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Conflict resolution

Session 2

Theme: Theme 1: Learning to be together - Social skills and empathy
Topics: Conflict resolution
Overall learning outcomes:  
Session number: 2
Year group: 7
Learning outcomes:  
Group specific outcomes:  
Resources description:
  • Two sheets of flipchart paper. One entitled ‘Escalating Responses’ and the other entitled 'Diffusing Responses'.
  • Pens/felt-tip pens.
  • Action Plans
Warm up/starter:

The Rainbow

The students are asked to sit in the circle and the teacher names them around the circle using the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The teacher then calls out one to two different colours. The students representing these colours are required to change places. When the teacher calls out ‘RAINBOW’ all the students are required to change places.

Core activity:

The students can be asked to consider a time when they felt particularly angry and may make reference to the anger diary completed the previous week. They are asked to consider which responses are the ones likely to make a situation worse ie escalate it and those which are likely to diffuse a situation ie calm people down and help to resolve the tricky and difficult conflict.

It may be useful to make use of the flipchart paper in order to initially thought-storm diffusing and escalating responses. These might include the following: sulking, understanding, shaking hands, shouting, acting assertively, involving a third person, writing a letter, joking, hitting, running away, getting up, pointing or blaming, apologising, talking it over.

The students can add in their own ideas as to escalating or diffusing responses and these can be recorded on the flipchart paper provided. It may be helpful to ask one student to act as a scribe for the group with the teacher ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to contribute ideas.

Finally the students can discuss any similarities or differences in the way that they have thought about these responses. Which ones would they use and why in order to achieve a better outcome for themselves in these difficult situations in the future?

Follow Up Activity

The students can consider a recent conflict that they have been involved with or are currently involved with that they now wish to resolve. In order to support this process they can record all the different diffusing responses that they can make. These can be written down in the form of an action plan which can then be shared with the group during the next session ie how well did this go? Did it work? If not, how can we make this more productive next time.

The headings for the Action Plans might read as follows;

  • The conflict
  • Who is involved?
  • Diffusing responses I could make
  • What I did
  • How well it went
  • What I could do differently next time in order to make it more productive.
Applying learning:  
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