PSHE KS2: Ethan - Keep learning

Clinical psychologist Dr Hazel Harrison and adaptive surfer, Ethan, explore why it’s important to keep learning new things.

Ethan has cerebral palsy, a medical condition that affects his movement and coordination. He's also an adaptive surfer and is training to go to the world adaptive championships in California. In this short film Ethan shares his experiences of using a growth mindset to learn new things.

Throughout this series Dr Hazel introduces us to the five steps to wellbeing. In this film she explains what happens in our brains when we keep learning.

We learn about the positive effects that keeping learning can have on our wellbeing, and how having a growth mindset can help us to keep our knowledge, skills and our brain growing.

Teacher Notes

You can keep your brain growing by continuing to learn new skills.

This is called neuroplasticity.

The more you practise something, the stronger the connections in the brain become.

When you learn something new, it can also help to give your wellbeing a boost.

Mastering a new skill can help you to feel motivated and positive.

Before watching the film

Watch the Teacher's guide with Dr Hazel Harrison and Natalie Costa for further support on wellbeing and growth mindset, as well as tips for using these resources.

This explains why the films were made and how they can be used, as well as offering guidance on growth mindset language and ways to integrate this into your daily teaching.

This film is produced with 7-12-year-olds in mind.

However, always make yourself familiar with the content and consider carefully whether it will be appropriate and of use for your class.

Once you are confident it is the right resource for your pupils, watch it through alone and consider how it would work best for you all.

Using the film

This is one of five films about wellbeing and developing a growth mindset.

They can be shown in any order and are designed to encourage children to think about their own wellbeing, and how they can learn to build good habits to support their mental health and develop a positive attitude.

Classroom Ideas

  • Pupils are learning every day at school in the classroom, but what other sorts of learning do they do?

-Encourage pupils to have discussions about what they learn from their hobbies or the activities they do outside school.

  • Explore the idea of neuroplasticity with pupils and explain how the brain changes when they learn new things.

-Encourage them to reflect on skills and abilities they have developed that were hard to begin with.

  • For example, how was it the first time they rode a bike or tried to write their name? What helped them to improve?

  • Ask pupils to write about the things they would like to learn to do but haven’t mastered yet. What are the small steps they can take to keep working towards these goals?

How the film links to PSHE Curriculum:

The films cover the core theme of Health & Wellbeing for KS1 and KS2, delivering learning to pupils on the following points:

  • what keeping healthy means; different ways to keep healthy

  • strategies and behaviours that support mental health - including how good quality sleep, physical exercise/time outdoors, being involved in community groups, doing things for others, clubs, and activities, hobbies and spending time with family and friends can support mental health and wellbeing

  • how physical activity helps us to stay healthy; and ways to be physically active everyday

  • the different ways to rest and relax

  • the elements of a balanced, healthy lifestyle

  • choices that support a healthy lifestyle, and recognising what might influence these

  • how to recognise that habits can have both positive and negative effects on a healthy lifestyle

  • how regular (daily/weekly) exercise benefits mental and physical health (e.g. walking or cycling to school, daily active mile); recognising opportunities to be physically active and some of the risks associated with an inactive lifestyle

  • that mental health, just like physical health, is part of daily life; the importance of taking care of mental health

  • to recognise their individuality and personal qualities

  • how to manage when finding things difficult.

Curriculum notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching PSHE at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from The Brain Lab:

Dan - Connect with others
Kristana - Be active
Mjd - Give to others
Rachel - Take notice
The Brain House
Introducing 'The Brain Lab' - A guide for teachers