Below are some examples of materials shared by year 8 students in Healthy Minds lessons.
From School to Life
These lessons offer the space for students to consider the life they would like to lead as an adult and to connect their visions back to what they are doing right now in school. They consider the different domains of adulthood including; family, work, lifestyle and community and they learn that the accumulation of small everyday actions and behaviour shape a life course trajectory. In lesson two they consider accessible role models that help keep them on track and the types of goals they need to set to stay on track.
In Unplugged students consider social norms and myths about substances including tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. During the lessons students discuss issues around substance use, relevant to their age. They work together to discuss group influences, group expectations and the positive and negative aspects of peer group pressure. In lesson four they investigate the short and long term effects of smoking to consider the differences between personal opinion on what they believe to be ‘normal’.
Media Influences encourages students to think more deeply about the influence of media messages and understand the techniques of persuasion and manipulation in the media. Students explore and analyse the construction of gender types and the influence they have on societal expectations around body image and a sense of self. For their homework in lesson two they are tasked with deconstructing an advert they see on TV and think about the stereotypes used to sell the product.
Click here to download the homework example lesson-2-homework
The Relationships Smarts lessons sits alongside Sex Ed Sorted that teaches students scientific knowledge to understand how the male and female human body changes in adolescence and the implications of these changes for fertility and emotions. Links are made to body image and media influences with a core narrative about biological diversity and individual variation. The notion of being normal is central to the learning about reproduction, human variation, puberty, hormones, fertility and conception.
In Relationships Smarts students learn about the building blocks for developing healthy relationships. They consider attractions, infatuation and the ingredients of sound relationships. In lesson three they begin to explore the ingredients of a healthy relationship that are developed on solid foundations, such as good communication and having things in common.
Review and Connect
The learning in year 8 culminates with a return to the resilience skills developed in year 7. The idea is to refresh their knowledge of the Penn Resilience Programme skills and provide more opportunities to apply the skills to real life examples. Building on their learning throughout year 8 and the various topics they have covered to illustrate how the skills can be applied across different areas. It is also an opportunity for the students to consider the skills to dilemmas they may face in year 8.