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Lawford Mead Primary and Nursery School
We are problem solvers.
In the KS2 assembly today we talked about being independent problem solvers .
We watched this video about an amazing, problem solving crow…
I asked the children what they do when they are stuck on a challenge in class. It is OK to ask an adult or your partner for help but neither of those solutions really help us become independent , confident problem solvers.
Children told me they…
- look back at the Lesson Objective and Steps to Success
- look back at the screen, flipchart or whiteboard
- look at the Working Wall
- look at and use the resources at their tables
- just persevere and try again a different way
I thought these were great answers. Can you leave a comment below with any other top tips or an example of a time you were stuck and what helped you then?
2 comments on “ We Are Problem Solvers! ”
Redwood decided that we enjoy asking our lead learners to supports us because they prompt us without giving us the answers!
it can be quite hard to solve problems..
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- School Assemblies
- Resolving Conflict
School Assembly on Resolving Conflict - KS1 & KS2
Download a school assembly on resolving conflict.
The pack includes a power point slideshow which helps children deal with falling out and making up and resolving conflict. The slides go through different strategies for solving problems and arguments which children then use to resolve examples of squabbles they would be familiar with. This unit also includes a short narration of the six blind men and the elephant who get into a big quarrel about what an elephant actually looks like because each one touches a different part of the elephant. They were all right in their own way. The moral of the story is that rather than arguing like the blind men, we should say, "Maybe you have your reasons." This way we don’t get in arguments.
Key Stage: Key Stage 2 but can be adapted for Key Stage 1
Number of children: Suitable for class, key stage or whole school
Duration: 20 minutes
Word & PowerPoint for immediate download
Resolving Conflict School Assembly - Sample
Here are some sample slides from the Powerpoint presentation:
Six Blind Men and an Elephant - Extract
Once there lived six blind men in a village. One day they happened to pass an elephant. As they had been blind all their life, they had no idea what an elephant looked like. They all decided to feel it so that they could have an idea. All of them went to where the elephant stood and touched to see what it was like. "The elephant is really much like a pillar!" announced the first blind man who had touched the elephant's leg. "No! Don't be silly! You are wrong! Can you not see that it is obviously a rope! Look feel it! It's definitely a rope, silly old fool!" shouted the second blind man who had touched the elephant's tail.
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Download this 16-slide PowerPoint to use in a primary assembly with children to focus on solving problems. A fantastic KS1 and KS2 collective worship resource which poses questions to consider. Download this colourful PowerPoint to use in a KS1 or KS2 assembly to help children understand how to solve problems.
What's in the Package
Exercise for Life
Working Together – Bundle of Sticks
Taking Control – Anti Bullying
Break Friends – Make Friends
Friendship – PowerPoint and Rubric
Learning About Co-operation
Going for Your Goal
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KS2 Maths (Problem Solving)
Age range: 7-11
Resource type: Worksheet/Activity
16 January 2019
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These topic-focused SATs questions at the end of a unit will help to test and extend students’ understanding as well as helping them to prepare for SATs next year. These questions have fully-worked solutions which can be displayed on a whiteboard making feedback with students more efficient. Click 👉 tes.com/…/KS2-Maths-Questions… for similar-style compilations on the other KS2 topics. <hr> This particular compilation is mainly from the ALGEBRA strand and contains questions which require students us problem solving techniques . In the solutions, I have often used algebraic notation to show how an answer has been obtained, but most of the solutions actually use logic rather than formal algebraic methods. <hr> I have designed this compilation to be printed as an A4 or A5 booklet which is in the style of the actual SATs papers and is convenient for use in class or as homework. It can even be given to individual students if a parent is asking for ‘some more work’!
- I have provided full answers, with comments and working where helpful.
- I have maintained the style of the actual SATs questions so that students can become comfortable with the way that SATs questions are presented.
- Most of the questions are from actual SATs papers, but I have also added questions so that this resource matches the requirements the current curriculum better than the older resources that are still in common use (note that many of the older resources of this type contain questions on topics which are no longer examined).
- I have spent a lot of time arranging the questions so that there is a general increase in difficulty as students work through them, and so that they fit on the pages better – this means less wasted space and significant paper-saving when printing 😃 <hr> 👍If you like this resource, then please rate it and/or leave a comment💬. If the rate-resource button on this page doesn’t work, then go to your ratings page by clicking 👉 www.tes.com/…/rate-resources…
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Very helpful. Thank you for sharing. :)
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Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into all of your resources - so helpful.
Absolutely fabulous, exactly what I needed to help my son at home now. Thank you sooo much!!
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Pack 1 Goals Behaviour Responsibility Learning Teamwork Being a good friend Falling out and making up Being calm Telling the truth Being brave Values Good to be me Trying your best Solving problems Bullying Resilience Health The Environment Helping Others Being Fair
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Inspirational People Winston Churchill Code Breakers Albert Einstein Ellen MacArthur Mahatma Gandhi Jamie Oliver Malala Yousafzai Nicola Adams One Red Paperclip Rosa Parks
This assembly looks at -
What stops us from getting to where we want to be?
How can we deal with all those self made excuses that deter us?
What skills do we need to learn to oversome these limiters?
Some people may have no idea of what they want to do in the long term We look at how for these peope tackling the short term procrastination can be useful.
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A selection of resources containing a wide range of open-ended tasks, practical tasks, investigations and real life problems, to support investigative work and problem solving in primary mathematics.
Problem Solving in Primary Maths - the Session
Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Teachers TV
In this programme shows a group of four upper Key Stage Two children working on a challenging problem; looking at the interior and exterior angles of polygons and how they relate to the number of sides. The problem requires the children to listen to each other and to work together co-operatively. The two boys and two girls are closely observed as they consider how to tackle the problem, make mistakes, get stuck and arrive at the "eureka" moment. They organise the data they collect and are then able to spot patterns and relate them to the original problem to find a formula to work out the exterior angle of any polygon. At the end of the session the children report back to Mark, explaining how they arrived at the solution, an important part of the problem solving process.
In a second video two maths experts discuss some of the challenges of teaching problem solving. This includes how and at what stage to introduce problem solving strategies and the appropriate moment to intervene when children find tasks difficult. They also discuss how problem solving in the curriculum also helps to develop life skills.
Cards for Cubes: Problem Solving Activities for Young Children
Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Claire Publications
This book provides a series of problem solving activities involving cubes. The tasks start simply and progress to more complicated activities so could be used for different ages within Key Stages One and Two depending on ability. The first task is a challenge to create a camel with 50 cubes that doesn't fall over. Different characters are introduced throughout the book and challenges set to create various animals, monsters and structures using different numbers of cubes. Problems are set to incorporate different areas of mathematical problem solving they are: using maths, number, algebra and measure.
Problem solving with EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two children
Quality Assured Category: Computing Publisher: Department for Education
These three resources, from the National Strategies, focus on solving problems.
Logic problems and puzzles identifies the strategies children may use and the learning approaches teachers can plan to teach problem solving. There are two lessons for each age group.
Finding all possibilities focuses on one particular strategy, finding all possibilities. Other resources that would enhance the problem solving process are listed, these include practical apparatus, the use of ICT and in particular Interactive Teaching Programs .
Finding rules and describing patterns focuses on problems that fall into the category 'patterns and relationships'. There are seven activities across the year groups. Each activity includes objectives, learning outcomes, resources, vocabulary and prior knowledge required. Each lesson is structured with a main teaching activity, drawing together and a plenary, including probing questions.
Primary mathematics classroom resources
Quality Assured Collection Category: Mathematics Publisher: Association of Teachers of Mathematics
This selection of 5 resources is a mixture of problem-solving tasks, open-ended tasks, games and puzzles designed to develop students' understanding and application of mathematics.
Thinking for Ourselves: These activities, from the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) publication 'Thinking for Ourselves’, provide a variety of contexts in which students are encouraged to think for themselves. Activity 1: In the bag – More or less requires students to record how many more or less cubes in total...
8 Days a Week: The resource consists of eight questions, one for each day of the week and one extra. The questions explore odd numbers, sequences, prime numbers, fractions, multiplication and division.
Number Picnic: The problems make ideal starter activities
Matchstick Problems: Contains two activities concentrating upon the process of counting and spotting patterns. Uses id eas about the properties of number and the use of knowledge and reasoning to work out the rules.
Colours: Use logic, thinking skills and organisational skills to decide which information is useful and which is irrelevant in order to find the solution.
GAIM Activities: Practical Problems
Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Nelson Thornes
Designed for secondary learners, but could also be used to enrich the learning of upper primary children, looking for a challenge. These are open-ended tasks encourage children to apply and develop mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding and to integrate these in order to make decisions and draw conclusions.
*Every Second Counts - Using transport timetables, maps and knowledge of speeds to plan a route leading as far away from school as possible in one hour.
*Beach Guest House - Booking guests into appropriate rooms in a hotel.
*Cemetery Maths - Collecting relevant data from a visit to a local graveyard or a cemetery for testing a hypothesis.
*Design a Table - Involving diagrams, measurements, scale.
Go Further with Investigations
Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Collins Educational
A collection of 40 investigations designed for use with the whole class or smaller groups. It is aimed at upper KS2 but some activities may be adapted for use with more able children in lower KS2. It covers different curriculum areas of mathematics.
The forty student investigations in this book are non-sequential and focus mainly on the mathematical topics of addition, subtraction, number, shape and colour patterns, and money.
The apparatus required for each investigation is given on the student sheets and generally include items such as dice, counters, number cards and rods. The sheets are written using as few words as possible in order to enable students to begin working with the minimum of reading.
NRICH Primary Activities
Explore the NRICH primary tasks which aim to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. Lots of whole class open ended investigations and problem solving tasks. These tasks really get children thinking!
Mathematical reasoning: activities for developing thinking skills
Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: SMILE
Problem Solving 2
Reasoning about numbers, with challenges and simplifications.
Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Department for Education
Assembly: Problem Solving
This assembly supports learners to understand key concepts related to the early steps of Problem Solving. It starts by defining the skill and considering key themes, before identifying the skill in action. The themes are explored through three simple exercises, followed by a chance to reflect on their own skills.
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Maths Problem Solving At KS2: Strategies and Resources For Primary School Teachers
Maths problem solving KS2 is crucial to succeeding in national assessments. If your Key Stage 2 pupils are still struggling with reasoning and problem solving in Maths, here are some problem solving strategies to try with your classes; all aligned to Ofsted’s suggested primary school teaching strategies.
Reasoning and problem solving are widely understood to be one of the most important activities in school mathematics. As far back as 1982, The Cockcroft Report , stated:
‘The ability to solve problems is at the heart of mathematics. Mathematics is only “useful” to the extent to which it can be applied to a particular situation and it is the ability to apply mathematics to a variety of situations to which we give the name “problem solving”. […] At each stage […] the teacher needs to help pupils to understand how to apply the concepts and skills which are being learned and how to make use of them to solve problems. These problems should relate both to the application of mathematics to everyday situations within the pupils’ experience, and also to situations which are unfamiliar.’
Thirty plus years later and problem solving is still the beating heart of the Maths curriculum and – along with fluency and reasoning – completes the triad of aims in the 2014 New National Curriculum.
Ofsted’s view on problem solving in the Maths curriculum
Despite its centrality, Ofsted report that ‘ problem solving is not emphasised enough in the Maths curriculum ’. Not surprisingly, problem solving isn’t taught that well either because teachers can lack confidence, or they tend to rely on a smaller range of tried and tested strategies they feel comfortable with but which may not always ‘hit home’. If you’re looking to provide further support to those learners who haven’t yet mastered problem solving, you probably need a range of different strategies, depending on both the problem being attempted and the aptitude of the pupil.
We’ve therefore created a free KS2 resource aimed at Maths Coordinators and KS2 teachers that teaches you when and how to use 9 key problem solving techniques: The Ultimate Guide to Problem Solving Techniques
The context around KS2 problem solving
According to Jane Jones, former HMI and National Lead for Mathematics, in her presentation at the Jurassic Maths Hub:
- Problems do not have to be set in real-life contexts, beware pseudo contexts.
- Providing a range of puzzles and other problems helps pupils to reason strategically to approach problems, sequence unfolding solutions, and use recording to help their mathematical thinking for next steps.
- It is particularly important that teachers and TAs stress reasoning, rather than just checking whether the final answer is correct.
- Pupils of all ability need to learn how to solve problems – not just the high attainers or fastest workers.
The Ultimate Guide to Problem Solving Techniques
9 ready-to-go problem solving techniques with accompanying tasks to get KS2 reasoning independently
How to approach KS2 maths problems
So what do we do? Well Ofsted advice is pretty clear on what to do when teaching problem solving. Jane Jones says we should:
- Set problems as part of learning in all topics for all pupils.
- Vary the ways in which you pose problems.
- Try to resist prompting pupils too soon and focusing on getting ‘the answer’ – pupils need to build their confidence, skills and resilience in solving problems, so that they can apply them naturally in other situations.
- Make sure you discuss alternative approaches with pupils to help develop their reasoning.
- Ensure that problems for high attainers involve demanding reasoning and problem-solving skills, not just harder numbers.
Perhaps more than most topics in Maths, teaching pupils how to approach problem solving questions effectively requires a systematic approach. Pupils can face any number of multi-step word problems throughout their SATs and they will face them without our help. To truly give pupils the tools they need to approach problem solving in Maths we must ingrain techniques for approaching problems.
With this in mind, below are some methods and techniques for you to consider when teaching problem solving in your KS2 Maths lessons. For greater detail and details on how to teach this methods, download the Ultimate Guide to Problem Solving Techniques
Models for approaching KS2 problem solving
Becoming self-assured and capable as a problem solver is an intricate business that requires a range of skills and experience. Children need something to follow. They can’t just pluck a plan of attack out of thin air which is why models of problem solving are important especially when made memorable. They help establish a pattern within pupils so that, when they see a problem, they feel confident in taking the steps towards solving it.
Find out how we encourage children to approach problem solving independently in our blog: 20 Maths Strategies KS2 That Guarantee Progress for All Pupils.
The most commonly used model is that of George Polya (1973), who proposed 4 stages in problem solving, namely:
- Understand the problem
- Devise a strategy for solving it
- Carry out the strategy
- Check the result
Many models have followed the Polya model and use acronyms to make the stages stick. Which model you use can depend on the age of the children you are teaching and sometimes the types of word problems they are trying to solve. Below are several examples of Polya model acronyms:
C – Circle the question words U – Underline key words B – Box any key numbers E – Evaluate (what steps do I take?) S – Solve and check (does my answer make sense and how can I double check?)
R – Read the problem correctly. I – Identify the relevant information. D – Determine the operation and unit for expressing the answer. E – Enter the correct numbers and calculate
I – Identify the problem D – Define the problem E – Examine the options A – Act on a plan L – Look at the consequences
R – Read and record the problem I – Illustrate your thinking with pictures, models, number lines etc C – Compute, calculate and check E – Explain your thinking
R – Read the question and underline the important bits U – Understand: think about what to do and write the number sentences you will need C – Choose how you will work it out S – Solve the problem A – Answer C – Check
Q – Question – read it carefully U – Understand – underline or circle key elements A – Approximate – think about the size of your answer C – Calculate K – Know if the answer is sensible or not
T – Think about the problem and ponder E – Explore and get to the root of the problem A – Act by selecting a strategy R – Reassess and scrutinise and evaluate the efficiency of the method
The idea behind these problem solving models is the same: to give children a structure and to build an internal monitor so they have a business-like way of working through a problem. You can choose which is most appropriate for the age group and ability of the children you are teaching.
The model you choose is less important than knowing that pupils can draw upon a model to follow, ensuring they approach problems in a systematic and meaningful way. A far simpler model – that we use in the Ultimate Guide to KS2 Problem Solving Techniques – is UCR: Understand the problem, Communicate and Reflect.
You then need to give pupils lots of opportunities to practice this! You can find lots of FREE White Rose Maths aligned maths resources, problem solving activities and printable worksheets for KS1 and KS2 pupils in the Third Space Learning Maths Hub .
You might also be interested in:
- 25 Fun Maths Problems For KS2 And KS3 (From Easy To Very Hard!)
- 30 Problem Solving Maths Questions And Answers For GCSE
- Why SSDD Problems Are Such An Effective Tool To Teach Problem Solving At KS3 & KS4
What’s included in the guide?
After reading the Ultimate Guide to KS2 Problem Solving Techniques , we guarantee you will have a new problem solving technique to test out in class tomorrow. It provides question prompts and activities to try out, and shows you step by step how to teach these 9 techniques
- Open ended problem solving
- Using logical reasoning
Drawing a diagram
Drawing a table
Creating an organised list
Looking for a pattern
Acting it out
Guessing and checking
Cognitive Activation: getting KS2 pupils in the lightbulb zone
If you need more persuasion, pupils who use strategies that inspire them to think more deeply about maths problems are linked with higher Maths achievement. In 2015 The National Education Research Foundation (NFER) published ‘ PISA in Practice: Cognitive Activation in Maths ’. This shrewd report has largely slipped under the Maths radar but it offers considerable food for thought regarding what we can do as teachers to help mathematical literacy and boost higher mathematical achievement.
Cognitive Activation isn’t anything mysterious; just teaching problem solving strategies that pupils can think about and call upon when confronted by a Maths problem they are trying to solve. Cognitive It encourages us as teachers to develop problems that can be solved in more than one way and ‘may require different solutions in different contexts’. For this to work, exposing children to challenging content and encouraging a culture of exploratory talk is key. As is:
- Giving pupils maths problem solving questions that require them to think for an extended time.
- Asking pupils to use their own procedures for solving complex problems.
- Creating a learning community where pupils are able to make mistakes.
- Asking pupils to explain how they solved a problem and why they choose that method.
- Presenting pupils with problems in different contexts and ask them to apply what they have learned to new contexts.
- Giving pupils problems with no immediately obvious method of solution or multiple solutions.
- Encouraging pupils to reflect on problems.
Sparking cognitive activation is the same as sparking a fire – once it is lit it can burn on its own. It does, however, require time, structure, and the use of several techniques for approaching problem solving. Techniques, such as open-ended problem solving, are usually learned by example so we advise you create several models to go through with pupils, as well as challenge questions for independent work. Many examples exist and we encourage you to explore more (e.g. analysing and investigating, creating a tree diagram, and using simpler numbers).
- How to develop maths reasoning skills in KS2 pupils
- FREE CPD PowerPoint: Reasoning Problem Solving & Planning for Depth
- KS3 Maths Problem Solving
That time, effort, and planning will – however – be well spent. Equipping pupils with the tools to solve problems they have never seen before is more akin to teaching for life than teaching for Maths. The skills they gain from being taught problem solving successfully will be skills they use and hone for the rest of their life – not just for their SATs.
For a range of problem solving techniques, complete with explanations, contextual uses, example problems and challenge questions – don’t forget to download our free Ultimate Guide to KS2 problem solving and reasoning techniques resource here.
KS2 problem Solving FAQs
Here are some techniques to teach problem solving to primary school pupils: Open ended problem solving Using logical reasoning Working backwards Drawing a diagram Drawing a table Creating an organised list Looking for a pattern Acting it out Guessing and checking
Ofsted say that teachers can encourage problem-solving by: Setting problems as part of learning in all topics for all pupils. Varying the ways in which you pose problems. Trying to resist prompting pupils too soon and focusing on getting ‘the answer’ – pupils need to build their confidence, skills and resilience in solving problems, so that they can apply them naturally in other situations. Making sure you discuss alternative approaches with pupils to help develop their reasoning. Ensuring that problems for high attainers involve demanding reasoning and problem-solving skills, not just harder numbers.
Do you have pupils who need extra support in maths? Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of pupils across hundreds of schools with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons and maths interventions designed to plug gaps and boost progress. Since 2013 we’ve helped over 150,000 primary and secondary school pupils become more confident, able mathematicians. Learn more or request a personalised quote for your school to speak to us about your school’s needs and how we can help.
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FREE Guide to Maths Mastery
All you need to know to successfully implement a mastery approach to mathematics in your primary school, at whatever stage of your journey.
Ideal for running staff meetings on mastery or sense checking your own approach to mastery.
A Stormy Problem
How do we get through problems?
by Alexandra Palmer
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider how the weather can be used as a metaphor for how we feel and the problems that we face.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly ( A Stormy Problem ) and the means to display them.
- Optional: you may also wish to use the extension activity ( A Stormy Problem - Extension Activity ) that accompanies this assembly.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Peter walks on water’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 2.20 minutes long and is available at: https://youtu.be/oVy9HGr3Qig
- Show Slide 1. Ask the children, ‘What problems do these storms cause?’ Pause to allow time for the children to discuss their ideas and then listen to a range of responses. - The dangerous winds of the hurricane (upper-left image) cause trees and property to be damaged. - In a thunderstorm (upper-right image), lightning damages trees and can cause fires if the wood is dry. - A sandstorm (lower-left image) makes it very hard to see. Sand gets in people’s eyes and mouths, making it difficult to breathe too. - In a snowstorm (lower-right image), icy roads make it difficult to drive or walk.
- Ask the children, ‘Does anyone know what a metaphor is?’ The answer is that a metaphor is a word or phrase that is used to describe something as if it were something else. Show Slide 2. Explain that we could use a storm as a metaphor for how we feel sometimes. Ask the children how they would describe feeling in a storm. Pause to allow time for the children to discuss their ideas and then listen to a range of responses. Explain that feeling like we are in a storm can be a creative way to explain our emotions when we feel like things are going wrong or we don’t know what to do. If we expand the storm metaphor to weather, we can consider how the weather changes like our emotions change. One day, we might feel sad, like the rain dripping down a window. However, the following day, our circumstances may have changed and we might feel happy, like glorious sunshine .
- Tell the children that you are going to show them a video about a storm that happens in the Bible. One of Jesus’ miracles happens when the disciples are feeling scared on the water because they think that their boat is going to sink during the storm. Show the YouTube video ‘Peter walks on water’ (2.20 minutes long).
- Ask the following questions about the video. You may wish to ask the children to discuss their answers with a partner or in a small group. - Why do you think Jesus sent the disciples across the lake? (Possible answer: so that Jesus could be by himself, go into the hills and pray.) - Why were the disciples terrified when they saw Jesus walking on water? (Possible answer: they thought that Jesus was a ghost.) - Why did Peter get out of the boat? (Possible answers: because he trusted Jesus, or to test whether it really was Jesus walking on water.) - Why did Peter start to sink? (Possible answers: because he felt the strong wind and waves, and became terrified, or because he took his eyes off Jesus.) - How did Jesus save Peter? (Answer: by catching hold of him and helping him back into the boat.)
- Explain that most stories involve some sort of problem that can be described as a storm. Ask the children whether they can think of any examples. Listen to a range of responses. Show Slide 3. Explain that most stories have a problem (a storm), but every storm (problem) has a purpose. In the story that we just heard, the problem was an actual storm, but the purpose was to teach the disciples to have faith and courage .
- Show Slide 4. There can be positive problems as well as negative ones. For example, a positive problem could involve trying to decide between two ideas for a birthday party or two places to go and play. Whatever we decide, the result is positive. Sometimes, problems can have both positive and negative outcomes. Take Covid, a negative problem that made lots of people ill, kept us away from school and limited our freedom. In years to come, historians will write about what we had to do, what happened in our schools and how we had to stay at home. But there were some positive outcomes from the Covid pandemic too. Due to how Covid was treated, doctors and scientists were able to find new ways to deliver vaccines and treat other illnesses like cancer. Another positive outcome is that many people came to appreciate the importance of talking about mental health .
- Mental health is just as important as physical health. When we talk about our mental health, we’re explaining how we are feeling in our head. There are many words that we might use to describe how we feel. Optional: you may wish to ask children for examples before you show the slide. Show Slide 5. Read out the words on the slide: happy, excited, grateful, angry, relaxed, content, tired, stressed, unsure, bored, anxious and sad .
- Show Slide 6. Ask the children, ‘What should we do if we experience a stormy problem?’ Pause to allow time for the children to discuss their ideas and then listen to a range of responses .
- Show Slide 7. Sometimes, in a storm, the first thing that we need to do is to keep going. If the disciples had stopped rowing, the boat would have capsized in the waves. So, if we can, it’s better not to sink into our problems because this may make our mental health worse .
- Show Slide 8. When things were looking really bad, Jesus’ advice to the disciples was to take courage. Having a positive mindset during a problem can make it easier to solve. Negative thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this’, ‘This is stupid’ and ‘I’m going to give up’ strongly influence the actions that we will take .
- Show Slide 9. In the Bible story, Peter stepped out of the boat so that he could walk to Jesus. When we have a stormy problem, even though it may seem scary, we need to find ways to have courage and take a step out, even though we may not want to. Ask the children, ‘What does taking a step into our problem mean?’ Pause to allow time for the children to discuss their ideas and then listen to a range of responses .
- Show Slide 10. Stepping into our problem can mean asking for help. Sometimes, when we’re having negative thoughts like ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I’m not good enough’, it can be really hard to ask for help. However, asking for help is probably the most important step to take when solving a stormy problem .
- Show Slide 11. Sometimes, our problems can be resolved quickly, but at other times, it might take a bit longer. The main thing to do when sorting out a problem is to stay calm because that will make it easier. It can be quite hard to do this, especially if we’re upset with someone. Sometimes, counting to ten in our head before we speak can help us to stay calm in a sudden storm .
Time for reflection
Show Slide 12.
Ask the children to look at the top picture on the slide and think back to the start of the video. Explain that just before the storm, Jesus had carried out an amazing miracle where he had fed 5,000 people with a handful of loaves and fishes. Following the storm, when the disciples were on the other side of the lake, they saw Jesus carry out further miracles by healing the sick.
The storm was sandwiched between two miracles, but the disciples didn’t know that. They just needed to get to the other side of their problem.
When we experience problems in life, we don’t know what’s on the other side, but we need to get through the storm to discover what’s there. There could be something really amazing waiting for us. When we’ve resolved our problem, we will have the knowledge and wisdom to know how to handle our next problem, which will help to develop our mental health.
Remind the children about the systems that are in place for them to talk to people about any problems that they might be facing.
Prayer Dear God, Thank you for the story of the disciples in the storm, and the lessons that we can learn from it. Please help us to talk about our mental health. When we face problems, please help us to know that we can ask someone to help us. Please help us in life’s storms. Please give us people to help us on our way. Amen.
‘My lighthouse’ by Rend Collective, available at: https://youtu.be/lFBZJGSgyVQ (3.43 minutes long)
- Give each child a copy of the sheet that accompanies this assembly ( A Stormy Problem - Extension Activity ). Ask them to focus on the process of dealing with a problem by designing their own emoji for each step.