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Dave Read

Dave Read

Emotional Literacy in Action: Positive Mental Health through Practical, Holistic Wellbeing

Dave Read is a highly experienced classroom teacher and professional therapist. He is also the author of CoolFire – an innovative, holistic approach to developing Emotional Literacy - and has worked with over 7,500 students and 3,500 teachers over the last five years in schools and organisations throughout the UK and Europe – including the EU; Israel’s MOFET Institute; the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE); Thurrock and Southend Borough Councils; North Yorkshire County Council; NASUWT teaching union.

Dave has created a unique combination of easy-to-understand theory and established therapeutic techniques, which not only has an immediate beneficial impact but also works to establish an everyday state of Energised Calm that will underpin long-term personal development – both within students (ages 3-16+) and teachers.

You can choose from a range of highly practical, interactive sessions, workshops and PSHE topics that can be further specifically adapted to support your school’s development. All will enable teachers and students to explore how they think, feel and act – how Mind, Body and Feelings are intrinsically connected – and how they continuously interact to create every aspect of our lives. The inclusive support pack makes all the techniques easy to implement and instantly usable.

Through a mix of information/discussion, practical exercises, breathwork, guided visualisation – and more – teachers and school staff will directly experience a deep state of calm and relaxation - and explore how to:

  • Understand “Why you feel the way you feel”
  • Understand how you can feel well and more energised through positively working with the everyday biochemistry that your Mind-Body-Feelings interaction creates
  • Understand and create your own Positive Inputs framework
  • Translate these new insights into practical, beneficial classroom practice
  • Consciously “Change the feeling; change the thought; change the action”
  • Beneficially change classroom teacher-student and peer-to-peer interaction
  • Work with challenging behaviour
  • Use “Switches” to instantly create a state of calm focus in your students
  • “Take a Step Back...” – to create less reactive perspectives – to classroom situations; work-related issues; professional and personal relationships
  • Greatly reduce personal stress and tension
  • Develop compassion for yourself
  • Relieve or eradicate potential everyday symptoms/illness – for example: Headaches; Insomnia; Irritable Bowel Syndrome; Neck and Back pain

From open drama-style workshops to class-based sessions, students of all ages quickly learn through a dynamic mix of experience and technique – including practical exercises; movement/dance; breathwork; guided visualisation; reflection/processing; role play; creative writing, artwork – and more – all enabling students of all ages to explore:

  • Ways of developing an everyday state of Energised Calm
  • The Mind-Body-Feelings connection and their everyday interaction
  • Practical ways of creating a balance between these frequently conflicting forces
  • Brief, everyday exercises and routines – both school and home-based
  • Techniques to consciously “Change the Feeling...”
  • Ways to consciously direct and channel abundant energy into a chosen activity or mental state
  • Making calm, conscious choices – to be the “Cause” not the “Effect” of their actions
  • Ways of taking a “Step Back” – creating a more objective and grounded perspective – on learning, relationships – and home/personal life
  • Creating a “safe” personal space – emotional, mental and physical
  • The vital role of our physical bodies and the function of major organs
  • How our choice of “inputs” directly affects our emotional, physical and mental states – in particular: food/nutrition and electronic devices

Testimonials from Teachers

"Dave was very well received, thank you."

– Mr Clement Donegan, Deputy Head Pastoral, Ratcliffe College

"The sessions were excellent. Well run and wonderfully presented. The children had a great day and learnt much to do with emotional intelligence."

– Ed Callaway, Prep School Leader, Widford Lodge Prep School

"Dave was really good and gave a lot of fantastic information for the students with something to take away, we will definitely want him back to do similar sessions in the future."

– Miss F Wynne, Science Teacher, The Colne Community School and College

"A huge thank you for coming up to the school today to pass on your knowledge and help to the students. I know that many of them will have taken away some excellent strategies they can use both for their exams and in life."

– Tom Southee, Head of Safeguarding & Interim Deputy, Duke of Kent School

"Dave was lovely. Our year group is quite a challenging one to keep focused. Dave’s interactive approach help to keep them engaged throughout the entire assembly. I had boys asking for resources after the retreat so they could practice the calming techniques at home."

– Amy Jachulski, Gunnersbury Catholic School

"Dave has provided a range of Creating Calm training sessions for NASUWT members throughout the last ten years, both for those with many years of experience in the classroom and sessions specifically targeted for newly qualified teachers. Dave provides a holistic framework of practical techniques for lowering stress and wellbeing. Dave also relates the techniques specifically to the classroom setting which is one reason why many members find them invaluable."

– Phil Siddle, National Recruitment Manager, NASUWT

"A brilliant way of managing behaviour..."

– Gemma Swirles, Teacher, The Meadow Primary School

"CoolFire has made a profound difference to our Year 5/6 group who had a complex mix of emotional and learning needs. they are now so much more calm and focussed in class, relate better to their teachers, peers and families - and can now begin to consciously work through their issues without the former anger and frustration."

– Ms Jackie Irwin, Headteacher, Engaines Primary School​

"Thank-you so much for the fantastic, live online session with my student teachers. They learnt many important things about their lives as future teachers from a UK instructor with a very engaging training style. The theory was also extremely useful, enabling us to understand how our actions are part of an everyday mind-body loop. I look forward to working again with you in future."

– Olzan Goldstein, Head of the School of Advanced Studies, Kaye Academic College of Education​

"I will definitely be using the Creating Calm techniques - both for myself and 100% in class. Brilliant. Thank-you"

– Karen Phillips, Teaching Assistant, Whitmore Primary School Basildon

Speaker File




  • Primary
  • Creative
  • Lifestyle
  • Well-being
  • Teacher CPD
  • Exams
  • Disability
  • Mental Health

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