Secondary pupils to be taught how to cope with modern life

New PSHE lesson plans cover topics such as bullying, cyberbullying, alcohol and smoking, relationships and body image

Tes Reporter

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Pupils aged 11 to 16 are to be given strategies for coping with modern life, as part of a new programme in schools.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched lesson plans for teachers to use in their personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) classes.

These lesson plans cover topics such as bullying and cyberbullying, alcohol and smoking, creating positive relationships and friendships, exam stress, online stress, social media and body image.

PHE said that the lessons will help build "crucial life skills for young people to boost their resilience and improve their mental health and wellbeing".

'Diverse challenges'

Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, said: "As natives of the social media world, young people have to navigate a minefield of challenges, while enjoying the benefits of technology.

"The new resources will help young people to develop coping mechanisms and life skills to deal with diverse challenges, from cyberbullying and exam stress to body image, in a digital world."

The lessons are part of the Rise Above for Schools programme, which enables teachers to access content from vloggers and YouTubers to encourage young people to talk about the things that matter to them.

Jenny Fox, PSHE Association subject specialist, said: "Young people today face a range of new pressures that can potentially harm their emotional and physical wellbeing.

"By addressing these key issues, resources from Rise Above for Schools support the important role PSHE education plays in helping young people to make positive, informed choices throughout their lives.

"The lesson plans provide opportunities for students to engage in active learning and to discuss and reflect upon the social and emotional aspects of issues they face on a daily basis.

"The lessons are consistently well-matched to the needs of young people and enable them to demonstrate progress as their understanding and skills develop."

'Prepared for life'

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: "It is important young people are taught the knowledge they need to stay safe and healthy, and leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.

"High-quality PSHE teaching has a vital role to play in giving young people a better understanding of the society around them.

"These new resources provide teachers with another tool to help develop engaging lessons about the issues that young people face today."

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