The aim of the Dinosaur Social Skills and Problem Solving curriculum is to help children to understand and communicate different feelings and emotions.
There are many strands to the classroom based programme which helps young children use effective problem solving strategies, manage anger and practice friendship and conversational skills.
In addition to this the programme, which uses puppets and positive reinforcement, also teaches appropriate classroom behaviours.
Focusing on children between the ages of 3 and 8-years-old Classroom Dina features puppets Wally and Molly alongside Dina the Dinosaur.
These puppets are used to explore and understand feelings and behaviours in the classroom, school yard and at home.
Educators also use song and video clips to help with problem solving, friendship and conversational skills.
The concepts taught in Dinosaur School are reinforced by teachers throughout the day while parents are also introduced to the programme to ensure these behaviours are also continued at home.
Several national schools in the Clondalkin area also run a Small Group Dina which is targeted around children with social or emotional behavioural issues.
This smaller group, which also features Wally, Molly and Dina, focuses on dealing with feelings and how to address those feelings in a positive way.
Facilitators use positive reinforcement to underline good behaviours and illustrate the ways in which emotions can impact friendships, learning and home life.
The programme has been hugely successful in schools across West Dublin with positive outcomes reported by principals and teachers.
The cost of training for schools involved with the Early Years Service is covered by the Blue Skies Initiative.
For more information about the Classroom Dina Programme contact the Blue Skies Initiative on 01 4568734.