Rock and Water Lessons

The Rock and Water programme can be easily adapted to your needs (time, focus, curriculum, school values etc). Through play, physically interacting, talking and reflecting, students learn about themselves and each other – to be able to stand strong, be calm, to think clearly, to make conscious decisions as opposed to the natural fight, flight or fright responses. Neurological research clearly validates the need for us to feel calm in order to access our rational decision-making brain. From a calm basis and feeling of safety, we can then start to build quality social skills and self-awareness.

All the games and exercises in Rock and Water have ‘diamonds’ underlying them – these are the real reasons why we play the games etc. Of course we look at winning and losing, but this is only the small question. The big question is what did we learn when we played? What skills did we strengthen? How can we use this in the real world?

The transfer of skills from the physical learning to mental and social skills is what sets Rock and Water apart from other programmes.  As an example, students learn what a Rock attitude is; what being a Rock physically feels and looks like (tense body, muscles strained, solid, determined etc), and then the transfer is made through korero (conversation and questioning) and reflection exercises, to what it’s like mentally and socially – what is someone like if they use their Rock attitude towards their friends, whanau etc?

A typical lesson has a warm up/review activity, new exercises, group discussion and then reflection time (writing in journals or other activities to stimulate self-reflection).

INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL-AGE STUDENTS – the Rock and Water Programme is made up of exercises and activities that can be easily adapted to suit many ages (including adults). Consequently the content of a two-day Primary School workshop or three-day Accreditation workshop is easily able to be adapted to meet the needs of Intermediate aged students.

For Primary and Intermediate Schools

 The NEW Primary School manual has clear and very well sequenced lesson plans for 5-9 year old students.


The cover of the Rock and Water journal for students to write their reflections in

The Rock and Water Reflection Journal helps to transfer and personalise learning.

Rock and Water Programme for Primary Schools has over 120 games and exercises developed into lesson plans that have been structured to meet the varying developmental needs of children aged 5-9 years.

Facilitators can pick and choose from the manual and follow the clear instructions to deliver their lesson. In this way, Rock and Water can be used as an overall aid for your students’ social development, to focus on current (right at that moment) issues and is easily linked to existing plans and topics and provides a wonderful practical component. Rock and Water acts as a ‘sauce’ to the programmes that may already be being used, or can stand alone as a comprehensive student development programme.

For Years One and Two their Rock and Water sessions may only be five or 10 minutes long – practise of a game or exercise plus further development or introduction of a new game or theme.

For the older students the sessions may get longer and longer, up to 50 minutes for the Year Seven and Eights.

The majority of the games and exercises are ‘upscalable’ and easily adapted to suit students of all ages, so those in the manual targeted to younger students can also be used with older students.

To deliver the Rock and Water Primary programme to students, educators must have attended the Primary Workshop. It is advised that if a school is looking to implement Rock and Water school-wide that at least two staff are Accredited trainers.

For Intermediates, Colleges and beyond

 The NEW (2020) Accreditation manual has 48 lesson plans for 50 minute lessons, or 24 plans for 90 minute lessons.

Every registrant receives

  • a manual
  • USB of Basic Exercises and themed role-plays that are linked to activities in the lessons
  • A copy of Student Journal One and Two

To deliver a comprehensive programme to students of College age, it is advised that facilitators attend the three-day Accreditation training.

The Rock and Water programme as taught in the Three Day Accreditation Training is made up of 48 lessons. It is important to note that each lesson is adaptable, depending on how you structure your programme. The first 15 lessons are suitable for students aged 9+, with the final nine lessons more suited to students aged 14+.

Colleges often use Rock and Water as part of their pastoral programme, Health programme or Religious Studies curriculum. It can be used as a general personal development programme for all students, and also to target key behaviours or groups of students.

Each chapter has a developmental focus (eg Standing Strong, Intuition, Body language etc) and a variety of exercises and discussion points. Some schools break up the programme and deliver different sections to different year groups. For example, deliver Chapters One to Eight one year, Chapters Eight to 17 the next year and so on. Often specific parts from each lesson are chosen and built upon over a number of sessions, giving participants the opportunity to practise and develop their new skills. After completing a training course, what you do with the programme, in which order you deliver the exercises and how you structure your sessions is up to you.

To further strengthen your programme we have a USB (containing numerous resources and lesson plans), fantastic posters, DVDs, strike pads, a theory book, a case study book and more available from Rock and Water NZ.