Developing friendships

This film was recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Starting secondary school brings lots of opportunities to make new friends. However, it can be stressful starting conversations with new people all the time and trying to make friends as quickly as possible.

The animations below are set in the fictional Phoenix Academy for superhumans, where four super-powered students look at how to develop friendships, from that very first conversation to making up when friendships wobble.

How to start a conversation

Yona, Sanj, Millie and Fin talk about how they approached talking to new people when they first started secondary school. From the importance of making the first move to talking about things you have in common and paying their fellow classmates a compliment.


  • Make your goal just to say “hello”
  • Ask questions
  • Start with something easy – like classes you share, movies, music, or sports
  • Compliments are great too, even simples ones like “I like your bag”

Quick Friends / Slow Friends

The group look back to their first week of secondary school and how their old friends from primary school didn’t make the transition with them. Sanj talks about how it felt daunting at first, which made him rush to try and make new friends, rather than take his time.


  • Be patient and persistent
  • Stay open to new friendships
  • Share your interests and hobbies
  • It’s okay to spend time with new people – it doesn’t mean you like your friends any less!

When Friendships Wobble

Fin and Sanj recall the time they planned a school show together, which caused them to fall out. Looking back, they remember not taking the time to calm down and arguing via text but how confiding in Yona and Millie helped them become friends again.


  • Practice calming down – try noticing five things near you right this second
  • Talk with your friends for advice (not just to blame the other person)
  • Try to understand their point of view
  • Give them time if they need it
Being yourself and talking about difference
Making new friends
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