Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
Stepping Out

Getting Started

This resource contains material for teachers and play leaders working with young children
(5-9 years). It aims to encourage:

  • Listening skills;
  • Positive interaction with others;
  • Increased understanding of own and others feelings and emotions; identity and belonging;
  • Self-awareness; self-confidence; self-esteem and self-discipline;
  • An exploration of diversity - own and other attitudes, values, choices and opinions;
  • Thinking skills and personal decision-making;
  • Mutual understanding and respect for others.

It is strongly recommended that anyone wishing to use activities in this resource in either the formal school or informal ‘after school’ sectors, and not familiar with ‘circle time’; small group work; and experiential, action-based learning with children, seek and attend some training before using them. See Joined Up - Whole School Approach (pp25-40) and Audit (pp187-211); Group work (pp43-86); Dealing with controversial issues (pp89-104); Circle time (pp 107-160); Games (pp120-131 and 212-255) and Evaluation (pp163-169).

When you start with the work will depend on:

  • your own readiness for it;
  • your preparation and training;
  • your knowledge and perception of the needs of the group;
  • how well the work fits into an existing curricula, whole school/community plan to which you are already committed.

How you use the resource will depend on:

  • how much time you have available;
  • the size of your group.

Remember to:

  • your own readiness for it;
  • Give time to preparing the working environment and making ground rules;
  • Prepare and evaluate each session - the PROCESS is as important as any perceived end result;
  • Evaluate early, change if necessary;
  • STOP if you think something isn’t working;
  • Remind members of the group about confidentiality;
  • End on a positive note - closure is important;
  • Consider your own personal support and the progression of your work – a whole school/community approach is preferable for sustainability.

These resources are very focused on various forms of diversity in identity and belonging and are intended to be part of a ’whole school’ or ‘whole community’ approach to Community Relations work. There are many other groups involved in Community Relations work, in both the statutory and voluntary sectors, and representatives of some of those groups have been partners in both the steering and the piloting of these resources and they are listed in the acknowledgements.