Making assumptions

20 minutes

Create a safe and positive learning environment by agreeing ground rules for the session.

Download the session: Making Assumptions

In this session we will learn:

  • effective listening skills and why these are helpful
  • how we make assumptions about what we have heard – and how this affects our listening




Digital resources



Explain that students are going to play detective and work out what the situation is, what has been happening and how the people may be feeling. Look at the text slides. In small groups, decide what has happened, how the person is feeling, and discuss what else they know about the person’s situation.

Repeat the exercise for slides 2 and 3, the audio clip and email examples.

Go over the facts we have for each case. Anything else the students are left with is speculation – assumptions that have been made. Explain that doing this when someone is talking means that we do not really listen to what people are saying or how they are feeling. Assumptions are a natural reaction but are a real barrier to breaking down barriers and stigma and being able to connect with others and support them.



How do we avoid making assumptions?

How can we find out what’s really going on for others?


Links and Learning Journeys

This session links to: Developing listening skills | Supporting my friends | Finding a way forward

It is also part of 2 suggested learning journeys:

Learning journey: learning about me: What is emotional health? | Building resilience | Let it out | Being positive | Barriers to seeking help | Making assumptions (short) | Helping my friends

Learning journey: accessing support: Ups and downs of the day | My support network | Developing listening skills | Barriers to seeking help | Making assumptions (short) | Helping my friends

Make sure young people know what support is available and how to access this support.