Second Step Primary School Program

  • Overview

    Committee for Children
    Who is this for?
    Children/Students, Culturally/Linguistically diverse, Rural setting
    Who is this from?
    Teachers, Counselors
    Mentally Healthy Communities
    Primary School
    Social and emotional learning, Connectedness and relationships
    The Second Step Foundation to Year 6 program is a universal, classroom-based program designed to increase students school success, improve peer relationships, and decrease problem behaviours by promoting social-emotional competence and self-regulation. It teaches skills that strengthen student's ability to learn, have empathy, manage their emotions and behaviours and solve problems.|. Equipping students with Second Step skills creates a safer, more respectful learning environment for all.
    Individual grade - year levels range from 440.00 AUS to $460.00 (GST inclusive)|For inquires or to place an order email
    Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania
    Positive Pieces Education: Australia Partner for Committee for Children
    PO Box 384, Samford QLD 4520
    Phone number
    1300 769 919
  • Implementation

    Detailed description

    The primary years bring exciting new challenges and opportunities. It's the prime time to nurture social and emotional awareness and skills for learning. The research-based Second Step program includes everything needed to make it easy for teachers to integrate social-emotional learning into their classrooms, which decreases problem behaviours and increases whole-school success by promoting self-regulation, safety, and support.

    Program structure & method delivery

    The program 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 (Foundation-Year 3) original songs, puppets ( Foundation Year and Year 1), video vignettes, videos of real teens talking about issues (Year 6 and visual aids and posters (all grades).The program is designed to be developmental and sequential. Skills are built on in a developmentally appropriate way at the next grade level, and each grade level reviews the core skills. Interactive homework assignments designed to be done with an adult at home provide an engaging way for family members to learn about program skills. .| |Second Step: Skills for Social and Academic Success. (Foundation Year "Year 6) This program consists of 25 lessons for Foundation Year and 22 for other grade levels. Lessons takes approximately 25 to 45 minutes each to teach, depending on the grade level. Individual lessons are scripted for ease-of-use. Each lesson is based on a story that demonstrates an important self-regulation or social-emotional skill. Story images, videos, and songs can be digitally delivered via web access. Each lesson also includes a review of the previous lesson, a warm-up activity, a skill practice, and a wrap-up. Short five- to seven-minute daily practice activities are provided for the days of the week after the lesson has been taught..| |Staff professional learning (PL): | Prior training in the Second Step program is not compulsory.|The website includes online training for teachers and counselors and implementation materials. Other resources expand on the information in the kit and include specific instructions for teaching lessons and reinforcing the program skills and concepts. Downloadable PDFs of program materials are also available. Video examples and interviews with teachers and counselors help schools maximize the effectiveness of the program.

    Student assessment measures


    Professional learning compulsory


    Prior training in the;Second Step program is not compulsory. The website includes online training for teachers and counsellors and implementation materials. Other resources include specific instructions for teaching lessons and reinforcing the program skills and concepts. Video examples and interviews with teachers and counsellors help schools maximize the effectiveness of the program.

  • Evidence

    Identified theoretical framework

    The program 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 program protect children from negative outcomes. Therefore, the Second Step curriculum, a universal prevention program, is designed to develop skills that are central to children s healthy social-emotional development, including self-regulation, empathy, emotion management and problem solving.


    Frey, K. S., Nolen, S. B., Edstrom, L. V., & Hirschstein, M. K. (2005). Effects of a school-based social-emotional competence program: Linking children's goals, attributions and behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 171-200.|Grossman, D. C., Neckerman, H. J., Koepsell, T. D., Liu, P. Y., Asher, K. N. Beland, K., et al. (1997). Effectiveness of a violence prevention curriculum among children in elementary school. A randomised controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 277, 1605-1611.| Low, S., Cook, C. R., Smolkowski, K., & Buntain-Ricklefs, J. (2015). Promoting social-emotional competence: An evaluation of the elementary version of Second Step. Journal of School Psychology, 53, 463-477.|McMahon, S. D., & Washburn, J. J. (2003). Violence prevention: An evaluation of program effects with urban African American students. Journal of Primary Prevention, 24, 43-62.|McMahon, S. D., & Washburn., Felix, E. D., Yakin, J., & Childrey, G (2000). Violence prevention: Program effects on urban preschool and kindergarten children. Applied and Preventative Psychology, 9, 271-281.|Osmondson, E. (2000). Second Step curriculum effective for reducing student impulsive and aggressive behavior and improving pro-social skills. Unpublished manuscript.|Schick, A., & Cierpka, M. (2005). Faustlos: Evaluation of the curriculum to prevention violence in elementary schools. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 11, 157-165.|Taub, J. (2002). Evaluation of the Second Step Violence Prevention Program at a rural elementary school. School Psychology Review, 31, 186-200.
  • Authors


    Committee for Children

    About author(s)

    Committee for Children is nonprofit organization located in Seattle, Washington, USA. Active since 1979, Committee for Children develops evidence-based social-emotional learning programs as well as child protection and bullying prevention programs . The organisation s programs are used in over 25,000 schools across North America, and translated/culturally adapted editions are used in 15 additional countries as diverse as Brazil, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and Turkey. Over 250 schools in the UK also implement the Second Step program.