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Supportive environments: help - I need somebody!

Possible Learning Activities

  • Students, anonymously, can write down difficulties or issues that they, or others, experience within the classroom or school environment and “post” them in a postbox. The teacher collates and sorts them, identifying common themes and rewriting them if necessary to protect student identity.
  • Students then discuss these issues and categorise them as:
  • difficulties that students could solve themselves with the help of the class
  • difficulties that students could solve with help from teachers or other helping agencies.
  • Students could group together similar problems from the latter category and brainstorm about people or agencies who could help and about telephone helplines that are available for anonymous assistance and advice.
  • Students could invite people from helping agencies to their class to answer their questions about how agencies can help young people. Such people might include the school nurse, the school principal, the local police education officer, or a person from the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Service (CYPS).
  • Students could identify school policies and practices that support students, such as the school charter, a bullying policy, a drug policy, or a peer mediation programme.
  • Students can discuss appropriate ways of responding when a friend shares a problem with them in trust, for example, maintaining confidentiality and supporting them in seeking help.
  • Students could now collaboratively develop an action plan to advertise to the whole school how all students can obtain support for their problems.  They could, for example, design posters to be displayed around the school, write pamphlets to distribute, or present a talk or role-play at assembly.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • identify people and agencies that can provide guidance and support when students are challenged with relationship problems or conflict (3C2)
  • identify existing school policies that address interpersonal relationship issues for students at the school (3D3)
  • develop a plan to inform others in their school about support people and helping agencies (3D4).


(particularly taha whānau, taha hinengaro, and taha tinana)

Identifying ways to support others and caring for the physical and emotional well-being of themselves and others.

Health Promotion

Making links to the community and examining school policies and practices for working collaboratively to create a supportive environment.

Socio-ecological Perspective

Taking responsibility for mutual care and acting to support the rights of others.

Attitudes and Values

Showing positive and responsible attitudes towards their own well-being and displaying respect, care, and concern for others.

Teachers' Note

In this activity, it may be necessary to discuss with students that some problems can be solved only on a national or international basis and that not all problems can be solved (at least for the present).