Let’s talk about anxiety: teacher toolkit and animation for supporting key stage 3 (The Anna Freud Centre) - Stay Safe Partnership


The 'let’s talk about anxiety' animation and accompanying toolkit for school staff has been designed by The Anna Freud Centre. It helps students aged 11 to 13 to normalise, understand and manage their anxious feelings. 

By the end of the lesson within the toolkit, students will be able to:

  • use a range of different words to describe similar feelings, and explain how these feelings differ. For example, feelings such as:
    • fear
    • worry
    • nervousness
    • panic
    • excitement
  • use strategies that help us to regulate strong feelings. For example, breathing techniques or positive self-talk
  • choose coping strategies that could help people experiencing anxiety in different situations

Students will learn:

  • anxiety is a feeling of unease in response to threat or stress, and it is a normal emotion
  • different people may experience anxiety differently and in response to different stimuli
  • anxiety can serve a useful purpose because it helps us to be ready to deal with difficult or dangerous situations
  • anxiety can affect our bodies as well as our minds, for example, sweating, heart-racing and butterflies in the stomach. These are part of a helpful biological response that gets us ready to deal with challenges
  • sometimes we feel anxious even though the threat level is low – this can feel bad or prevent us doing things
  • there are strategies that can help when we feel overwhelmed by strong feelings like anxiety
Service Description

Anxiety is a normal emotion – it’s one of our body’s natural reactions to stress. For young people, some level of anxiety is normal as they grow up and learn to navigate the world.  However, it’s important that they have the tools to manage feelings of anxiety and can tell the difference between normal emotions and more severe anxiety, which can interfere with everyday life.

The 'let’s talk about anxiety' animation, and accompanying resources for school staff, can help students aged 11 to 13 to normalise, understand and manage their anxious feelings. 

This toolkit contains:

Lesson materials

  • lesson plan and overview
  • lesson worksheet
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • additional activities and supporting materials

Assembly materials

  • assembly plan and overview
  • PowerPoint presentation

Guidance materials

  • teacher guidance for supporting anxious students
  • parent and carer guidance for supporting their child
  • curriculum guidance

The assembly and lesson may be delivered in combination or as standalone sessions, depending on the needs of your students.

We recommend that this toolkit forms part of a fully planned PSHE education programme, within the context of a whole-school approach to mental wellbeing.


Teacher toolkit resources are downloadable (in pdf and PowerPoint format) and can be accessed via the Anna Freud website. The animation also can be viewed on the same webpage.

  • the ‘let’s talk about anxiety’ resources are available free of charge and are easily accessible online
  • as well as the lesson and assembly plans, the toolkit includes additional activities that can be
    • incorporated into lessons
    • used in tutor time
    • revisited later in the academic year