Throughout our lives we are involved in and develop many different relationships with the multitude of people with whom we are in contact. Some of these will be fleeting and superficial, others may grow into lasting friendships or loving relationships.

Good relationships are key to supporting individual needs.  Central to good relationships are the core values, attitudes, beliefs and culture of the learning setting.  A positive ethos and culture are key determinants in promoting social and emotional wellbeing and mental health for all. 

‘A culture where children and young people feel included, respected, safe and secure and where their achievements and contributions are valued and celebrated is essential to the development of good relationships. In order to create this environment for effective learning and teaching there should be a shared understanding of wellbeing underpinned by children’s rights and a focus on positive relationships across the whole school community.’
Scottish Government (2017)

Within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) there are Health and Wellbeing experiences and outcomes which emphasise the expectation that education practitioners are proactive in promoting positive relationships, by:  

  • establishing open, positive, supportive relationships across the community, where children and young people will feel that they’re listened to, and where they feel secure in their ability to discuss sensitive aspects of their lives 
  • promoting a climate in which children and young people feel safe and secure 
  • modelling behaviour which promotes health and wellbeing and encouraging it in others 
  • using learning and teaching methodologies which promote effective learning 
  • being sensitive and responsive to the wellbeing of each child and young person 

It is important to keep in mind, that for some children and young people, support to share their views may look different, depending on their preferred style of communication or stage of development.   

Further information about the Scottish Government’s policy guidance around developing a positive whole school ethos and culture can be found here:  

Developing a positive whole school ethos and culture: relationships, learning and behaviour – (