care - experiencing different emotions - persisting with difficult, dis-liked or challenging tasks

    Program structure & method delivery

    There are four blocks of learning in Little Highway Heroes, each with five completely structured and resourced lessons. They are: - The Highway: an introduction to the metaphor of The Highway and its concepts/symbols - The Playground (Social) Highway - The Emotional Highway - The Classroom (Learning) Highway The content of Little Highway Heroes is presented in two hard copy books/manuals. The first manual - Book 1 'The Roadmap' comprises an introduction, five 45-minute lessons plans per block of learning (twenty lessons in total), twenty seven fully coloured teacher resources, parent information handouts and 'Pitstop Checklists', the latter enabling pre and post skills assessments aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework. The second manual - Book 2 'Stories and Songs for the Journey' comprises the lyrics of twenty songs (one per lesson) which are also recorded on the supplied USB and twenty stories each illustrating the concepts of that lesson. Nine hand sized puppets - four boys and four girls plus one character puppet 'Sillyness The Speed Wobble' - are also included to accompany the stories and to help demonstrate emotions and expand on the lesson concepts. Each block of five lessons can be taught as a recommended minimum of 1 x 45 minute lesson per week, or if developmentally appropriate for the cohort turning 5 years of age, possibly 2 x 45 minute lessons over 2.5 weeks. For the younger cohort (those turning 4 years of age or for children with developmental difficulties, special needs or social and emotional challenges, each lesson can be very effectively divided into 2 x 20 minute sessions. The program is suitable for whole of class or small group delivery. The structure of the lessons - with the consistency of a story and a song for each, provides the flexibility to divide the content and employ either (or both) the song or story as adjuncts to other lessons. The authors have confidence that the teacher will be able to make these choices based on their knowledge of the group.

    Student assessment measures


    Professional learning compulsory


    Available on request in all Australian states. Video trainings will be available for purchase through the website August 2018.

  • Evidence

    Identified theoretical framework

    Little Highway Heroes is based on the theories of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Social Learning Theory and Positive Psychology.
  • Authors


    Claire Orange and Helen Davidson

    About author(s)

    Claire graduated in the early 1990's as a Speech Pathologist. Her work in major teaching hospitals and community settings soon lead to the desire to help families to achieve better parenting and mental health outcomes, expanding her skills to include Child and Adolescent Counselling, Resilience and Parenting training. Claire is a passionate advocate for preventative measures in children's mental health that help all children and their families to flourish. Helen has worked continuously in child and adolescent mental health since 1990 in public paediatric hospital, community clinics and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Australia and the UK, not for profit organisations and her own private practice. Helen is an occupational therapist with a Masters Degree in Counselling (Couple and Family), a Family Therapist and has undertaken postgraduate training in most psychological therapies. Helen is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of social and emotional learning for children's mental health and bringing this information to professionals and parents with actionable and practical methods.