Playlist teacher guide - Friendships, challenges & changes

Playlist information

Playlist summary

This playlist revises the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model that is used as a framework for decision making. Students will explore the changes to their peer groups especially around the transition to high school. Students will also consider the importance of support networks, the strength of their current support network and ways to maintain their relationships.

Playlist purpose

The content of the playlist supports students to:

  • use the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model
  • manage changes to friendship groups
  • identify their support networks and community resources to support their health, safety and wellbeing
  • recognise characteristics of respectful and disrespectful relationships.

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Learning objectives

  • Understand the factors that influence decision making in relationships.
  • Identify the characteristics of positive and negative peer relationships and how to manage them effectively.
  • Develop the skills and self-confidence to be comfortable with who they are and where they belong in the world.

Key messages

  • There are a range of internal and external influences on our choices that we need to recognise to make ethical choices.
  • If your peer group’s behaviours don’t align to your own there are ways to end or move on from those relationships.
  • We need to respect ourselves and others if we are going to be able to establish positive and quality relationships.

Year level(s) appropriate for

Year 5, Year 6

Australian curriculum links

Practise skills to establish and manage relationships.

Media items

Feel, Think, Act, Reflect – Years 5-6

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: These slides introduce (or recap) each step of the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model.

Teacher notes:

The Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model for Foundation to Year 6 provides an overarching framework for decision making used across the four stages of learning. The model provides a consistent structure for exploring the understanding and skills required to establish and maintain respectful relationships.

Students would not be expected to reflect/regulate as a situation is occurring. Teaching the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model through the use of scenarios and reflecting on situations will provide opportunity for students to practise using the framework for decision making. Through practise and guidance, students will be able to use the model as a guide when they approach real life situations, and have greater capacity to reflect on their actions and the actions of others.

The model for Foundation to Year 6 includes the following four steps:


In order to react and act respectfully to a situation it is important for students to understand their emotions and how they are feeling. Taking time to understand how they feel about a particular situation can help them make good decisions and respond in a way that is respectful of themselves and others around them.

When students apply the feel section of the model, they are thinking about how they are feeling. What is my body feeling? Where am I feeling it and what is the emotion associated with that feeling? What does this feeling tell me?

When students re-apply the feel section after they have acted on a decision, they are thinking about how they feel about the outcome of the decision. What am I feeling? How do I know? This cycle then creates a reflective process.


Before taking any action or saying anything in a situation it is important for students to think about themselves and about others. When thinking about themselves students need to be clear about exactly what they are hoping to achieve in the situation. When thinking about others, students need to explore how they might be feeling and why they may have acted in a particular way. Collecting this information is a key part of deciding how they will react.

When students apply the Think section of the model, they are thinking about what they want, how others might be feeling and what others might be wanting. What do I want? How do I think others will feel about that? What might other people want?

When students re-apply the Think section, they are assessing how other people felt about the decision they made. How did it affect other people? What were they feeling and how do I know? Students will also reassess their own needs and, if so, continue with the Feel, Think, Act model.


Once students have worked out how they feel about the situation and they have thought about the feelings and motivations of the other people involved in the situation, then they are ready to act themselves. It is important to ensure that when they respond that they act respectfully, and they don’t escalate the situation with their behaviour.

When students apply the Act section of the model, they are making a choice as to how to behave and then testing the decision. What am I going to do? Let’s do it.

When students re-apply the Act section, they are making a choice based on previous consequences of their behaviour. Will I do the same thing again? Will I do things differently if this happens again? Do I need to do anything at all? If so, what will I do? Let’s do it.


When this model is applied as a cyclic model it provides an opportunity to reflect on the choice that was made, to explore how students and others felt about their decision and the consequences of that decision before taking any further action.

When students have acted on their decision, or reacted impulsively, they need to think about their actions, how they, and others, felt about it and the consequences of that choice. To do this, students go back to the top of the model and use each step again. They think about how everyone might be feeling and what they might have been thinking. This might mean students have to make a different choice to act.


Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model. 

Possible inquiry question: How can I demonstrate empathy, respect and inclusion when interacting with others?  

Slide 1: Visual of model 

Explain to students that they will be using the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model to help them make choices and use behaviours that are respectful to themselves and others.  

Have students work in groups and suggest what each step of the model involves. 

Slide 2: Feel  

What am I feeling? 

To be respectful in a situation it is important to understand your feelings. When you know how you feel it can help you make better choices and do and say things in a way that is respectful of yourself and others around you. Ask yourself what am I feeling? What do these feelings tell me? You can also try to think about why you are feeling that way, although sometimes you might not know why. 

Slide 3: Think  

What do I want?  

How do others feel and why?  

What do others want?  

What can I do? 

Before doing or saying anything in a situation it is important to think about yourself and about others. You should think about:  

  • exactly what it is you want. 

  • how other people might be feeling and why they might have acted the way they did.  

  • the choices you could make.  

This is important in helping you decided how to act. 

Slide 4: Act  

Make a choice and act on it. 

When you have thought about how everyone is feeling and what everyone is thinking then you are ready to act yourself. Choose the action that you think will work best for everyone and do it. It is important to remember to behave respectfully when you respond and that you don’t make the situation worse with your behaviour. 

Slide 5: Reflect  

How is everyone feeling and what are they thinking after my actions? 

When you have acted on your decision you need to think about the choice you made, how you and others felt about it and the consequences of that choice. To help you do this you can go back to the top of the model and use each step again. You think about how everyone is feeling and what they were thinking. This might mean you have to make a different choice to act. 


Additional activities:

Provide a scenario to students or watch a short film/clip where there is conflict between friends. Have students use the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model to identify each step within the scenario or film chosen.


Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: As we get older the way we feel and behave changes. The situations we find ourselves in change too. This slideshow looks at changes to friendship groups, some reasons for these changes, and things that can help you with this.

Teacher notes:

The transition from primary to high school brings many changes to a student’s life, including their peer group. This change can be overwhelming, frightening or exciting for students as they anticipate the move to high school. Through this topic students will consider the possibility of changes to their peer group and the strength of their current support network. They will explore the differences between respectful and disrespectful relationships and identify ways of managing these to keep themselves and others happy and safe.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): managing changes to our friendship groups.

Possibly inquiry question: how will changes to friendship groups affect my health, safety and wellbeing?

Slide 1: Time brings changes

As we get older the way we feel, think, act and reflect within different situations changes. The situations we may find challenging are changing too.

Slide 2: Then and now

As a young student first starting school we may have found it difficult to share our toys but as a young person heading towards high school our challenges become more complex. Relationships, especially with our peers, become much more important and what others think can have a bigger impact on the decisions  and choices we make.

Slide 3: With the right skills we can…

With the right skills we can

  • develop healthy relationships
  • maintain a strong support network
  • become a positive influence on others
  • stand up for what we believe in
  • seek help when needed, and
  • be a voice for others that aren’t able to or ready to use their own voice.

Slide 4: Changes to friendship groups

At the end of primary school, we have often formed strong friendships with our peers. These peers form part of our support network.

Around this age people often begin to grow and change and because of this you may find that some relationships change. This means that sometimes the people in our support networks will change.

Slide 5: Some reasons for friendship changes

Some of the reasons for possible changes in our friendships include:

  • Changing schools/going to High School
  • Moving a long way away
  • Not treating each other respectfully
  • Not trusting a person any longer
  • Common interests have changed
  • Unresolved conflicts.

Slide 6: Coping with change

These changes can occur to or within ourselves or it could be our friends that have been affected by these changes and you may find you are no longer part of someone’s friendship group, not always by choice.

Changes to our support network can sometimes be challenging and you may not know how to manage the changes in your friendship group. It can hurt to lose a friend, whether it is by choice or not, and it can feel much worse if it is a group of friends.

Slide 7: What can help?

It may help to look at who is in your support network, how to grow a strong, healthy support network and how to maintain it.


  • Ask students to offer experiences they’ve had with changing friendships and how that felt.
  • Discuss with a partner the ways you manage your feelings when there are changes to your friendships.
  • Share ideas in groups and as a group suggest some help-seeking strategies.

Friends Forever?

Type: Video.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: AMAZE Org. ()

Summary: What if your best friend starts to lose interest in the things you like? Are they still a friend? This film looks at exactly that situation and some ways to talk about your feelings together in a way that’s respectful.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Is it okay for one friend to stop hanging out with another friend even if they still like each other and get along well? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.Sometimes, depends on the reason
    3. c.No
    Discussion points:

    As we grow older our interests change and it can mean that we don’t have as much in common with our friends. It doesn’t mean we don’t like our friends, just that there are other people we can share our interests with.

    Further discussion:

    • If you want to hang out with new friends more, should you tell your old friends or just stop hanging out with them?
    • If a friend stopped wanting to hang out with you as much, what would you do?

Support networks

Type: Page.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Our support networks are made up of the people around us that we feel connected to, who have similar interests, who we trust and feel comfortable talking to. This page looks at identifying and maintaining support networks, and how to be a good person within one.

Teacher notes:

Support networks are built up with people that we have respectful relationships with. These people have a strong influence on our choices and also provide examples of positive relationships. By identifying who fits in our support network we are also identifying who doesn't. Questioning why someone might not be part of a support network can help us recognise the difference between positive and negative relationships.

Support network activity

This activity should ensure the privacy rights of students are met. Allow students to draw representations of or give nicknames to people in their network to allow anonymity. Students should not write their names on their support network page and these should be taken home by students to avoid exposure of personal information.


Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): the characteristics of positive and negative relationships.

Possible inquiry question: how do I seek help and advice about my health, safety and wellbeing?

What is a support network?

Read information provided about support networks and what a support network is.

Have students identify their support network by drawing themselves in the middle of a piece of paper or provide students with a template with an image of a person in the middle. Ask students to draw at least 8 lines coming out from their drawing towards the edges of the page. Students identify and draw a representation of at least one person to the questions below. Students can include face-to-face contacts or online contacts.

  • To whom do you find it easiest to talk?
  • Who could you tell if you had stolen something?
  • Who would you talk to about family problems?
  • In front of whom would you prefer to cry?
  • Who would you feel comfortable showing affection to?
  • Who do you think you could talk to about: school, family problems, friendship problems, something really important, your favourite thing?
  • Who could you ask for help if you were hurt or sick?
  • Who else do you trust and feel safe with?
  • Who would you tell if you felt something was wrong with you, but you didn’t know what?
  • Who do you think could help you if you were being bullied?

Ask students to suggest reasons why some people in our lives are recognised in our support network while others are not. Students add a sentence to their support network page identifying why they have chosen the people they have.

How do I keep my old friends?

Type: Image.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: People grow and move apart but that doesn't mean your friendships do! This image contains tips on maintaining friendships, whether it’s due to changing schools, states, or class schedules.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you need to see your friends regularly to stay friends? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.Unsure
    3. c.No
    Discussion points:

    When we find we no longer live in the same area as our friends it can be hard to maintain that friendship. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends. It may take a little extra effort and it won’t always work out, but it is possible. 

    What if you never saw that friend again? Does that mean you aren’t friends anymore? 

Teacher notes:

Maintaining our support network

To develop strong, positive connections with others we need to put in time and effort to maintain our relationships with the people in our support network. To maintain our relationships we can:

  • spend time with the people that are important to us
  • show appreciation and remind people of how important they are to us
  • share our thoughts with others but also listen in return
  • help people in our support network where we can
  • be honest and trustworthy
  • give friends our time, attention and trust.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): strengthening our support networks.

Possibly inquiry question: how does respect and inclusion impact on the people in my support network?

Students work in groups to suggest ways to maintain relationships with people in their support networks. This should include relationships with people students see regularly and those they don’t see regularly or in some cases not at all.

Additional activities:

Students choose someone in their support network and suggest an action to help maintain that relationship. Have students set a goal to achieve that action and a date to complete by. Students can continue through their support network adding people and what they will do to maintain that relationship. For example: Friend: Nova, Action: Spend time with them, Goal: Text and organise to catch up, Complete by: Term 1 school holidays.