Qualities of respectful relationships

Year level: 7


Students identify the qualities of a respectful relationship, problem solve in a range of bullying, harassment and stressful situations and work towards enhancing an existing relationship by making informed choices to develop an action plan.   

Learning focus

To develop an understanding of the impact of respect on happy, healthy relationships and demonstrate respectful problem solving using empathy. Then apply these skills to make informed choices to improve a personal relationship by using an action plan. 

Key understandings

  • Respectful relationships are important for our happiness and well-being.

  • Conflict is common and normal within all families and friendships.

  • In times of disagreement, it is more likely that we can find solutions to conflict when we see the situation from the other person’s point of view.

  • By talking to parents or caregivers about what’s happening in their life, young people can help build respect in these relationships and increase the level of trust parents and carers have in them.

  • There are positive actions we can take to make informed choices to improve disrespectful relationships or solve disagreements. 


  • Teaching Resource: Positive relationships PowerPoint slide
  • Teaching Resource: Walk in my shoes template [two large copies]
  • Teaching Resource: Walk in my shoes [one per group of four or place on interactive whiteboard]
  • Student Activity Sheet: Relationship action plan [one per student]

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality

Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • Ensure ground rules are established before beginning this lesson. For classes that have already established ground rules, quickly reviewing them can promote a successful lesson.

  • It is important for the teacher to consider the range of parenting styles, family contexts and cultural backgrounds students may be influenced by. Not all family structures encourage or model values such as respect.

  • It is possible that a student has been involved in a traumatic experience relating to sexual abuse. Teachers should know and understand the protective interrupting technique and what, why, when and how it is needed and used before facilitating this activity. It is important that teachers are familiar with the Dealing with disclosures guide and have a risk management strategy in place.

Learning activities

Whole Class

Students develop an understanding of the qualities of a respectful relationship using the think-pair-share strategy.

  1. Individually, students consider the qualities they believe enhance relationships and make them respectful, positive and healthy.

  2. Students form pairs and discuss their ideas looking for similarities and to reach consensus.

  3. The pairs then make groups of four to once again discuss their ideas and reach consensus.

  4. Those groups then share their ideas with the whole class to be recorded and discussed to reach a whole class consensus.

  5. Discuss similarities and differences with the list provided in the Teaching Resource: Positive relationships PowerPoint slide.

  6. Ask:

    • What qualities do you perceive to be the most important? Why?

    • Do you think you have choices about how to behave in different relationships?

Independent or Small Group

Students demonstrate respectful problem solving using empathy then apply these skills to a personal relationship they would like to improve using an action plan. 

  1. Explain that during conflict within relationships with family members or friends, it’s often good to stand back and try to see the situation from another point of view (also known as showing empathy). Stress that in friendship conflicts it’s sometimes less about a two-way dialogue and more about learning how to treat each other in a way that we ourselves would like to be treated.

  2. Place the two pairs of large shoe prints from the Teaching Resource: Walk in my shoes template on the floor facing each other about a metre apart. (It may be helpful to label the shoe prints ‘adult’ and ‘young person’ or ‘friend 1’ and ‘friend 2’.) Ask for two student volunteers and have one stand on the adult pair of shoe prints and one on the young person shoe prints.

  3. Read out the first scenario from Teaching Resource: Walk in my shoes. Allow about a minute for both to think of all the reasons for getting what they want. The student standing in the adult’s shoe prints tries to imagine all the things a parent might worry about in this situation. The student standing in the young person’s shoes tries to think of ways of reassuring the adult that it will be okay. Stress that when young people share how they feel with their parents or carers, they get to understand the young person better and trust them more.

  4. After hearing from both sides, ask the rest of the class to contribute other arguments they have thought of for either the adult or the young person. Ask:

    • Is there a way to achieve a solution that is okay for both? What might it be?

    • What aspects of a positive relationship would you need to remember in this situation to resolve the conflict? (see previous activity)

    • How would you feel in this challenging situation?

  1. Have students form groups of four and choose two situations from each column of Teaching Resource: Walk in my shoes (displayed on the whiteboard). Students work in pairs to come up with arguments for both sides as in the role-play above and then one person from each pair acts out the role-play. Have the two students in each group who were bystanders in this role-play now act out the next role-play and so on.


Students consider their existing relationships (e.g. with a parent, a sibling, a friend) and choose one relationship that they would like to improve and develop an action plan for this.

  1. Using the Student Activity Sheet: Relationship action plan, students contemplate the aspects of the relationship that could be improved upon and the actions or choices that could be taken to improve it. They then complete the activity sheet individually.

  2. Have students share their action plans with a partner. Ask them to find any similarities or differences in their examples and strategies. 

  3. Ask:

    • Why is it important for us to reflect on our own relationships?

    • Why is it important for us to make changes to our relationships if they are not healthy?

    • Why is it important to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes (or show empathy) when we experience conflict in our relationships?

    • Why is it important to talk to your parents or carers about how you are feeling, rather than keep what you are thinking and doing to yourself?

    • Do you think your parents/carers would trust you more if you tell them what you are feeling and doing?

    • Do you think this would improve relationships with your parents/carers?

    • Where do you think you could go for help if you couldn't improve an unhealthy relationship yourself? (e.g. school nurse, teacher, parent/carer, Kids Helpline)

  1. Have students could record their thoughts and progress or setbacks in a reflective journal.




External related resources

The practical guide to love, sex and relationships a teaching resource from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University.

Topic 2: Friendship

  • What makes a good friend?
  • Working things out.