The SEEN Programme Secondary Education around Early Neurodevelopment

The SEEN (Secondary Education around Early Neurodevelopment) Programme contains 3 core lessons withs curriculum materials around brain development and the role of caregivers in the first 5 years of life. To access the free lesson resources, please submit your details by clicking the button below.

What's inside?

  • 3 full lessons, including worksheets, quizzes and presentations
  • Teaching materials for you and your staff
  • Additional activities for the class

Lesson Overview

The SEEN Programme (Secondary Education around Early Neurodevelopment) provides schools with Key Stage 2 and 3 lesson plans, teaching resources, and staff training to deliver this important content to young people.

The SEEN Programme includes curriculum materials around brain development and the role of caregivers in the first 5 years of life. There are 3 core science lessons:

Lesson 1 – describes the development of neural networks and the role of neuroplasticity (the influence of experiences on the structure of the brain).

Lesson 2 – explores the ‘caregiver’ and their role in providing experiences that promote healthy brain development.

Lesson 3 – looks at the evidence linking early experiences with long term health outcomes, and the importance of neuroplasticity throughout life, especially during adolescence.

Case studies

Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) was the first large Multi Academy Trust to introduce the SEEN programme universally. We spoke with Sir Martyn Oliver (Chief Executive) and Nim Sheriff (Director of Science) to understand how they implemented the lessons into their Year 9 Science curriulum.

"We want all of our children to be happy, healthy and safe and we know that the first days, weeks, and years of a child's life has a long-lasting impact on their long-term well-being. Therefore, it was obvious to us that we must teach all children in our trust the vital importance of early brain development so that they can become responsible parents of the future themselves. Our trust-wide science directors have rolled this programme out across all of our 28 secondary schools through our key stage 3 science curriculum.”

Sir Martyn Oliver,
former CEO of OGAT and HMCI OFSTED
Sir Martyn Oliver, former CEO of OGAT and HMCI OFSTED

Nower Hill High School

Following the launch of the Shaping Us campaign, HRH the Princess of Wales visited Nower Hill High School and observed a SEEN lesson with year 8 students in practice.

"We feel the content is very important for young people to learn about and have embedded the lessons into our year 8 curriculum provision. We have developed booklets for use by students in class and these also help teachers to deliver the programme without much additional work."

Head of Key Stage Three science Liza Dimitriades, Nower Hill High School

"Excellent student engagement and fantastic discussion topics to stretch and challenge students' ability to make the connection between scientific aspects of the brain and their daily lives."

Feedback from teacher delivering SEEN lessons

Core curriculum content

The core curriculum content was devised in collaboration with Oxford University and two Expert Advisory Groups. Delivery is through Key Stage 3 science lessons and lesson plans, slide decks, video links, and activity worksheets are available for free. Differentiated materials are also available.

Provided the core curriculum content is covered, schools are welcome to tailor the materials to meet the needs of their students.

We will continue to add to, and update, the resources on this site. If you are teaching the material in your school, please check for updated materials before delivering the lessons.

The aims of the programme are:

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    To gather the evidence to support the inclusion of early brain development in the national curriculum.

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    To educate the next generation about brain development in the first years of life and the importance of caregiver-infant interactions.

Download our brain development assembly pack

Share the resource with colleagues and introduce your students to the most important organ – the brain.

Explore the concept of neuroscience and the importance of experiences in shaping brain development.

The SEEN Pilot Project

In 2021, the SEEN Curriculum materials were developed and trialled by the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry.

Researchers were excited by the results:

  • More than 3700 students took part in the pilot across 29 schools, involving over 100 teaching staff.
  • Students demonstrated both increased knowledge about development and an understanding of how this was applicable to practical situations after the SEEN lessons.
  • 100% of teachers and 91% of pupils felt the SEEN curriculum should be taught to other students of the same age.
  • Students thought the content is fun, interesting, and relevant to them.