Emotions for Learning (E4L)

Emotions for Learning (E4L) is a unique programme developed at St John’s College School, Cambridge and taught in UK schools and St John’s College School Nanjing. 

Children who are emotionally literate have successful relationships, do better at school and are more likely to achieve well in later life. 

The E4L programme teaches children to become emotionally capable, form healthy relationships, problem solve, overcome difficulties, and thrive academically. 


Young children’s brains are hardwired to form relationships that support the development of important emotional skills that last a lifetime. The E4L curriculum explicitly and implicitly teaches children how to form strong connections that are at the heart of happiness and wellbeing. Children learn how to connect  to the people, places and things that matter. They learn about trust and kindness and what it means to be a human. 


E4L helps children to develop self-awareness and self-understanding by inviting them to explore and understand how their minds work.  They examine their inside world and how this affects their external world. The children explore how to make a difference to their community using the powerful skills of empathy and compassion. 

Problem Solve

Being able to independently problem solve is a skill sought after in schools and workplaces. By giving children strategies and tools to overcome challenges and problems. E4L equips our young people with confidence, agency and a can do attitude. Furthermore, problem solving supports creativity and strong interpersonal skills and encourages positive communication. 

E4L is unique in the way it focuses on the whole child, placing the child and their individual needs, hopes and dreams  firmly at the centre of their time in school. 

E4L Children…..

  • Form great relationships with peers and adults
  • Know how to problem solve independently
  • Have a great sense of agency and confidence
  • Develop a lifelong curiosity and intrinsic motivation to learn
  • Do better at school and in the workplace
  • Have strong emotional foundations which are the building blocks for wellbeing and success in later life