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Futures Thinking Teachers Pack

Sarah Payton

The complete teacher pack is available in pdf format here. Individual subject packs and supplementary resources are available to download in the pink box to the right. A sample activity is also available to view here. These resources are best viewed with Adobe Reader, available here.

Futurelab would like to thank the teachers involved: Vivienne Agostan, Niamh Black, Pete Brealey, Charmaine Collins, Deb McKinney, Duncan Potts, Richard Wells, Susan White and Darren Wilson.

Futurelab would also like to thank Alison Woodiwiss of TeacherText who collaborated with us to develop and write the activities and Jon Turney who repurposed the Beyond Current Horizons material to create the central resources. Digital Vision developed and produced the video scenarios.


Education is about the future. Educators aim to prepare young people for the future and to support them to fully participate in all aspects of civic, cultural, social, intellectual and economic life. It is therefore important for young people to be given opportunities to think carefully about that future and their role in it.

The Futures Thinking Teaching Pack supports teachers and learners to develop approaches to exploring the future that are not about making predictions, but about considering possible, probable and preferable futures in order to support action and decision making in the present.

The pack, which is closely linked to National Curriculum requirements, engages Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students in grounded inquiry into current trends and possible futures. The activities in the pack encourage students to critically examine their place in the world, the structures and features that bring about the societies they live in, their own beliefs and their agency in shaping their preferable future.

About the teacher pack

15 classroom activities

  • Designed to be adaptable for KS3 and KS4
  • Non-sequential and can be used as standalone resources
  • Can be grouped by 4 subject areas: Geography, English, PSHE, Citizenship
  • Cross-curricular activities can be grouped together for an off-timetable/collapse ‘Futures Day’.


  • Central resources: Three Future Worlds Webcasts, Future Worlds - In Brief, Future Worlds Summarised and the Be Prepared current trends document
  • Resources to support each activity
  • All resources can be used online or downloaded to be used offline.

Example Activity: Talking Teens

Talking Teens asks students to consider developments and trends in society and how these changes might manifest themselves in the future. During the activities students identify changes that are occurring now and how these might develop over the next 20-30 years of their lives. This supports students to make links between present actions and the future rather than thinking of the future as a predefined space and time.

1. Show students the Future Worlds webcasts which detail the experiences of teenagers in three possible futures. Explain that these are written based on the possible outcomes of current trends.

  • What obvious differences can students identify between life now and life in each of the possible futures?
  • What current trends or decisions happening now in society might lead to some aspects of the possible futures they have been presented with?

2. As a class discuss what is meant by the ten following themes: the role of the citizen; the role of the state; geography; society; family; work and employment; leisure; media, the arts and technology; education; politics.

3. In groups, allocate students one of the themes just discussed.

  • Each group of students then has to identify three changes/trends that are happening now in the theme they have been allocated.
  • Do any of the trends they have identified appear in the worlds described in the webcasts?
  • Each group feeds back to the class.

4. In their groups, ask students to create their own webcasts or presentations to communicate their thoughts on the links between what is happening now and what might happen in the future. They should describe their current experiences of the world using some or all of the ten themes already discussed and suggest changes that may take place in those areas of life over the next 20-30 years.

5. Students show their webcast to an audience. This could be watching each others’ if another audience is not available but it is important that this is decided at the beginning. Students should reflect on the needs of their audience throughout the creation of their webcasts or presentations.

6. Students peer review each others’ work against criteria set by the whole class or invite comments from their audience.

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Watch the Webcasts

For a DVD or larger versions of these videos please contact info [at] futurelab [dot] org [dot] uk


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