Session 1:

Preparing for the Choices programme

Session overview

This introductory session introduces an approach that builds throughout the programme. It emphasises a shared learning and collaborative exploration of the themes and topics to enable pupils to reach an informed consensus and 'own' the programme's outcomes.

In preparing young people for this process, it's vital to explore the language they need to successfully navigate the activities. Understanding terminology about choice and identity is integral, and pupils will encounter new language as they work through each session. Pupils will also agree upon a set of ground rules or charter, similarly vital in ensuring they can reflect and learn in a safe, inclusive and tolerant environment.

A. Session aims & objectives

  • Collaboratively create, debate and agree 'ground rules to be used during the Choices programme

  • Understand key vocabulary and terminology used

B. Learning outcomes

  • I can explain what words such as 'identity', 'ethnicity' and 'characteristic' mean

  • I can work collaboratively with classmates to create agreed ground rules

C. Terminology introduced

Example definitions of key terminology are included but, wherever possible, pupils should be encouraged to develop their own agreed descriptions of the words used.

IDENTITY: Who a person is; the qualities that make them similar to and different from others; the things that make us unique.

CHARACTERISTIC: A feature or quality belonging to a particular person, place or thing that identifies them.

ETHNICITY: A category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as language, society, culture traditions or religion.

VALUES: The principles or standards of behaviour that individuals or groups believe to be important.

BELIEF: An acceptance that something exists, or is true.

ASPIRATION: A hope or ambition of achieving something.

D. Resources required

Session checklist

Pupils handheld devices (eg iPads, Chromebooks)

❏ Resource Sheets:

1a: Terminology

1b: Terminology definitions

1c: Images of Kwan & Samira

❏ Slide pack for Session One:

1. Session title

2. Identity

3. Definition of Identity

4. Characteristic

5. Definition of 'characteristic'

6. Ethnicity

7. Definition of 'ethnicity'

8. Values

9. Definition of 'values'

10. Belief

11. Definition of 'belief'

12. Aspiration

13. Definition of 'aspiration'

E. Assessment opportunities

The plenary offers an opportunity for pupils to provide feedback on one thing they have learned during today’s session.

Starter activity: Introducing the programme

The session should prepare pupils to work more collaboratively and introduce critical topics, words, or phrases.


We will start by thinking about choices we have previously made.

Working with a partner, think about when you made a good or bad choice.


  • What was the choice?

  • Was it good or bad? Why?

  • What things led to that choice or influenced your decision?

Pupils should spend 2 minutes talking about their choices in pairs and then the teacher should invite some pupils to share these with the whole class.


We all make many choices, and we don't always get them right, which is ok. This is what we will explore in detail during the Choices programme.

The resources that we create together today will be used in a class display (where possible) to refer to as we move through the sessions.

Introduce the Learning Outcomes

Teaching Tip

This session will provide useful skills that can be used throughout the programme as other new words are introduced.

Activity one: Establishing negotiated ground rules

Ground rules are an essential element of any session where potentially sensitive issues are covered. They help to minimise inappropriate and unintended disclosures and comments of a negative nature made towards other pupils, whether intentional or not. They are also an opportunity in for pupils to discuss and listen to different opinions, finding ways to compromise and collaborate.

To be effective, pupils and teachers need to develop ground rules together and then 'test' them in discussion and group activities while being prepared to amend them as necessary. There is no 'ideal' for the number of ground rules, but you should ensure that there are not so many that the rules themselves become ineffective. Maintaining a 'positive slant' on the ground rules is also essential. Too many 'No...' or 'Don't...' type rules can be negatively perceived. Finally, ground rules are most potent when they come from pupils themselves.


Over the coming weeks, we will look at some complex issues. We may have different opinions to one another, and that's fine. It's therefore vital that we agree on how we'll discuss these subjects positively while being respectful of each other. These will be our 'ground rules'.


  • What things are essential when discussing complicated or controversial topics?

  • What 'rules' or 'agreements' would help us overcome any issues?

Reach a consensus on what rules are essential and ensure pupils know how they help create a 'safe space' in which to have these discussions and express their views. Write these rules on the whiteboard or a flip-chart for reference during this and future sessions.

Here are some examples to help (adapt the language to suit the needs of your pupils):

  • Avoid personal questions

  • Respect what people say

  • Listen to others carefully

  • Have the right to ‘pass’ if you do not wish to comment or answer

  • Confidentiality (you will need to explain this in the context of your safeguarding practice and procedures)

  • Try not to act on assumptions we have about each other

  • Have regard to equal opportunities issues

  • Offer feedback constructively and respectfully – even if you disagree with an opinion, respect someone’s right to theirs

  • No personal attacks or put-downs

  • Meanings of words will be explained in a sensible and factual way

  • Take responsibility for our own feelings and learning

  • It is ok not to understand something – asking questions is how we learn from each other

NB: The agreed ground rules should be referred to at the beginning of each session within the recap or lesson intro, along with any previous session recap. Should the group decide, the ground rules may be added to or altered if some aren't working or more are required for a specific topic. This process is crucial in ensuring that pupils benefit from the programme.

Teaching Tip

Ground rules can be linked to existing class or school rules.

Activity two: Understanding the language of the programme

It's vital for pupils to feel connected to the terms and ideas they'll explore. Creating their own definitions/explanations of vocabulary that will be used provides an opportunity to develop age- and cohort- appropriate' versions of key terminology. Pupils will work in small groups to research the terms before sharing their findings with the rest of the group. These definitions will then be displayed in class for pupils to reference as needed. This simultaneously introduces a simple 'research methodology', and pupils should be encouraged to consider a range of sources rather than accept single definitions or opinions. This is particularly important for a generation that research suggests is often more accepting of singularly sourced ideas (particularly when these are found on the internet).


The programme uses words that might be new to some of us. We will need to agree on definitions to have a common meaning. To help us do that, we will look at some of these new words now. Working in small groups, we will research each word, coming up with our own explanation of what it means. Each group will work on different words and then share these with the class.

Hand out Resource Sheet 1a

In small groups, pupils should discuss and research one word per group, using Resource Sheet 1a: Terminology to record their own definitions of:

• Ethnicity

• Characteristic

• Identity

• Values

• Belief

• Aspiration

Encourage pupils to go beyond merely looking at dictionary definitions by finding words in contextual settings.

NB: Teachers to ensure that appropriate sources of reference are used and to talk about the importance of ‘corroborating’ information by looking at more than one source, where possible.

Hand out Resource Sheet 1b if pupils need help

Groups to share the agreed definitions with the class. Teachers should ensure that all pupils understand each definition. These should then be recorded and kept for pupils to refer to in subsequent sessions. Ideally, this should form part of a class display. Other terminology and work can be added as it builds throughout the programme.

Teaching Tip

Pre-prepared definitions are included in the accompanying and subsequent slide packs to be shown if there isn't always time for pupils to research every new word. Therefore, if you need some prompts to help pupils, use accompanying slides 2-13 for this activity.

Activity three: Exploring our understanding

Pupils will now deepen their understanding of the terms they have researched by applying them more practically. This involves showing pupils characters from the story and speculating on the type of people they think they might be, just from their images. This is a precursor to a future activity about stereotypes explored later in the programme.


We will now look at images of two characters, Samira and Kwan, from Marcus' story.

Hand out Resource Sheet 1c


Two of the characters from the story – Samira and Kwan (they do not notably feature in the story and are not main characters).


Based on what we see and our newly developed understanding of the terms from the previous activity, what can you tell about them?

Encourage pupils to think about the words we have just researched e.g. ethnicity, values, characteristics, beliefs, etc.

If they have formed opinions, how have they done this? If not, why not.

The teacher should lead a short group discussion about each character and what factors we can or can't identify about them. Ensure that the terminology introduced in today's session is used, applied and understood.


Pupils should be encouraged to reflect on what they have learned.



  • What have we learned today?

Working with those on their table, pupils should complete the following sentence: "One new thing I have learned today is..."

The teacher should then select a few responses to share with the class, reflecting on the stated learning outcomes to ensure pupils are adequately prepared for future themes within the programme. In particular, use this opportunity to test pupils' depth of understanding of the new terminology that has been introduced.

Delivery resources

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 1 Checklist.pdf

Delivery checklist

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 1 Resource Sheet(s).pdf

Resource sheet(s)

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 1 Slides (PDF version).pdf

Slides (PDF)

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 1 Slides (PowerPoint version).pptx

Slides (PowerPoint)