On my final teaching placement at North Road Primary School in south Gloucestershire I was covering the difficult area of "difference" with my reception class. In circle time I introduced a box with "something really special" inside. Each child came and peeked in but was told not to say what they had seen. There was a mirror in the box so they saw themselves, but not one of them spoilt the surprise and all gave me a conspiratorial nod when they saw their reflection. There was a resounding "me" when I finally asked them what special thing was in the box.
When asked who else they thought was special they weren't really sure so I emphasised that they were all special. They then had to think of someone they thought was special and explain why to the rest of the class. It was lovely when one chose me, because I was "always smiling" at them.
One child would then go out of the room while the rest had to agree what was special about that particular child ("he makes me laugh", "she is very helpful", "he is good at sharing" are some examples).
I took a photo of each child and created a display of photos with the reasons why they were special underneath.
We thought about what or who was special to them and the children drew pictures of their special thingperson for another display. "God is special" was accompanied by a multi-coloured version of God in glitter crayons.
In pairs, children had to say how they were different from their partner.
We made a "We are all different" collage of interesting faces cut out from newspapers and magazines including the photographs of them.
Alison Wood, supply teacher, South Gloucestershire