Lesson 2: People around me: Good friends

Reflecting on the qualities that make a good friend in preparation to create a set of instructions for building positive friendships.

Learning objective

  • To understand how to form and maintain positive relationships

National curriculum

All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.

The PSHE Association Programme of Study recommends pupils are taught:

  • R11. what constitutes a positive healthy friendship (e.g. mutual respect, trust, truthfulness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, sharing interests and experiences, support with problems and difficulties); that the same principles apply to online friendships as to face-to-face relationships
  • R17. that friendships have ups and downs; strategies to resolve disputes and reconcile differences positively and safely
  • R30. that personal behaviour can affect other people; to recognise and model respectful behaviour online

Success criteria

  • I understand what makes a good friend
  • I know why friends are important
  • I can set myself a friendship-themed goal

Cross-curricular links

  • Nothing relevant to this lesson

Before the lesson


  • Teacher video: People around me
Teacher Video: People around me

Have ready

  • The ‘Woody pushes Buzz out of the window’ clip from Toy story which can be found on DVD or the official Disney channel


  • Activity: How to build a friend (see Classroom resources) – one per pupil
Activity: How to build a friend
icon download

Attention grabber

Show the children the ‘Woody pushes Buzz out of the window’ clip from ‘Toy Story’. The scene is of Woody feeling jealous of Buzz. Ask the children to use their ‘choose your destiny’ skills from the previous lesson to consider different courses of action and their outcomes before deciding upon the best one to take.

Key questions

  • How does Woody feel?
  • What might he like to do?

Main event

Ask the children the following questions:

  • Why do you like having friends? (They are someone to have fun with/talk to when you have a problem or are feeling down/share the news with).
  • How do they make you feel? (Cared for, understood, like you belong, happy).
  • How does a friend do this? (Listening to you, playing with you, talking to you, seeing what you are feeling, doing things to make you feel happy).

Tell the children that they will write instructions for ‘How to build a friend’, which will contain all the qualities of a good friend and explain why these are important and how they can make you feel.

Their instructions should include illustrations and a ‘You will need’ list detailing all the attributes of a great friend.

Pupils can use the  Activity: How to build a friend worksheet as a scaffold or be more creative in the layout and presentation of their work. Remind the children to consider their instructional writing skills, including adverbs and imperative verbs.

Extension activity – children can practise performing their instructions as a ‘how to’ video, which they can perform to the rest of the class.


Pupils needing extra support: Might need to use the Activity: How to build a friend worksheet as a scaffold.

Pupils working at greater depth: Should complete the extension activity mentioned in the main event.

Wrapping up

Ask children:

  • Which of these friendship skills are you best at?
  • What skills do you need help with?
  • Who do you know that is really good at this skill?
  • How could you develop this skill?

Then ask them to set themselves a small achievable goal that involves improving a particular ‘friend skill’.

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding

Pupils with secure understanding indicated by: Describing what qualities a good friend should have and recognising which of these they have and which they could develop.

Pupils working at greater depth indicated by: Describing and performing a set of instructions on how to create a friend. Explaining what qualities a good friend should have and why and recognising which of these qualities they currently possess and which they should develop. They should be able to set themselves a goal on how to achieve this.


  • Positive friendship

  • Friends

Created by:
Elaine Bousfield,  
Wellbeing specialist
Elaine worked for many years as a therapist with young people. She is the founder and chair of XenZone and its children and young people’s counselling service, kooth.com. Kooth delivers an online counselling and therapy service. It is also an online community…
Find out more
save content as pdf file
save content as word file