Our lives are full of events, a mix of challenges and opportunities, the good and bad, the simple and complex.

We can’t control all of the events that happen in our lives … but we can control how we respond to those events, including how we deal with adversity, or make the most of an unexpected opportunity.

In SUMO, we learn that E + R = O: Event + Response = Outcome


If we improve our responses to the events that happen in our lives, we also improve outcomes, whether personal, professional or academic.

Our SUMO4School programmes and resources are based on proven SUMO strategies from author and renowned motivational speaker Paul McGee. SUMO supports us in improving our responses by:

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  • Changing how we think about ourselves, and how we project our identity and values to others

  • Supporting us in thinking about other people’s feeling and ideas, and in respecting difference

  • Helping us to deal with set-backs, to be resilient, and to take care of ourselves when challenging circumstances occur

  • Encouraging us to recognise opportunities to improve ourselves and to support our friends and family

  • Challenging us to imagine a better future, and to nurture and develop our aspirations


SUMO is based on six key principles, each of which is encapsulated by a simple, catchy, memorable phrase.

These principles help us to improve our responses to the challenges and opportunities that life brings.

The SUMO principles are accessible to people of all ages, but leave scope for open, thoughtful and age-appropriate conversation between school staff, students and parents.

The six SUMO principles are: