Creating a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment

A guide to supporting your students as they discuss sensitive or challenging content.

Group of adults learning in a safe learning environment
Teacher briefing

This guidance and activity document will help you create a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment. Use it when exploring the topics and concepts in our teaching resources with children and young people.

This guidance introduces essential advice on:

  • how to manage sensitive or challenging content
  • answering questions safely and appropriately
  • creating opportunities for open discussion
  • using distancing and constructive feedback techniques
  • creating a group agreement with pupils.

Resource overview

  1. Guidance: Managing sensitive or challenging content
    How to consider learners’ backgrounds and experience and provide signposting for support or guidance.
  2. Guidance: Answering questions safely and appropriately; creating opportunities for open discussion
    Tips on how to manage complex or challenging questions.
  3. Guidance: Using distancing techniques as part of some learning activities
    Support pupils to consciously distance themselves from the learning before and after stepping into character for role-plays.
  4. Activity: Feedback technique  two stars and a wish
    A suggested structure for learners to provide feedback on each other’s role-plays and presentations.
  5. Activity: Creating a group agreement
    A class activity to develop ground rules that create the basis of a safe learning environment to support more open discussion.

This guidance was written by the British Red Cross with the support of the PSHE association. Updated in February 2022.