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Skills with Frills - Upgraded PSHE, Mindfulness & More!

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I offer resources aimed at UKS2 - LKS3, generally aimed at boosting student wellbeing alongside life skills, across the curriculum. My speciality is skill-based learning, including: collaborative learning, building attention, emotional intelligence & resilience, independence, creativity etc. Mindfulness, CBT, Forest School practice & holistic approaches underpin all of what I do.

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I offer resources aimed at UKS2 - LKS3, generally aimed at boosting student wellbeing alongside life skills, across the curriculum. My speciality is skill-based learning, including: collaborative learning, building attention, emotional intelligence & resilience, independence, creativity etc. Mindfulness, CBT, Forest School practice & holistic approaches underpin all of what I do.
Teamwork - 10 Scenarios to discuss to promote smooth teamwork  and conflict resolution
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Teamwork - 10 Scenarios to discuss to promote smooth teamwork and conflict resolution

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Here are 10 different teamwork-based scenarios which pupils (preferably in teams) can discuss, before teamwork gets underway. Each group is given a specific problem and has to discuss together how they would resolve the situation and encourage the team to work together. They then feedback and we discuss as a class. If I have time and students are keen to add some drama, I’ll ask them to act our their scenario and resolution as a role play. As a teacher of life-skills, I saw teamwork as a discreet skill-based subject, as well as linking this in throughout other subject areas. These scenarios are based on the situations that just seemed to happen again and again. I find it extremely useful to use something like this BEFORE teamwork begins - things seem to run a lot more smoothly afterwards. Inevitably, you may still have some problems within groups, but you can refer back to these scenarios and how the class chose to solve problems. I’ve also thrown in a ‘Top Ten Teamwork Tips’ sheet, which students can use alongside this activity and keep in sight to support any partner/group based task. For strategic advice, ideas, lesson plans related to Inclusive Teamwork - ideas that fit nicely with this discussion-based task, go to https://skillswithfrills.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Published-Optimus-magazine-pull-out-Inclusive-Teamwork.pdf for my 4-page pullout in Optimus Educations’ ‘Special Children’ magazine.
Wellbeing Warriors Day/Unit - Back to School PSHE
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Wellbeing Warriors Day/Unit - Back to School PSHE

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7-8 hours of teaching content for PSHE with a focus on student wellbeing and mental health. Students follow through each lesson, completing a range of speaking/listening/written activities, using an accompanying booklet. This can either be taught as a unit of work at KS2 or KS3, but equally it makes for a fantastic wellbeing day. This would be an excellent back to school day, sure to boost relationships and emotional intelligence from the get-go. Throughout these sessions, students are trained in the WARRIOR code as follows: Lesson 1 - What does it mean to be a warrior? Discussions link to mental health, strength, courage, resilience & what it means to be warrior. Lesson 2 - Work (Growth Mindset & basic neuroscience) Lesson 3 - Appreciate (Gratitude practice) Lesson 4 - Risk-hunting (Fight, Flight, Freeze & confidence-building techniques) Lesson 5 - Resilience (including the Iceberg Illusion) Lesson 6 - Investment in Kindness Lesson 7 - Observe (B.E.S.T Mindfulness - Breath, Emotions, Senses, Thoughts) Lesson 8 - Responsibility (Rights & Responibilities) Lesson 9 - Creative activities to consolidate Lessons are differentiated via questions and extention tasks wherever possible and are all easily adaptable. Lessons are designed in a way that staff can pick up and use and there are worksheets/students booklet provided wherever needed. Extra guidance is given in the notes section of the powerpoint to support effective delivery. Lessons are planned with the latest PSHE Association and DfE guidance for PSHE in mind. Jo Steer is a former Primary/Secondary teacher, trained in Mindfulness, YogaKidz, CBT essentials & Forest School practice. She is a TES Wellbeing Columnist & works in schools delivering bespoke wellbeing workshops and upgraded PSHE. See www.skillswithfrills.com to learn more!
Examples of good and bad persuasion - Teachers need chocolate!
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Examples of good and bad persuasion - Teachers need chocolate!

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After many struggles in teaching persuasion and marking ‘persuasive’ writing, I developed this essay based on the need for teachers to have a free chocolate…all the time! The bad example is based on the mistakes that the kids were making. The good example highlights sentence openers etc. that they can use… I’ve used this examples with students at KS2 and KS3 - Modelling the poor example seems to really improve the quality of writing before we even begin.
Back to School 2020: PSHE w/ Mindfulness
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Back to School 2020: PSHE w/ Mindfulness

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2+ hours of teaching content for PSHE with a focus on student wellbeing and mental health upon returning to school in 2020. Developed by a children’s PSHE/mindfulness teacher, resources and techniques are tried and tested, making for a calming start back after a difficult year. This would make for a fantastic welcome back PSHE morning, setting a precedent for the kind of emotional intelligence and regulation that you hope to foster within the classroom. The topics and activities are key to any kind of recovery curriculum you’re hoping to put in place. The Session runs as follows: We tune into the present moment through a Breathing Space mindfulness meditation. Digging deeper, we consider the feelings/emotions that we have experienced recently and today, trying out Dr. Dan Siegel’s ‘name it to tame it’ method. We consider the ups and downs of happiness overall and specifically in 2020, completing our own happiness chart. Working in groups, we brainstorm strategies to boost our moods. In pairs, we take part in a cutting and sticking task based on the circle of control and deciding what we can and cannot control right now. We try an individual and team Gratitude Bomb, with a focus on 2020. Finally, we reflect on our learning/mindset. Activities are designed so that staff can pick up and use, with guidance provided to support delivery in the notes section of the powerpoint. Resources for various activities are also provided. These activities are well-suited to KS2 or KS3, with extension tasks throughout and tips as to how to use with younger children. Jo Steer is a former Primary/Secondary teacher, trained in Mindfulness, YogaKidz, CBT essentials & Forest School practice. She is a TES Wellbeing Columnist & works in schools delivering bespoke wellbeing workshops and upgraded PSHE. See www.skillswithfrills.com to learn more!
3D shapes in the real world - quick maths starter or plenary
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3D shapes in the real world - quick maths starter or plenary

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This is a powerpoint showing different pictures of 3D shapes around the world (toblerones and pyramids etc.) Great for a starter or plenary on shapes - ask kids to write down names of shapes on wipeboards to support AFL. I’ve used this with lower ability/SEND maths classes in year 6, as well as with year 9 SEND pupils. Suitable for KS1 and KS2 as well as LA mathematicians at KS3.
Slow Writing Cards for KS2/KS3/SEND students - Slow Writing = Solid Progress
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Slow Writing Cards for KS2/KS3/SEND students - Slow Writing = Solid Progress

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These slow writing prompt cards provide your KS2/KS3 writers with an opportunity to be independent, whilst also using a scaffolded approach. Children can shuffle and select from the 16 cards before including this in their writing, leading to a much more structured piece of work. Examples are included with each card to support understanding. I’ve used these cards with a range of different topics and I’ve had a lot of success with this approach, particularly with struggling writers, SEND students, and those who just generally lack confidence in their own skills and techniques. Slow Writing does take time and patience, but what students lack in speed, they more than make up for in the quality and progress of writing. See my blog from a while ago discussing successes with the Slow Writing approach and SEND students - https://wordpress.com/post/skillswithfrills.com/1340
Ancient Greeks Unit - Create a museum exhibit - KS2
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Ancient Greeks Unit - Create a museum exhibit - KS2

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Unit plan for an Ancient Greeks topic, in which we challenged pupils to create their own museum exhibit based on Ancient Greeks. This was a big undertaking, but we pulled it off and the children in all classes were incredibly motivated and engaged. They worked tirelessly to create resources for the opening of the museum exhibit - parents and staff were very proud of the end results!
Pancake day - team memory game lesson - Active learning
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Pancake day - team memory game lesson - Active learning

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I cut up this worksheet into sections and blue tack it at points around the classroom. I then split the class into the same number of teams. Each team must send one envoy to learn as many facts about that question as they can and then report back to their team, who complete the team question sheet (last page.) Envoys are disqualified if they go more than once. A great, fast paced lesson and pupils are often so competitive that they completely forget they are learning! Builds on team skills, speaking and listening too! I go through the information at the end and award points per key piece of information. Winner gets housepoints/prize.
Belief Unit - RE - KS2
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Belief Unit - RE - KS2

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This is a year 6 unit based on Belief - What is it? What’s the difference between belief and fact? Why/who believes? Do beliefs change? and so on. There&‘s a couple of resources that aren&’;t on here thought bubbles: I just write in class on paper. World Religions various beliefs to sort and answer sheet (this is on TES: author - missjulieclark) It’s a good juicy PSHE/SEAL topic - lots of interesting discussion to be had. Easily adapted for KS3 students to use in RE lessons or PSHE.
A Journey through Time and Space - Teamwork Lesson & Resources - Cosmic Calendar
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A Journey through Time and Space - Teamwork Lesson & Resources - Cosmic Calendar

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This is a fantastic lesson that I’ve used many times as part of a skill-based curriculum. The topic here is ‘Time’ and this lesson takes students on a journey through time and space, through the ‘Cosmic Calendar’. This topic and the clips included are super engaging and thought-provoking. I’ve had some brilliant lessons following this structure (including tricky classes!) The lesson begins with a clip and brief discussion, relating to how we (the average person) spends our time - e.g. 1 of every 5 minutes on social media. Eeeeek! Students are then given questions for the quiz ahead and have a few moments to look at this as a team - the idea is that they work together to note down and recall specific pieces of information… but I don’t tell them this! We then watch a clip - link included - of Neil DeGrasse Tyson presenting ‘The Cosmic Calendar’ as students jot down notes. Following this, there’s the quiz which they answer in teams. We then peer assess answers, before uncovering how the winning teams managed to remember the info (this is where we discuss team strategies!) After a little discussion - lots of opportunities for SMSC - we have an independent sketching plenary which allows students to demonstrate understanding of this complex concept at its base level. I’ve taught this lesson as a single hour with year 7 students, but I’ve also extended it as a teamwork project in two or three lessons, with students presenting their own alternative version of the Cosmic Calendar. It’s easy to differentiate as low down as year 5 students and as high as year 11, with only a few tweaks! Whether your goal is to learn about Science, Time and Space; to build up note-taking skills in Literacy; or to work on teamwork/retention skills, this lesson is an engaging way of doing them all.
SEN - Autism sheet - draw your feelings
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SEN - Autism sheet - draw your feelings

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I used this with particular autistic children that struggle to explain in words what they are feeling and why they are feeling this way - e.g. after an argument on the playground. They can write down what happened and you can give them house points as an incentive for telling you how they feel.
Big Write Recount Task with Planning frame - Imaginary school trip
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Big Write Recount Task with Planning frame - Imaginary school trip

(1)
Big write task based on writing recounts, and giving pupils options to choose from, all relating to an imaginary school trip which they’re asked to recall. Planning frame for bullet points before they begin (I usually give 10 minutes for this.) A quick, engaging topic, for any kind of independent writing. Suitable for KS2 students. Works as a baseline assessment or as an end of unit test, to see how students’ writing skills have developed independently.
Harry Potter Diary Task - Dragons - Great for SEND and LA pupils
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Harry Potter Diary Task - Dragons - Great for SEND and LA pupils

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I used this with my SEND group who were in year 8, but working at KS1/2 level. We watched a clip from Youtube (Just search: Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire: Hungarian Horntail Task.) Then we worked in pairs to put the pictures in order at first, and then match the correct sentence below and stick this in. One higher ability pair had to change their sentences as an extra challenge. This became the plan of our Harry Potter diary - we were completing a topic about Dragons - so students had all the events and information, and only needed to transform this into a diary style. This topic is suitable for KS2 and KS3 pupils and is easily adapted for different ages, abilities and needs. It’s very simple just to take out the sentences either in part or altogether and ask students to create their own from scratch.
Behaviour & Consequences sheet - BESD, Autism, general poor behaviour - Detention
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Behaviour & Consequences sheet - BESD, Autism, general poor behaviour - Detention

(3)
A behaviour and consequences flow chart that you can use after an event with pupils to discuss what they did and what they could have done. I find this useful in that it encourages SEND pupils, including children with Autism, a logical approach to explaining an emotional reaction. I allow children to draw their answers if they’re not comfortable in writing them. I have used this in detention so that pupils are at least thinking about why they’re suffering consequences - because of their own choices.
Transition Teamwork P.M.I Presentation Project Lesson - New class team project
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Transition Teamwork P.M.I Presentation Project Lesson - New class team project

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This is a lesson that I created for all year 7 teachers upon our first meeting with students - it’s a great project to try out with KS2 or KS3 pupils. It will help you to really see who they are, how they think, what their team skills and confidence are like, across different subjects. In a nutshell: there’s a mix of speaking and listening tasks, amidst the introduction of P.M.I (plus, minus and interesting.) At the beginning of the lesson, we model a task, via the example: ‘what if money grew up on trees?’ - Pupils have to really consider the realistic positive, negative and interesting outcomes. This isn’t so much about getting the ‘right’ answers (though one laptop or ipad per group will certainly help with research), but more about engaging students in thought-provoking, curiosity-based discussion. The P.M.I topics here bring up some really interesting ideas and debate, whilst students develop their teamwork, research and presentation skills too. Included here is: ppt. slides for the full lesson, slides to hand out to groups (different scenarios for each group), a blank P.M.I grid to support note-taking and group research/ideas, an assessment grid to judge presentations and a full walkthrough of the lesson.
'Monsters Inc' character description writing - sentence and word types
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'Monsters Inc' character description writing - sentence and word types

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I created this as a homework sheet for SEND pupils in secondary, who were working at KS1/2 level. We had been working on different sentence types and adjectives/adverbs, so this allowed them to put this into practise and gave them examples also so they had a really clear structure to follow. As this group had issues with retaining information and skills, I also made the home learning helper sheet, just to provide more scaffolding. This could be used with lower ability/SEND pupils in KS3 or pupils at KS1/2. It can be used as home learning task, as a lesson, or as a scaffolded assessment at the end a unit incorporating these skills.
XBox PS4 'Ark' Creative Writing Task: Engage Boys in Writing
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XBox PS4 'Ark' Creative Writing Task: Engage Boys in Writing

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A creative writing task, based on the XBox/Playstation game, Ark: Evolution. I've found this is a great task for KS2 students, though it's definitely suitable for KS3 English also. Great for inspiring those uninspired students (especially boys) by bringing their love of gaming into literacy lessons. See my blog - link at the bottom - for more details as to how I've used this in the past. https://skillswithfrills.com/2018/02/07/teaching-students-with-an-xbox-imagination-bring-the-game-to-them/