This term, we presented to the students of West Derby School. The theme this time was all about self-control.

The students engaged well in the presentation and gave their full attention. There were opportunities to contribute ideas and thoughts throughout the presentations as well as opportunities to come to the front and take part in challenges. We tried to make the presentations as engaging as possible, and we were pleased that so many students put their hands up when asked questions or asked to volunteer.


We introduced the concept of using our behaviour to influence thoughts and emotions. The link between our thoughts, emotions and behaviour are covered well within PHSE lessons, but young people often find it hard to understand how our behaviour can influence/change thoughts. The example we used was to notice how breathing slowly and purposefully (behaviour) can slow our heart rate down and allow for secondary conditions (change in thoughts), which in turn can alleviate an unpleasant feeling (emotion). After challenging young people on stage to control their breathing to get into the most physically relaxed state possible (which we tested by measuring lung capacity; lung capacity increases when relaxed), we applied the learning to real-life examples. This included looking at examples of footballers who were in similar situations but reacted very differently, and therefore the outcomes of the situation were different for them. Those who adopted self-control found zero negative outcomes, whereas those who reacted to the situation found a lot of negative outcomes resulting from the situation. Other elements of the presentation included: where to find self-control techniques and strategies, the benefits of responding not reacting, and seeing bullies through a sympathetic lens.

We always enjoy Tom’s presentations. The students respond so well to him and even though I wasn’t able to see the whole assembly, the teachers have told me how relevant and beneficial they have been” M.Hughes (Inclusion Manager at WDS)