Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, manage and express emotions to meet the daily requirements of living, learning and relating to others. We believe emotional intelligence is of equal importance to academic intelligence, and a key predictor of success in later life.

In January 2007 all teachers at Guthrie Street Primary School began teaching EQ (Emotional Intelligence) formally. It is taught as part of the core program, and the results have been dramatic.

In recent times, the staff at Guthrie Street Primary School have further developed our EQ program for students involving professional learning from The Resilience Project and DET Respectful Relationships training.

Students are involved in daily practice of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness which stems from the Resilience Project key principles of mental health for young people.


Respectful Relationships curriculum is used each week to educate our students about their identity, resilience and rights in society and dealing with daily challenges that they may come across.

The five essential pillars of Emotional Intelligence are empathy, self-control, self-awareness, motivation and managing relationships. These are taught in the curriculum and said to be the essential foundations for success in life.

Research estimates the 20% of life’s success relies on academic ability, and 80% on emotional intelligence.

The culture of Guthrie Street Primary School has changed so that EQ is part of our everyday being. It is about knowing who you are, making the right choices and giving back to others.

The language of the school has changed and students talk of strong people making good choices, of being responsible for yourself, being brave and doing the right thing.

Students know that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a way of understanding how we think, feel and act.


Cooperative games form part of our core lessons. They are a vehicle that allow students to develop EQ skills through active participation in real social situations. The games are fun but require skill to successfully master each level and move on to more challenging levels.

The skills learnt include getting along, being a leader, controlling emotions, understanding how others are feeling and being a good winner/loser.


Journals are a valuable part of our EQ program. They allow students to keep a record of their ideas, thoughts and abilities, and to document their progress. This leads to increased self awareness.

Journals are open-ended and can be used in a variety of ways ranging from writing gratitude entries, to personal reflections and goal setting, to ongoing challenges. The journals can go home with special activities and are a great way to involve parents in the school EQ program.


Once a week, Guthrie Street Primary School has an assembly. Our school leaders run assembly.

The assembly is based around the emotional intelligence themes such as understanding our emotions, being motivated, being a good friend or being resilient.

Awards are given for students seen showing positive emotionally intelligent behaviour.

School-wide proverbs

We aim to teach new proverbs each week and reinforce them at opportune moments throughout the day.

Proverbs provide a quick rule for life that can help students in difficult situations.

At assemblies, students participate in presentations about their understanding of EQ proverbs. The students then discuss the proverb back in the classroom, clarifying its meaning and seeing how it relates to their lives.