Skip to main content


INFLUENCES: educational resource pack for PSHE. By Ike Godden. Ichthus Communications, 7 Greenwich Quay, Clarence Road, London SE8 3E7, tel 020 8694 7171. pound;12.99

This 30-minute video and resource pack for key stages 3 and 4 explores three powerful influences on young people: the media, their families and their friends.

The well-paced video from the Christian youth and schools project XLP is designed to be shown in small sections, which are then used to stimulate discussion and focused class work using the resources in the pack. High production quality ensures that the material is engaging.

The activities are practicable and full of insights. I was particularly impressed by the work on friendship and the questions for discussion. Many of the suggestions and worksheets are ideal as starter activities and for whole-class sessions.

However, some of the content in the section on media influences offers only a tenuous link with the written material. The importance of media in society is one of the learning aims identified in education for citizenship and is an important area of the PSHE curriculum. The angle taken here leaves little room for analysis or exploration. The media is portrayed as a negative influence and young people are encouraged to accept that over-exposure to media image is directly linked to problems in society.

XLP aims to support moral and spiritual areas of the curriculum. The sections on family and friends are more useful and reflect this ethos. They could be used to teach young people new skills to make decisions in their personal and social life. Overall, this is a valuable resource with a positive central message about family and friendship.

Nancy O'Brien Nancy O'Brien is head of media at La Sainte Union Catholic secondary school, London

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you