Pilot Program Jan 2019 Results

Overall results

Total number of pilots: 51
Pilots reporting: 22
Total reviews: 216
Overall simplicity: (216)
Overall popularity: (216)
Overall effectiveness: (216)
Overall rating: (216)

Pulling Faces [3-5]

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Comment:The children were able to relate the faces to emojies. They enjoyed the teacher making faces and they also made the faces themselves and we had to guess what face they were making. It was interesting to give situations e.g Mum crying and ask the pupils what face/emotion they would have at that time because they gave a range of answers and we were able to discuss why people felt differently .
Student comments:'That was such good fun.' 'I'm going to be looking at your face a lot now.'
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:I didn't have time to introduce the more complex emotions but the children enjoyed the 5 basic emotions and talking about when we might feel these.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Great to add a story to an emotion and give the children a concrete understanding.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:The children learnt there are more emotions than sad and happy. The tasks really made the children think about how they would feel just be using their faces.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex
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Comment:I liked this activity to build emotional literacy and awareness of feelings and how we can express them. I found it helped children to become more assertive towards other children and stand up for themselves, eg. I feel sad that you snatched that toy. They loved guessing the feelings I was portraying and acting out their own emotions and feelings in different scenarios.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Today, I am the teacher! [6-9]

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Comment:We do a lot of buddy activities in school so this wasn't necessarily unusual but my class haven't been the 'older' buddy before so they enjoyed that side of things. It was a god lesson in patience and responsibility.
[PRIVATE]
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St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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[PRIVATE]
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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The girls taught younger children how to use our Robot that we have programmed. They loved sharing this experience with others.
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow

Good Habits [3-5]

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Comment:I think the key ideas of the activity ie ways to ensure we keep healthy, were good but they could be conveyed in a simpler way. I don't feel it was really necessary to ask the children to walk around in a circle to the music. The mimes could be done as a stand alone activity. The children did enjoy the activity, but some were more interested in moving to the music and listening to when it stopped than in doing the correct mime.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I found this task hard to implement as we do not have a school hall and there was not enough space to complete this in the class. The children were a bit young to expect them to get on the floor without hurting themselves with the chairs and tables around them. I do feel it would be a good lesson as a warmup / cool down for a PE lesson in a hall / bigger space.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Children had lots of fun with this activity. Some of them actually forgot how much they do before they get on with general tasks in life
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The kids really loved this activity and acting out the actions for good habits. I think the good habits will surely stick in their minds. They loved that there was music playing that they could dance to and then try to remember the good habit as quick as they could, even while they were distracted by dancing!
Student comments:The kids loved to show off their good habits
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

How Do I Feel Today? [3-5]

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Comment:Did this activity as a class - but it may have been more effective if completed as a group (or half a class) - so the children could maintain focus whilst ALL of the children shared their thoughts/feelings.
Student comments:I like being able to tell someone when I am happy and when I am sad.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:children found it hard to link with emotions
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:This was very easy and effective to put in place in the class. We linked this in with our SPHE lessons. When the children came in each morning they put a tick under how they were feeling and it became part of their routine.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:It is a very simple activity to do, but would benefit from repeating later down the line with more complex emotions like anxious, joyful, content to broaden their emotional awareness.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:It was great for the children that came into school unhappy. These children who are very quiet found this activity an easy way to explain why they were sad or in some cases angry- when their friends were no longer their friends.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex
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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I enjoyed exploring different feeling words with the children. I was intrigued by the expanse of emotions some of the children could name, while also seeing the limitations of the emotions they understand. It was great to give them the space to explore and talk about their feelings, and also to make them aware that feelings such as anger and frustration are okay to feel too. After drawing their emotions a few times, the children became more comfortable drawing their true feelings as opposed to happy, sleepy.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Everything You Touch Stays on Your Hands [3-5]

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Comment:Very powerful tool, to help children understand the importance of hygiene.
Student comments:Children are washing their hands more frequently!!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children saw clearly how lack of washing hands could spread dirt and germs. This also sparked a discussion about what germs are.
Student comments:We asked half the children to place their palms into glitter and then shake hands. following this the children didn't wash their hands and continued to work. we looked at the spread of the glitter around the room. This is good for looking at the spread of germs.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:This made the children think about hygiene. After doing this activity the majority of the children are using soap and if anyone sneezes in their hands, other members of the class tell them to wash their hands.
Student comments:I know germs can make me sick. I don’t want to be sick!
[PRIVATE]

The Toy Bank [3-5]

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Comment:This was a tough activity as some children brought in toys which weren't appropriate (too babyish) and others were arguing over the toys. I think this might work better if it was books as the children would be able to bring in books they had read and could swap them.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Our families are from a largely poor background and toys they no longer want are rarely in good condition, or up for donation so collecting was difficult. Great idea, but difficult for our catchment. The idea of sharing and giving is lovely!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I loved this idea as a teacher however some of the children didn't grasp it . Sharing is a skill some children are still learning in an infant room. There was no problem bringing in the item but then some children still viewed the item as their own. I am reporting on this activity in the week I'm piloting it. It would be interesting to see how the children are after a number of weeks/months of doing this.
Student comments:That's my toy. I don't want to share.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Encouraged children to share the toys as they now belonged to the class and not the individual child.
Student comments:We have more new toys to play with.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex

The Nine Necessities Of Life [10-12]

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Comment:Would be good to have had pre-made cards to support the activity, as well as grids. Anything that saves time is useful.
Student comments:Students enjoyed the activity- lots of thought provoking comments, such as can you you survive without love? How long can you go without sleep for?
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:No resources provided. Required the teacher finding pictures online and making grid boards. Would deter teachers from completing activity.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The trading game works well to familiarise the students with the nine necessities. We had good discussion around the necessities before starting the game with children arguing for or against the inclusion of some as true necessities. Some more guidance around concluding the activity, points for discussion etc would be beneficial.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Children loved the discussion around this topic and saw that modern 'wants' aren't an essential need. May be a development point to get the children to negotiate down to a smaller number of needs and suggest why these are important
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

We Are Equal! [10-12]

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Comment:I liked the simplicity of this activity. It demonstrated how unfair situations can be depending on a particular group you may be in. I modified this activity by giving the best reward of homework tokens to Group C from Group A, taking the stickers from Group B, so only C ended up with something, having not received anything at the outset. It demonstrated to the pupils how elated they were to have the reward, and to feel upset at having it taken away. And for Group C who had nothing to receive the best. Perspectives! Groups feeling at equality and fairness changed dramatically depending on the group they were in.( By the way, I gave homework tokens at the end of the class to all pupils for participation!)
Student comments:''Teamwork was great looking for the balls'' Pupils thought it unfair that one group got homework token, whilst second group got stickers, and third group got nothing. ''Different perspectives/opinions when awarded the different items and depending on group one was in''
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:The activity generated interesting discussions amongst the pupils - but required clear direction from the teacher. It was decided to over reward a specific group (e.g. boys, children with short hair) to help the children identify who was being advantaged. However, it was the discussion - once the purpose of the activity had been made clear to the students - that took place that was of greatest benefit - as the children used examples of discrimination and inequalities that they were aware of. I feel that these activities need to be part of a series - that explore a theme over several weeks.
Student comments:I wondered why you'd hidden so many things around the room - but had no idea what you had planned.
Halton Lodge Primary School,
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Comment:Practically difficult in a classroom with 20 children roaming around. Children got quite excited and wanted to empty every drawer and shelf.
Student comments:They wanted to repeat it three times so it was fair for all the three groups. So we did. They loved it each time.
Penkridge Middle School, Stafford
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Comment:This caused consternation! The children's innate sense of fairness was immediately activated as shouts of "it's not fair" rang out across the school yard! This activity did require advance preparation and gathering of resources but it was very effective in teaching the concept of equality and fairness.
Student comments:"This makes me angry, everyone should be equal!" " This game is so good, I can see how people are treated differently and it's not fair."
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:We linked it to our behaviour policy in discussion...was it fair that some children were rewarded more? Were teachers fair?etc etc
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Need to be careful when grouping children
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Some were not able to get over the initial 'injustice'. They liked being the judges.
Student comments:N./A
[PRIVATE]

Don't Drop the Battery! [6-9]

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Comment:The children enjoyed the game but they found it very difficult to keep the beanbag on their head while hopping and jumping and especially when bending down to pick up the beanbag of someone else on their team.
Student comments:The children suggested that the helper might just have to walk out to help the other person without needing to do the hopscotch or having a beanbag on their head.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:This activity received very different responses from the pupils - with some really enjoying it - while others became easily frustrated and didn't understand the need for more than one (or two) other people to be in the team. Waiting for your turn also proved problematic.
Student comments:The course (hopscotch) could be much harder. Perhaps you should all have a spare battery so you are not relying on your friends so much - and you don't hold them up. We should practise and try to get better at the task before we get into groups - as then we could perform better as a team.
Halton Lodge Primary School,
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Comment:the children were good at this activity and picked it up fast! All children participated even children that are shy so it was very positive!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:kids loved it.
Student comments:great teamwork.
St Mura's National School, Co. Donegal
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Comment:really good team work idea
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Really encouraged team work, and relationships in the classroom. After a couple of times, it was possible to encourage children who avoid working together to be part of the same team.
Student comments:'I loved helping someone on my team to succeed!'
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:A great link with PE. The children quickly saw that cooperation was vital to success.
[PRIVATE]
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[PRIVATE]
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Student comments:My students felt that it was a bit difficult at first but easy when you got the hang of it. They felt it required teamwork cooperation and communication to complete the game. We used a piece of Lego as the battery and they felt that the lego was too light and a beanbag would be better.
New Quay National School, Co. Clare
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Comment:Beanbags worked really well. We tried Duplo bricks too but these were too difficult & kids tended to give up & become a little frustrated. The more co-ordinated kids could manage the bricks so maybe a team that was always winning could be given the bricks whilst others the beanbags to increase the challenge. Team element worked well as had to work together.
Student comments:Kids really enjoyed this & even played it afterwards at break times on their own. A new game for our yard hopscotch paintings!
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Hula Hoop Challenge [6-9]

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Comment:It transpired that several of the children had done this activity previously - so knew what to do and took control. Turned out this was an activity in cub scouts / beavers.
Student comments:I like this game. Can we do it with three hoops and see if we can get one hoop to catch up with the others?
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:This activity was very enjoyable, I gave very little instruction the first time we did it in 4 minutes.Then we sat down and discussed how we could do it faster, we then did it in 3 minutes. We sat down a second time and then did it in 2 minutes. We further challenged ourselves a fourth time but couldn't improve any further.
Student comments:The children encouraged each other all the way , they gave tips and called out suggestions , we figured it was quicker to put head through first and then step through.We had great fun and everybody came away feeling they had done their part and contributed to our progress.
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:This activity was really enjoyed as it is something we do in a group anyway. it built a lot of team work and conversation. It also made children laugh and cheer for each other.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Children loved it but activity was too fast paced
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:the children were able to work together well and figured it out quickly. We had a go at passing it around the whole group and timing how fast we can do it. We then split into groups and had a race to see which group could get it back to the start the fastest.
Student comments:"It was really funny to watch everyone fit through the hoop!" "I fell over trying to get through the hoop because i am the tallest so it was harder for me."
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:A simple activity that I have done before but is always a fun activity with children. The children managed it very easily so there wasn't masses of resilience-building however they enjoyed trying to find ways to complete it more quickly.
Trottiscliffe CEP School, Kent
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Comment:I liked that the children had to work together and encourage one another. I have a student with cerebral palsy in my class so the game had to be tailored slightly to suit him.
Student comments:The children loved that this was fun and active and they could race each other if there were two groups.
[PRIVATE]
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Student comments:The students said that the activity was fun but there was some squeezing and pulling of hands while the activity was going on.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Use of open space was fantastic, it took the children a few attempts to really get engaged and work with each other, but when they did It was really successful! We have also used this with older year groups who also loved it.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:The children really enjoyed it. It promoted communication, planning and cooperation
Student comments:That as such fun.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Simple activity, worked well.
Student comments:we got better when we worked together as a team!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:We've done this before and the children love it as a cooperation game. Fun and active.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Children enjoyed the game. Game is good for getting children to help each other.
Scoil Eoin, Co. Kerry
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Comment:It encouraged communication and team work.
Student comments:The children found this fun and suggested that it would be a good game to play in the playground.
[PRIVATE]
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Student comments:once they figured out how to do it they were encouraging and helping each other. Different heights could be challenging
St Mura's National School, Co. Donegal
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Comment:Found this a great activity to get team working together. Kids went straight into activity & worked together very well to help each other through the hoop. Few kids kept deliberately letting go hands but I quickly upped the competition to prevent this happening by dividing them into 2 groups & the 2 circles competed against each other to see who could finish first.
Student comments:Wanted to play lots of times & the last time we played it we competed against another classroom which got very competitive & all kids in class really worked together to help & encourage each other.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

The Robot [6-9]

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Comment:I loved the visual of the robot and switching off it's lights. I probably rushed through it but I would take much longer in future as it really benefited the students.
Student comments:They thought that it helped a lot that they had something to think about to help them relax and the idea of a robot really appealed to them.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children were able to relax and enjoy this activity. They really got into role
Bishop John Robinson CofE Primary School, London
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Comment:The activity was clear and easy to follow and very effective - the children seemed to really enjoy it. The children seemed much calmer after the activity.
Student comments:The children said it made them feel "calm", "happy", "peaceful". Some children commented that they found it "quite hard to switch off their thoughts"
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:pupils were engaged and enjoyed the activity. Pupils were more focused afterwards.
Student comments:it was very relaxing it was nice i liked turning off the light
St Mura's National School, Co. Donegal
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Comment:Liked having the script to read from. The children loved it.
Student comments:"You get to switch off everything and relax." The children have really loved all of the lifegames that we've tried so far. Every morning this week's they've asked 'Pleeease can do some lifegames again today?!"
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:Some children found it difficult to stay calm,
Student comments: Some thought that when I said switch off the light in your stomach that this meant they had to stop breathing, which obviously they found hard to do and thankfully did not succeed.
[PRIVATE]
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St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Easy to do, and our children have done some meditation before. Some of our children with additional needs found it tricky, as did some who could not help but make robot noises!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Most children like activities like this. I included it in my relaxation and mindfulness lesson. It worked well. Some children find it difficult to switch off and continue talking and giggling. Most children benefitted from it.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Some of the chn found it very difficult to participate in the meditation and to name their feelings.
[PRIVATE]
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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:We used this during social skills as a guided meditation and relaxation. It was very effective.
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:Majority of class loved this & even the ones that find keeping still & quiet actually participated well once they began to listen. Watching them you could see them relaxing as one body part after the other was switched off. I liked the simplicity of it & will definitely use this again, as it had a real calming effect on most of them.
Student comments:Majority of Kids reported back that they really enjoyed the calm quiet sensation the activity gave them. For some it was first time to try a calming meditation type activity & although some were slow to want to participate at start , they all did when they saw everyone else participating.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

A Window On The World [10-12]

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Comment:As the children were keen to discuss and find out about the people in the pictures, it would have been advantageous to have some facts about each individual (rather than simply make generalisations).
Student comments:I was surprised that so many of us all chose the same picture - why did this happen? Could we do this with famous landmarks - or different places in the world?
Halton Lodge Primary School,
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Comment:I think the children were able to identify with some of the different people from around the world.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children really enjoyed looking at the various images and discussing other cultures. We tied it in with Grandparent's Day in our school and discussed ageing and how we view and treat the elderly. The girls quickly realised that although we are different, we also share many things in common, not least our humanity and the struggles and challenges that entails.
Student comments:"Can we do that again?" "That was so much fun". "It was very interesting looking at lots of different types of people".
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:Would have been helpful to have resources ready to use to save time (similar to other activities in that respect)
Student comments:Good discussions had, moving onto emotions
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Some wonderful discussion around what makes us different, but also what binds us. It tied in easily to a lot of the work that we have been doing on respect. The children enjoyed reflecting on the images used.
[PRIVATE]

Today, I am the teacher! [10-12]

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Comment:This was trickier to organise as it required the co-operation of another teacher. The girls loved being the teacher though and it really boosted their self-esteem and confidence. They came back to class on a high! We linked the activity to art and their girls taught the younger girls how to make St. Brigid's crosses from rushes. This is an annual tradition in our school and it was lovely to see the older children pass it on to the younger.
Student comments:"We loved being the teacher, it was so much fun!" "The little girls loved it, some of them made more than one St. Brigid's Cross. I feel proud."
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:Good for co-operative working.
Student comments:I enjoyed that I taught them well
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:There were a few children who were not too keen on having to work with younger peers. They are the same children who struggle to work in a group regardless of age though. The rest of the children enjoyed being the teachers - it helped to develop their self-esteem, as well as securing their learning.
[PRIVATE]

Four Card Negotiation [6-9]

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Comment:i liked watching the pupils trying to negotiate with each other.
Student comments:it was harder than they thought. they found it difficult as the red cards were black too, Hard when groups wouldnt swap Everyone left the table and pieces went missing
St Mura's National School, Co. Donegal
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Comment:super for maths integration
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:I loved this activity & will play it a few more times to improve their negotiation skills as this was something very new for them, so lots of room for improvement. Initially they found it hard & didn't want to swap bits of cards at all. Some tried swapping too many bits at a time so I had to put in a rule that they could only swap one bit at a time as arguments were starting. Great use of old playing cards that aren't full packs any longer.
Student comments:Kids found the negotiation part tricky at times as apart from the time rule there weren't any! Arguments were brewing so I had to introduce some rules. Most kids liked the activity & the pressure of the time kept them focused & eager to play.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Our Helping Hands [6-9]

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Comment:I loved the activities they had to complete without the use of their hands and the class thought that this was hilarious but the 'hug the teacher' option isn't appropriate in my opinion. They class came up with more bad uses for hands than good, but the message is a really effective one.
Student comments:Everyone should have a go at completing an activity without using their hands.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Personally, I like lesson plans laid out clearly with Introduction, Main activity and summary/plenary. This makes it easier to pick up a book at short notice and do an activity without too much preperation. The lesson was excellent, I just felt that the breakdown of the lesson into beginning and middle and ending would help greatly from a teachers perspective.
Student comments:That was fun. Children thought the hugging the teacher was hilarious. I had to stop child from picking pen up off ground with her mouth for hygiene reasons.
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Very few resources to gather but effective learning took place.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Really engaging initial activity. The "Instead of..." sentences were really thought-provoking and led to lots of useful discussions.
Trottiscliffe CEP School, Kent
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Comment:The children effectively reflected on the power that each of them carries. The moment when the realized the tasks are made easier by asking for help was amazing.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:easy to set up with only a small amount of reading prior.
St Joseph's RC Primary School, Durham
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Comment:The pupils found it very difficult trying the activities and keeping their arms behind. It showed them how important their hands are and how we should use our hands for good things, took us longer than the time recommended as some f the children got upset
[PRIVATE]
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[PRIVATE]

How Much is Enough? [6-9]

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Comment:Due to the quantities needed we initially used lego bricks rather than balls (as we needed to have 5 x 30 = 150). However, the focus of the children's attention became focused on having enough pieces to make something - therefore we tried again with unifix cubes (multilink). This worked better. Clear guidance on suitable objects would help! The children felt they needed clearer guidance at the start - as they were not aware of the purpose of the task (fairness) - and thought if they knew this they would have acted differently. Potentially this is the whole point - think before you act?!?! However, the message was very clear at the end - but (as highlighted with the lego) - the objects need to be the same and the reason for collecting them made clear: We want everybody to be able to join in today, so...
Student comments:If we only took 3 or 4 aren't we winners too - as we did not take too many?
Halton Lodge Primary School,
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Comment:I thought this was an excellent, simple activity. It was very effective in bringing the children to understand the benefits of sharing and cooperation.
Student comments:The students really enjoyed the activity! I sent the children to the container in alphabetical order to take their marbles. Some children took a large number of marbles for themselves, which resulted in all of the marbles being gone by the time we reached 'children beginning with the letter M's turn to go to the container! When the children saw that the container was empty and nobody else would get a turn to go up they quickly realised that they shouldn't have taken so many and said that they felt bad. During the ten seconds to share the balls they thought much more like a team, sharing more fairly. They loved the game and asked if they could play a life game every day!
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:it was very interesting. at the end there was only 4 marbles left for 3 pupils and they left some for the last person. The previous two had taken 11 and 12. Lots of children asked how many am i allowed
Student comments:They didnt want anyone to have none. i didnt realise i was taking other peoples.
St Mura's National School, Co. Donegal
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Comment:I think in general the students didn't really get this concept. The asked how many they should take with most taking one. They didn't really mind when it came to the questions re 'how do you feel about having only one paperclip?' Perhaps a comparison of wealth distribution throughout the world using, for example, one child to show that a small percentage of the world's population holds the majority of the riches would be more clear?
Student comments:It would be better to use something exciting instead of paperclips like money or sweets!
[PRIVATE]
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St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Very effective at getting children to think about others and their needs.
Student comments:Children were self policing and had very strong views on fairness.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I used a box of chocolates instead of the container of small balls. One or two children grabbed a lot of sweets and were reluctant to share. One even hid some in his pencil case. Most however were anxious that everyone got a fair amount. In hindsight I think I should have used the balls as indicated.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:It was good as it encouraged chn to talk about a range of different feelings.
[PRIVATE]

A Test of Memory and Willpower [10-12]

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Comment:good variation of Kim's game
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Some children got a little confused by this activity at the beginning. The confident children enjoyed this more as they were able to stand over they opinions.
[PRIVATE]

One For All But One [3-5]

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Comment:This activity was simple to organise and carry out.
Student comments:The activity prompted some interesting comments from the children. Many noticed that one person had been missed out and kept drawing my attention to this, and lots of children said "it's not fair". Some children offered their toy to the child who had been missed and a few talked about how we could share our toys to make it fairer. We also discussed how it makes us feel inside when we are left out in other situations.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:One thing I didn't like about this lesson was the suggestion to perhaps deliberately omit a child because they were different from the others. I think it would be a better suggestion to definitely not omit these children for obvious reasons. I feel like a story might be a better way to introduce this lesson.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children very quickly realised that one little girl didn't have a toy, the teacher allowed the children to solve the problem with little coaching. She observed that they were willing to share. She discussed the feelings of the person who was left out and how they felt after. We felt that it would also be useful to reflect on real life times when someone had been left out at playtime and such.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:This made the others feel sad for the child without a toy. They all wanted to share their toy with the child who did not have one.
Student comments:You can play with my toy. We. An play with the toy together.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex
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Comment:Some of my very sensitive students got very upset when they were that one person left out
[PRIVATE]

Snap Hunting [10-12]

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Comment:Tricky to get the children taking photos to capture their value. We use Values for Life, and have posters to represent the values, so used that as examples for them. Had to amend the task as not enough photos in time. So became more of a discussion.
[PRIVATE]

Listen To The Silence [3-5]

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Comment:At the beginning this was difficult for the children to take part in as they were laughing and making others laugh. However, the more we did it the longer we got out of it. It was a good task to get the children settled.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:It was very hard for some children as they would giggle or make noises. After a few attempts they managed it and it was wonderful finding out what sounds they could hear.
Student comments:I can hear the rain outside. I can hear the children talking in the other class.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex
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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The kids were surprisingly really engaged in this activity. They loved the visual of watching the timer being turned. There is very little outdoor sounds to be heard, and all the children loved to stay very still. They were silent from the knock at the beginning until the knock at the end. The children were asked how they felt while they listened to the silence.
Student comments:'relaxed' 'like I was in the ocean with dolphins' 'not nervous, I feel calm' 'peaceful' 'helps me get braver' 'like I was on a unicorn'
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

My Angry Animal [3-5]

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Comment:Possibly would have been more beneficial as a small group activity
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:We used a visual picture of the three animals to keep the children focused. The part of the activity when the children identified times they may have been like a lion or a tortoise was very good.
Student comments:The following day a child informed a teacher that before coming to school in the morning she had been a lion!
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:They understood that we all get angry sometimes snd it’s ok to do so.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex

We Love Lemons! [6-9]

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Comment:I really liked this activity as it provides such a visual message for the children, that they will inevitably remember. Most schools have fruit delivered for free so it was easy to set up on 'mandarins day'. One tip might be to advise the teacher to have the children draw the faces on their oranges in pen rather than marker as the marker spread to my hands when peeling all of the oranges, which then led to ink spreading on to the peeled fruits.
Student comments:"It shows that it doesn't matter what's on the outside, it matters what's on the inside. Everyone has the same feelings inside."
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:messy
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Simple to do, the children really enjoyed it and were motivated by this. They did get a bit over excited when searching for their lemon and they also did not know what a lemon looked like on the inside! The message was quite deep for our Year 1 children (6) to grasp, perhaps with some extra work they will be much better.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:Used mandarins, as we ate them afterwards and linked the activity to healthy eating!
Student comments:The children LOVED this activity! It made them really consider what makes each of us special.
[PRIVATE]
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[PRIVATE]
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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:it was amazing to hear the pupils thoughts and feelings they spoke very openly
St Mura's National School, Co. Donegal
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Comment:Just did this with a small group to try & they had great fun doing the activity & were quite surprised at the end when they realized what the reason behind the activity was to show. I didn't like the job of peeling all the fruit, as lemons werent the easiest. Will try Mandarine oranges next time!
Student comments:Kids spent ages drawing on fruit, once we got a pen that would work on the skin! Were a bit disappointed then when they saw I had peeped all their art work away, but were happier when the fruit became a drink although too sour for some tastes! Kids suggested that we could use bananas instead & make smoothies afterwards.
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Catch The Snake's Tail [10-12]

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Comment:This game was too complicated for our children - as they could not do it in silence, communication became an issue and the children often lost contact (when tapping). It focused as much on perseverance as cooperation - but did highlight you trust some people more than others. I can't imaging introducing obstacles. Perhaps, as identified in another 10-12 activity - this needs to be one of a series of activities to develop these skills over time?
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children was getting agitated during this activity as the directions change as it was going down the snake. It caused a few arguments as they kept crashing into things.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:They were a little confused when the snake got very long and they were waiting for the signal to reach the top. Others had caught them by then. Maybe a little more explicit in instructions or diagrams but still a great game.
Student comments:We really loved this game. Can we play it again? That was so much fun.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:We loved this activity!!! The girls got really involved and great team work took place. It was more challenging than they thought it would be and highlighted that we do need to constantly improve our communication and team work skills.
Student comments:"I want to do that every day". "That was so tricky but fun". "That was amazing, we did really well as a team".
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:Great activity- we have done similar in PE. Had to do outdoors due to being small school.
Student comments:Can we play again!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I really liked this activity as it promoted good teamwork. It took a bit of practice for the children to get the hang of controlling the direction that they were moving but once they did, they became very effective. Each time we practised, I ensured that we had a different driver. For health and safety reasons, I only allowed the owner of the scarves to be the heads of the snakes. If I were to repeat the lesson, I would ask each child to bring in a scarf/ blindfold. We did the activity in the general purpose room as the hall was in use but I think, for a big class of 30, the PE would be more suitable in order to be able to include all children at the same time.
Student comments:The children absolutely loved the activity. They thought that it really made them trust their team and to rely on them. They also thought that it taught them that you don't always have to use words to communicate.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:No resources required!
Student comments:Children loved activity, and wanted to repeat frequently as a reward!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children loved the physical activity of this game. It was easy to see how the virtues of cooperation and unity tied into this. Some children then wanted to continue to play this after our session.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I did this on younger children. they enjoyed it but found it hard listening to the lead person
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:A little difficult. Depends on the children in the class.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:It was hard for the children to do the activity in silence especially when they were getting frustrated. There was frustration when the team commands were passing too slowly
Student comments:Some thought that you should start the activity with two participants and work up to 4. They thought there should be a signal for walk faster. They felt that everyone needed to really concentrate. Problems arose when people were not paying attention.
New Quay National School, Co. Clare

The Tree of Gratitude [3-5]

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Comment:I adapted this lesson to suit the class. Instead of gathering stones and twigs to make a tree of gratitude we made a gratitude jar instead and we wrote / drew pictures of something we were grateful for and the children enjoyed this.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:It was very similar to the activities we do in both RE and House Groups.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I enjoyed listening to the children be positive towards nature and each other. i also allowed them to help gather the resourses. We also talked about the dangers of items we were using
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:This has encouraged the children to be grateful for what they have and manners makes you a better person.
Yeading Infant and Nursery School, Middlesex
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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The girls loved this activity so much that they are now keeping a daily gratitude journal!
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow

The Power of Perseverance [6-9]

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Comment:Using a pom-pom outdoors was a real challenge - too much of a challenge really. However, it worked much better indoors - but this required the children to operate in a much smaller space (which wasn't ideal). The task would have worked better, in our opinion, without any element of competition. This distracted from the key message - as the other team members were constantly cheering their team on and the child in charge was more inclined to rush. Wasn't until the end the children understood the key message.
Student comments:What's the point - we'd never do that in real life! I really enjoyed doing something I've never done before. It's good to try something new. It looked so easy but until you had a go yourself you didn't know how tricky it was going to be. Can we play that game at break time?
Halton Lodge Primary School,
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Comment:all children was supportive and encouraged each other. We set out a large course in the hall with masking tape and let them race against each other the children had check points in which to swap over with the next person in the team so everyone had a turn. After we let the children create their own race track !
Student comments:"i enjoyed making my own track but blowing the pom pom was really hard on the carpet" "i couldn't get the pom pom to move!"
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I probably made the course a little bit difficult but the children really enjoyed it.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children loved the game. They found it difficult at first as they were blowing downwards rather than from the side. Once they figured out the best way to do it, they found it easy. Explaining the rules before hand is very important as some children tried to get away with pushing it with their fingers rather than using the straw. The children were very good to encourage each other . Trailed by Senior Infant class.
Scoil Eoin, Co. Kerry
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St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:Found that ping pong balls worked better. Children struggled to use the pompom balls.
Student comments:Encouraged the children to be supportive of each other, and not to make someone feel bad if they were having difficulties completing a task.
[PRIVATE]
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Student comments:One student was able to his maths work and how it gets easier when he tries.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Tried both ping pong balls & pom pom badminton trainer balls. Ping pong was easier for them to move along but really difficult to keep on the line... or maybe our floor wasn't quite level! Pom Pom balls more difficult to blow but they got there. We did this at Halloween with monkey nuts in shells for races so they had tried it before. Enough space was our main barrier for this one as classroom space a bit too cramped & we have no sports hall. This activity is definitely only for indoor.
Student comments:Children enjoyed but needed lots of space which we didn't really have, so got a bit impatient waiting their turn! Races became competitive & each team weren't too willing to share their strategies until after game was finished, but they did share ideas as a team... so the team building element worked well. Definitely learn that practice helps!
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Bully Theatre [10-12]

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Comment:I split whole class into groups of three and all groups acted out a different bullying situation. Each group then delivered their scene and we discussed the situation after each act.
Student comments:When asked what could we do as a witness, most students would answer with 'tell a teacher or member of staff'. They were all relating the situations as happening in school. We discussed how some situations may happen outside of school, such as sending photos online without permission. Some children discussed how they didn't like embarrassing photos their parents had put of them on Facebook etc, which encouraged further discussion.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children loved the drama but the seriousness of some of the issues was lost through the drama. Nice idea just needs more surrounding the lesson.
Scoil Eoin, Co. Kerry
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Comment:You must be clear what bullying is and that it follows school policy on the definition. Some of the older children will deliberately say provocative things to show off, but this was used as a learning opportunity to make them reflect. This an activity which could be repeated and if done carefully enough, with real life situations that have/are occurring. The reflection on how to help the bully is very helpful because then they see that sometimes the bully's behaviour is reactive.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

The Most Important Person in the World [3-5]

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Comment:This activity needed to be completed within a small group - to avoid the children spoiling it for the other children. Teacher book requires more guidance on how to deal / react to the wide range of responses the children are likely to give - to ensure the key message is maintained. Completed activity with 4-5 year olds - with a variety of different levels of understanding. The majority understood the key message and spoke positively about being 'chosen'. This activity needs consolidating to get the most from the experience with lots of other activities to promote self-esteem and confidence.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Lovely idea. Very nice for the children. Lots of pleasantly surprised faces. A few who really exposed their low self esteem which was sad but useful to the teacher. In conclusion of the lesson, the children themselves did not say why they were the most important (& I added 'beautiful'), person in the whole world. Instead i invitied the class to suggest reasons for each child. This age group are more generous and kind towards others than themselves and it also helped the many children for whom english is not a first language.
Student comments:n/a
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:The children couldn't keep what was in the box a secret and couldn't really answer the questions afterwards.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. As a teacher I found it simple but very effective. It is a great way to introduce the importance of self and self esteem etc. I will use this lesson again. Afterwards it opened up conversation and language about ourselves and positive traits.
Scoil Eoin, Co. Kerry
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Comment:All of the children were very excited and it also showed the impact of learning and home life because of the people that they came up with as the important person.
Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
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Comment:They all said parents, brothers and sisters and family. When they opened the box and found it was them, they were shocked and then pleased. They never thought of themselves, they all thought of others.
Student comments:Wow, it’s me! Why my mum and dad are important. I never think I was important!!!
[PRIVATE]

Who Can? I Can! [3-5]

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Comment:It made everyone think about something that they were good at - really good as children showed the other children what they could do and then we copied them. Fantastic way to raise self-esteem.
Student comments:This is fun ! Can we do this again?
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:I linked this lesson in with my GMGY lesson and the children really enjoyed talking about what they can do. This was also included in the children's homework where they got the chance to speak about what they can do with the people at home.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:very fun activity, the children also encouraged each other if they did not have the confidence to stand up
[PRIVATE]

What Would You Do: Birthday [10-12]

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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Was useful to have scenario listed on Powerpoint/ slides
Student comments:Linked in with PHSE well
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children enjoyed the lesson, particularly acting out the various scenarios. I put the children into 2s and each pair acted out one of the options. This worked particularly well with the first scenario. It was more difficult to act out the second scenario.
Student comments:They children loved this activity as they were given the opportunity to do a role play of the scenario. They felt that it was a good activity to show that there is more that one approach to a problem and that it encouraged them to think of different options before choosing one of them.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Children love drama and acting so these type of games/activities always work well. The children liked the voting element too
[PRIVATE]

What Would You Do: Homework [10-12]

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Comment:It got the pupils thinking of homework not being done and how others may come under peer pressure to provide or copy. The use of the words 'skip class' as an option listed would be more appropriate to second level as in our school the pupils are in one classroom all day and wouldn't be able to skip a class at any stage. I would omit this option for primary schools. Also, we seldom use the word assignment....It's usually homework/project which is handed up in the morning. Good to discuss the solutions and how to avoid being pressurised into someone asking to copy ones work.
Student comments:'Interesting to show how people can look at doing homework' 'Shows different reactions as it's something that happens' 'Varied reactions from various groups' 'Good to see how other people react to situations' 'Could feel under pressure to give my homework to someone else'
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:No resources were needed which I liked. The year 5 class enjoyed getting to do role play.
Penkridge Middle School, Stafford
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Comment:The girls loved role playing this activity and coming up with different consequences. They particularly enjoyed voting and discussing the results and opinions of their classmates.
Student comments:"I know how to problem solve better now." "Running away doesn't solve anything!"
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:Powerpoint material made- good discussion
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Activity worked well with 5th class. Homework is an ongoing debate and issue for children and teachers. This activity led to a class debate and resulted in the children getting a night off homework over some very good research and findings by the children.
Scoil Eoin, Co. Kerry

What Would You Do: Social Media [10-12]

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[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Integrates well with SPHE and internet safety. Also works really well for drama. Great way to get them thinking about their actions and consequences. Promotes provlem solving and personal responsibility.
Student comments:We loved these activities because we love drama and it got us to think about problems we might face in a fun way and choose the right action.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:This activity was eye opening. It brought up lots of issues around safety online for both teacher and pupils. It was interesting how differently adults and children view social media use. The girls loved discussing and role playing different scenarios and got really involved. It led onto many more lessons based around this topic and linked well to other curricular areas.
Student comments:"This is so interesting!" "I can't believe I thought that was ok!" "Can we think of some more solutions?"
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:I made a simple powerpoint to support their discussion
Student comments:Plenty of debate took place. Linked in with ages for various apps.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Some children find it hard to accept that not all of them will be acting out. We had one group where no-one really wanted to act at all!
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:This activity opened up important scenarios for discussion. This activity worked very well as an SPHE lesson
[PRIVATE]

What Would You Do: At A Friend's House [6-9]

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Comment:Thinking through various scenarios was very useful and came alive when a child (or group of children) could relate to one of the scenarios discussed. The examples given are good ones, but other examples - and 4 options - would be beneficial.
Student comments:Can we do this again next week?
Halton Lodge Primary School,
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Comment:Some children got upset because they never get invited over to other peoples homes or are not allowed to invite friends round.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The conversation we had around these scenarios was interesting, and we also talked about how sometimes we can be more polite in an unfamiliar house in comparison to how we treat our own families.
Student comments:NA
[PRIVATE]
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St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:I didn't like that it took time to demonstrate to the class and show examples for the age group which I had (6/7 years old). I really liked how much my class enjoyed it. It was great to them to visualize the different scenarios and act out. They were so engaged and they were very enthusiastic once they got the jist of it.
Student comments:"It was so fun and I liked talking about how people feel if you pick the wrong choice."
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:None really
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The children got bored with this very quickly.
[PRIVATE]

This Is My Friend [6-9]

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Comment:It was lovely to see that all of the children knew at least two things about the person sitting on either on side of them.
Student comments:They really enjoyed it as they didn't know before they sat in a circle what they would be doing but we were a bit squashed in the classroom so they suggested doing this activity in the hall in future.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Was a fantastic group activity, it also showed how well some of the children know each other and how they respect the adult leading the session
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:As the children are all different ages in after school club. They became embarrassed holding each others hands so we just pointed and tried to say the things we liked the most about each other which worked well.
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:Really lovely activity. Ended it by asking the group to share something they've learnt about someone else that they didn't know. It was a long time to hold hands though, lots of sweaty palms by the end.
Trottiscliffe CEP School, Kent
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Comment:I liked its simplicity.
Student comments:"You got to learn more about your friends." "Good fun trying to stand up with the whole class still holding hands!"
St. Brigids GNS, Dublin 11
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Comment:I myself learned a lot about my students and their interests outside of school that hadn't been mentioned before. At the beginning everyone was using the same line of 'This is ______, they are nice and friendly'. We did it a second time leaving out those traits and instead had to say two things they personally know about that person. This worked a lot better and all the students learned something new about their classmates
Student comments:All the children commented on how they really liked this activity. One student mentioned that she thought it was a nice way to get to know the new children in the class. Most children in the class learned something new about particular children and were very surprised they hadn't already known. E.g only one person in the class knew a student surfed, the rest of the class were totally taken aback by this
[PRIVATE]
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Comment:The girls loved this activity. They laughed and chatted throughout and loved sharing their insights with the group. It was very confidence building and positive.
Student comments:"I loved this, can we do it again?" "Can we do this every day?" "I love how good this made me feel." "We are a great group of friends."
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:Class need to be prepared first by getting them to chat about what they like to do. Trailed by Senior infants
Scoil Eoin, Co. Kerry
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Comment:Some children found it difficult to say something about the person next to them even though I imagined they knew them pretty well.
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Comment:Frequently complete this activity as part of circle time. Remember to mix the children up - or they will sit next to their friends.
Student comments:i like getting to know my class
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Comment:It also helped to develop self-esteem.
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Comment:Was very difficult to get the kids to hold hands to start with as 8/9yrs so not 'cool' to hold hands at moment! After some persuasion they did & found it quite difficult to say something about each other. All got quite silly & didn't really participate very well. I will try this again with smaller groups as I like the idea & showed me that as a group they could do with some extra ' bonding' & many actually knew little about each other.
Student comments:Kids weren't positive about this game at all and said it was silly & boring but they did like the challenge of trying to stand up together at the end without letting go of their hands... had no problem keeping tight grip on each others hands for that!!
Kilgarriffe National School, Co. Cork

Wants And Needs [6-9]

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Comment:I allowed the children to write down as many things that made them happy/healthy and then this took a while to sort out into wants/needs. Next time, I would limit the things to 1/2 each.
Student comments:The children loved the activity and we split it over two sessions so they couldn't wait to complete it during the second session.
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Comment:This activity could be effective if the idea of needs and wants was explained after the children write a list of things they think would make them happy and healthy. By explaining what needs and wants were before the task my class wrote mainly needs and then the idea of showing that we often have more wants than needs was lost.
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Comment:We had an interesting discussion on needs and wants.
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Comment:I really liked the visual of the jars, I Thought this worked really well because the children could see for themselves that the wants jar was fuller than the needs.
Student comments:All the students really enjoyed this lesson and commented that it was really fun. They really enjoyed debating whether some things are needs or wants, e.g. friends and school. Some children mentioned they couldn't believe how little things we really need in life.
St. Mary's National School, Co. Cork
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Comment:A great way of distinguishing between wants and needs. The clear visual distinction helped to hammer home that what we want is not always what we need, and that we can let our greed get in our way sometimes.
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Comment:focused the kids on what they really need rather than what they think they need. they found the job of thinking how they could make their community better very difficult and needed a lot of prompting- perhaps a bank of ideas would help because I had to do this in the lesson
St Joseph's RC Primary School, Durham
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Comment:The children found it difficult to distinguish between wants and needs
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Comment:This game integrated well across the curriculum and was enjoyable
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow

The Buddy Shirt [3-5]

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Comment:I'm not sure how this lesson would work at all. The idea of putting two children together in a large shirt after they fight did not appeal to me at all and it did not work in the class. It escalated the situation further.
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Comment:It was hard to get the two students to share the shirt. They both found it hard to let the other speak.
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The Group Mind [10-12]

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Comment:This activity would have worked better in a smaller group - as the need to get a consensus and/or check suggestions - slower the activity down... and frustrated those children who just wanted to find out the answer. Wonder whether discussing ideas rather than facts would work better - so the power of debate and clear/concise argument would be more pertinent. Children tended to rely on the more knowledgeable students to answer the questions - so again the notion of ideas may be more successful.
Student comments:I prefer working on my own or with a partner to find facts out.
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Comment:I really liked this activity. Interesting to observe group dynamics as they worked through order of things.
Student comments: Challenging but interesting.
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Comment:As a group the children came up with a range of correct information about the topic given, they also had a list of facts they needed to check but had an idea about. There was a short debate over one fact which was interesting to listen to and see who lead. I believe this activity is used regularly in humanities at the beginning of topics. useful to find out what they already know so can taylor lessons to their needs.
Student comments:Although I didn't ask for their comments, one of the pupils commented as she left " I enjoyed that Miss, it was interesting".
Penkridge Middle School, Stafford
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Comment:We loved this activity. We linked it to our current history study of the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland. It could link to any curricular area which I found useful!
Student comments:"This is so much fun" "How did you get a different answer?" "It was fun to work together to find out as sometimes learning on your own can be boring. This felt like a game!"
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Co. Carlow
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Comment:This activity was great to get kids talking, to consolidate information, share information and allow quieter kdis to talk in a smaller less intimidating space. They loved the group consensus part and checking information on internet to confirm.
Student comments:This was really fun and I liked working together.
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Comment:Similar to activity we've done before to start topics. Works well.
Student comments:They found their answers and built on existing knowledge too.
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Comment:The children could see that they had to work together, but would much rather just get on and find out the information themselves. They saw it as a 'research' based objective, rather than a cooperation based objective.
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