Young carer

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A sensitive lesson that provides an opportunity for students to empathise with young carers and the problems they face. Students will understand how to access professional health and advice and personal support with confidence.

This lesson uses sign language as a problem solving starter activity.

Lesson objectives

By the end of the lesson, ALL students will learn: That there may be times when individuals have to deal with challenging personal circumstances and will need to access professional health advice and support.

By the end of the lesson, MOST students should learn: That there may be times when individuals have to deal with challenging personal circumstances and will need to know how to access professional health advice and support, they empathise with a young carer's situation.

By the end of the lesson, SOME students could learn: To critically analyse the professional health advice and support available to individuals with challenging personal circumstances and empathise with a young carer's situation.

Activities for the lesson

Equipment required: ICT Internet / projector, Whiteboard, Printed handouts

Lesson starter: Translate


Students are to work in pairs, one student is given a key word and both students are given Handout 1 - British Sign Language.

The partner with the key word has to use the sign language to communicate the word to the other partner.

Once completed, teacher to write the keywords on the board and ask class to identify the topic.

  • Keywords
  • Disability
  • Relationships
  • Dependence
  • Epilepsy
  • Support group
  • Coping strategy
  • Responsibility
  • Family

Instead on handing it out, the sign language could be projected onto the whiteboard.

Teacher Input

Whole class

Teacher to introduce the topic of Young Carers to the class and to empathise with students who may have to undertake this role.

(Teacher may need to be aware and sensitive to students in the class who are young carers)

Teacher to define a Young Carer as someone under 18 who helps or cares for a family member who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

Who provides for your everyday needs?


Students to use Handout 2 - Who provides for your everyday needs? to identify who provides for their everyday needs and how they are provided.

In her shoes


Ask students to imagine what a young carer would have to do on a daily basis, list duties and responsibilities on a sheet of paper.

Video clip

Whole class

Students to watch the video at the top of this page.

How does she feel?


Students to complete and to complete Handout 3 - How does she feel? after watching the video.

The reality


Working in groups, teacher to distribute Handout 4 - The reality comment strips and Handout 5 - Young Carers Charter to each group and students are to link the reality to the points on the charter.


Whole class

Teacher to receive feedback on The Reality and Charter activity and to highlight salient points from the discussion.

Help for carers

Whole class

Discuss the need for young carers accessing professional help and how they could do it.

Writing a diary


Students to write a diary entry imagining the role of a Young Carer and empathising with the range of emotions he/she would experience.



Students to volunteer to read out their diary entries of a Young Carer.

Written comments


Teachers can use Handout 6 - Comment sheet to collect written comments from the students.

Icon key

Icon Key

Key skills and learning skills

  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • ICT
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Improving own performance
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Exploring meaning
  • Reflection
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills

AFL strategies

  • Sharing learning objectives
  • Use of questioning
  • Effective feedback
  • Modelling
  • Pupil self assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • Ongoing assessment
  • Adjusting teaching/reviewing
  • Plenary


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