Measuring and Improving
Emotional Health and Well-being

What is Motional and how does it work?

Motional measures different emotional systems in the brain (CARE, SEEKING, PLAY, FEAR, RAGE, PANIC/GRIEF based on prof Jaak Panksepp’s work) and several key executive function skills (handling stress, thinking & concentration, confidence & self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and emotional literacy – written by Dr Margot Sunderland) to give a whole brain picture of a child’s emotional and mental health.

The questions we ask in Snapshots all have descriptors so staff know what they mean and how to answer them – Motional is designed to be easy to use by all staff, not just SENCOs or specific people who’ve been on a training course.

Snapshots take about 5 minutes for someone who knows the system and the child well, up to 25-30 minutes for someone new to Motional doing a whole class. Snapshots are generally done by staff about children, and then they can create a Program of activities and relationship strategies that will target specific emotional systems for that child. We’re keen to build a self-reported Snapshot for young people to fill in, but we’re not quite there yet.

Snapshot results look like a bar graph with the answers underneath:
This screen shot shows the results page for a Snapshot. There's a colour-coded horizontal bar graph with scores for each system, and a smaller circular gauge showing the summary scores.

For groups the carts on the results page look slightly different.

A horizontal bar chart with filters at the top to show or hide individual participants in the group, and colour-coded bars showing their scores for each system.

There’s also a table showing everyone’s scores so you easily sort by scores in different systems:

Screenshot showing a table with participant names down the left hand side and emotional systems across the top.

When there are two or more Snapshots for a child or group we can show what progress has been made using the Reporting tool:

Line charts for two of the three system summaries are shown here. There's a line for each participant, and one for the group average. Described more full in text below.

Assessments like these are always slightly subjective, so we accept that and use it to our advantage: you can also view results from each staff member on a separate line, so you can see straight away where results from one person are different from others. This indicates that the experience that staff member has with that child is different to other staff, which could mean for example that something is triggering the child’s (or the staff’s) past trauma, or that the staff member may benefit from some further insight into the child’s situation.

Soon we’ll be introducing extra Reports to make it very easy to show the progress made by a subset of children, for example those receiving Pupil Premium funding, or those with suspected ASC, and then compare that to the progress made by the rest of the class/year/school. This is great for measuring whole-school change and showing the emotional make-up of your school. It’ll be possible to overlay things like attendance and attainment on these reports so you can see what impact targeting emotional and mental health has on those metrics.

This shows a beta version of the controls and selection boxes for our reporting tool. There is an added selection for participant type.

If you’ve heard enough to know Motional is what you need, then pop to our Pricing page to choose your bundle and get started! Or if you still have questions, please drop us a message via the pink circle and we’ll be very happy to help!