University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Variety is the spice of life

Variety is the spice of life

Key Points

This strategy is to support the toolkit student to identify potential friends and scaffold them to spend time with those peers

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children may struggle to keep friends, and others may not want to play with them. They may stick to one or two people as well. This strategy ensures that all children in the class work with one another and mix, to give more social opportunities and inclusion for everyone

  • This strategy is about identifying peers of the student you are using the toolkit with, who they can interact with more or spend more time with
  • It is important to support students to make new connections and friendships, especially if they are not able to do this successfully themselves
  • Use the planning form to identify who the toolkit student currently spends most time with, in and outside of your class
  • Work with the student to identify other peers that they want to get to know better, or don’t know at all, as well as those they do not get on with (use the peer connections template). This could be done as a class activity
  • Look at the completed templates and identify some peers that the toolkit student could be supported to spend more time with
  • Using the intentions template, note down some ideas as to when and how you could enable this for the student (for example, putting them together to complete some work, or working in a new small group)
  • Assess how this is going after four or five attempts of new peer networks using the reflection template
  • Talk to your students and colleagues about how it’s going and get their ideas on what you could do more of, or do differently