William Mann, the head, said: "You don't deal with emotional intelligence in Year 6. It needs to be embedded earlier on, and to change as children mature."
In circle-time, Eccleston pupils discuss relationships with other pupils, debating how they would solve playground problems without a teacher's intervention.
"Giving children a grounding in dealing with problems is as important as giving them a grounding in literacy and numeracy," said Mr Mann. His son David, a Year 6 pupil, agrees. "When you go to high school, it's hard to ask a teacher for help," he said. "If you can sort problems out for yourself, you're less likely to get into fights."
Photograph: Roger MoodyGuzelian