Session 8:

Me in the world (part three)

Session overview

Building on the idea that we transmit a particular image of ourselves to the world, session eight will consider a specific area of threat or risk:

  1. Examining an example of behaviour from within the peer networks of your pupils (e.g. how they choose to treat each other) or

  2. Examining more generic threats from the wider world (e.g. predatory behaviour that can put us at risk from things such as CSE, radicalisation, gangs, etc.)

The session aims to explore the critical components of such risk (e.g. how such scenarios might come about, the sequence of possible events that lead to being influenced or 'groomed' and the potential outcome/consequence). Examining these components will highlight how other young people can be lured by negative influences to help pupils consider and take a proactive approach to keep themselves safe.

A. Session aims & objectives

  • Understand that, despite previous experiences, we all have the power to make different choices

  • Develop a basic understanding of ideologies used by extreme groups (e.g. Daesh and the far right)

  • Understand how pupils can keep themselves safe against negative influences

B. Learning outcomes

  • I am aware of extreme beliefs, how they are used to influence people, and how they differ from British Values

  • I know how to be more resilient to negative influences

C. Terminology introduced

Example definitions of key terminology are included but, wherever possible, use pupils' own agreed descriptions as per previous sessions.

IDEOLOGY: A set of beliefs about how society should work.

EXTREMISM: Having beliefs that most people think are unreasonable and unacceptable.

EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY: A set of beliefs about how society should work that most people find unacceptable.

RADICALISATION: A process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations that reject or undermine the ideas of most people and expressions of freedom of choice.

TERRORISM: Using violence to create fear (often for political, religious or ideological aims).

D. Resources required

Pupils handheld devices (eg iPads, Chromebooks)

❏ Checklist for Session Eight

❏ Resource Sheet: 8a: Discussion guide

❏ Slide pack for Session Eight:

  1. Session title

  2. Marcus’ decision — Potential outcomes

  3. Basic human needs

  4. Ideology

  5. Definition of ‘ideology’

  6. Extremist ideology

  7. Definition of ‘extremist ideology’

  8. Terrorism

  9. Definition of ‘terrorism’

  10. Radicalisation

  11. Definition of ‘radicalisation’

  12. Spotting the signs

E. Assesment opportunities

The plenary offers an opportunity to test pupils' learning around the ideas of Fundamental British Values and Children's Rights and how these support them in building greater resilience.

Starter activity: Session seven recap

At this point in the programme, it's helpful to begin preparing pupils for the potentially complex and emotive discussions that will take place (for example, during Activity 2). Therefore, both the starter and the plenary provide valuable opportunities to 'check in' with how pupils feel.

Recap and review ground rules as a class.

Discuss any rules created that worked well, together with any that didn't work – do they need to change?

Make amendments if required. Either way, ensure that pupils understand why we have ground rules and why these are essential.


Up until this point, we've focused on:

  • how our behaviours and actions can be used by others

  • how the way we communicate can identify us to them

  • how our needs can lead us to make decisions that ordinarily we wouldn't have chosen

We'll look at the potential outcomes of allowing this to happen during this activity, considering Marcus' situation and the possible consequences of his actions. Then we'll look at specific examples of groups that might try to influence or prey upon us to help us understand where particular choices can lead.

Introduce Learning Outcomes for this session.

ASK: (open question to pupils by teacher):

  • How does everybody feel about today's session and what we have learned so far?

Pupils should indicate how they feel with a simple gesture such as thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs in the middle. You may wish to reassure anyone feeling uncomfortable by referring back to the ground rules and explaining that we will debate and challenge ideas, not each other. The purpose of this is to inform our thinking, which may require us to respectfully and appropriately disagree with each other. This is a vital part of any healthy debate.

Activity one: Marcus in the world

Linking back to the earlier sessions, this activity builds on the idea of the basic needs that drive us and how these may create a conflict with doing what we consider to be the right thing. Pupils will bring together this knowledge and apply it to Marcus's situation right at the end of the story.


Pupils should work in pairs and discuss the potential outcomes of Marcus's situation.

Look back at the last page from the story where Marcus' friends want him to join them in breaking into Old Man Baker's flat.


Slide 2: Marcus' decision — Potential outcomes

  • They get caught

  • They get away with it

  • The old man catches them:

    • he might be terrified

    • he might feel sorry for Marcus and persuade him to take a different path

Pupils should be asked to imagine what might drive Marcus' thoughts and choices.

ASK: (open question to pupils by teacher):

  • What needs might be driving Marcus' choices at this point?

  • Which ones might be more important to Marcus than to the others

Pupils should think back to the basic human needs:

  • to belong

  • to have power

  • to survive

  • to be free to choose

  • to enjoy life for its own sake


Marcus' strongest driver at this point might be his need to survive this situation. However, he still has the power to make a positive or negative choice, and the right choice might not necessarily be the obvious one.

POSITIVE CHOICE - helping the old man

  • thinking about the human rights of the old man,

  • recognising that he is much more vulnerable than Marcus and therefore putting the old man's survival need before his own by telling him or someone else, or

  • persuading his friends not to go through with what they are planning.

NEGATIVE CHOICE - leave them to it and do nothing

  • removing himself from the situation and putting his own survival need first but neglecting the old man.

Marcus is perhaps acting out of a need to belong and/or the sense of power this situation gives him. All of this has previously led him to make negative decisions. Now Marcus may also have to balance his need to be free and enjoy life, both of which could be under threat.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that Marcus' needs have placed him in this situation. Marcus has been influenced, which has led to him potentially making a negative choice. This could result in harm to others.

Activity two: Understanding extreme behaviour

In this activity, pupils are asked to explore terms and concepts, focusing on just one example of individuals or groups that prey upon others. In this case, they'll consider extremist and terrorist behaviours. They'll use the understanding gained from Marcus' experiences to help them 'frame' how young people can sometimes become vulnerable to other forms of grooming/influence.

Helping young people understand and work through such issues enables them to construct what might be described as an 'alternative narrative', simply a different perspective to the one being offered. In this context, the term refers to directly or indirectly challenging extremist propaganda both on and offline. The ability to construct such an alternative narrative inevitably requires some understanding of the motivation driving the person or group trying to influence them.

As this can be a sensitive subject, care should be taken in delivering these messages. The use of ground rules is, therefore, beneficial here.


Doing harm to others is sometimes seen as a legitimate way to act. In some ways, the boys in the story felt that breaking into the old man's flat (and therefore ignoring how this might affect him) was fine.

Some groups operating in societies, both in the UK and elsewhere worldwide, promote violence and direct action against other groups or individuals. This is because they believe such action will get them what they want. They often exploit others (particularly young people) to support or carry out these acts for them.


  • What do you think the following terms mean? (Help pupils by talking through the definitions given on Slides 4 - 11).

    • ideology

    • extremist ideology

    • terrorism

    • radicalisation


Research from a wide variety of organisations shows that the exact needs that led Marcus to the situation at the old man's flat are also used to drive, influence or 'groom' individuals to take part in seriously harmful behaviour and even acts of terrorism. The youngest person convicted of terrorism offences in the UK was just fourteen when first arrested.


  • Are you aware of any organisations that commit acts of terror in the UK or worldwide? (Note responses to ascertain levels of knowledge).

Let's now look at the beliefs and ideas of some of these organisations.

Teacher to lead a class/small group discussion on some of these extreme groups and their ideologies (see Resource Sheet 8a: A discussion guide for an exploration of key ideas from the following groups):

  • National action: A neo-Nazi, British nationalist youth organisation deemed a terrorist entity by the government of the UK. The group is secretive and has rules to prevent members from talking openly about the organisation.

  • DAESH - the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS): A group that believes in an extreme set of ideas that promote religious violence. They claim to have religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.

Introduce a few of the discussion points from the guide if they do not come up during the discussion. Base this around the following questions.

Teaching Tip
You may wish to review any relevant school policies around the Prevent agenda before delivering this session.


  • What do you think of this idea?

  • Do you agree/disagree with it, and why?

  • What do our British values and Children's Rights say about these ideas?

In small groups/tables, allow pupils to reflect on these questions. Come back together as a class and take feedback on each question, if time allows.

Activity three: Spotting the signs

This activity seeks to simplify and explain some of the risk factors that vulnerable people demonstrate when being 'groomed', especially regarding extremist or radical views and behaviours. It's essential to explain to pupils that it does not automatically mean someone has been 'radicalised' just because they have witnessed these behaviours. However, the prevalence of these warning signs can indicate increased risk, and pupils should equally be aware of this to help protect themselves and others.


Pupils need to understand that numerous studies have concluded that anyone from any background, religion, community or country can become vulnerable to or involved in acts of terror. There is no single dominant profile or 'type' of person that is susceptible.

In studies of those who have become involved, the only common factors found are that these men and women are ordinary people from all different walks of life and different levels of education, with few or no previous criminal convictions. Often, no one who knew these people suspected them of being involved or even capable of becoming involved in acts of terror. They hid their views and actions from their families, neighbours and friends.

More and more research is being done to understand why people (particularly young people) are being drawn into this kind of behaviour.


  • What are the possible warning signs that someone may be becoming radicalised or being drawn into terrorism?


Slide 12: Signs that someone might be becoming influenced

Start by talking about some of the possible warning signs listed on the slide, including:

  • secrecy

  • associating with new social groups/stop mixing with old ones

  • becoming withdrawn

  • changes in attitudes/beliefs

  • comments that seem out of character, including on social media sites

  • changes in clothing/appearance

Stress that sometimes these things are also just signs of someone growing up, forming themselves and becoming an adult, but it's essential to be aware and talk to someone if you have concerns about anyone.


Review terminology, any new language and key learning introduced today.

'Check in' with pupils, ensuring that they are ok and comfortable with the content from the session.


We've seen the potential impact of negative influence, both for Marcus and in terms of acts of terror.


  • What have we learned that can help ensure we don't get drawn into negative behaviours and, in extreme cases, terrorism?

Pupils should think of one positive thing they could do to make themselves more resilient to negative behaviours (e.g. try to live by British values, promote and protect the rights of others, especially children, etc.).

Briefly poll the class to compile a list of pupils' ideas.


  • What actions will we take to help keep ourselves and others safe and never experience these kinds of consequences?

Delivery resources

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 8 Checklist.pdf

Delivery checklist

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 8 Resource Sheet(s).pdf

Resource sheet(s)

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 8 Slides (PDF version).pdf

Slides (PDF)

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 8 Slides (PowerPoint version).pptx

Slides (PowerPoint)