The Facts4Life approach to health resilience has until now only been available to children in the 4-11 age range. We are very excited to extend our teaching to the 11-14 age range with the publication of our new Key Stage 3 resource.

The resource introduces the key ideas of Facts4Life, encourages personal responsibility and challenges assumptions that that when we are unwell, we need to be fixed by accessing health services or taking medication. Adolescence is a time when the idea that we should aspire to some sort of perfection (appearance, physical health, social standing etc.) can become a real pressure for young people. The messages of the resource are therefore realistic and reassuring – sometimes we’re really well, sometimes we’re not and most of the time we‘re somewhere in between and that’s perfectly normal (we all ride the ups and downs of life). Students have the opportunity to explore illness as a normal part of life, but see the connections with how they can help themselves along the way (by taking actions to smooth the path). These might relate to exercise, sleep, connection with others, learning new skills, relaxation and healthy eating.

The resource includes 9 modules with additional on-line materials focusing specifically on support for mental health. They are flexible in their approach and can be delivered across a single term or within a spiral PSHE curriculum across years 7 and 8. In addition to the theme of personal responsibility, students can address the role of chance and choice and how that impacts upon their lives. They have the opportunity to reflect on their own lives, but can also think through health issues in their community, by looking at recent Online Pupil Survey data from within the county and by recommending strategies that would help young people further.

Training is taking place on Monday 13th March (13.00-16.00) at the Pavilion, Cheltenham. The training and resources are free to all Gloucestershire schools. To book your place, please contact Sue Burling – sue@facts4life.org – or visit our training page on the website. http://facts4life.org/training/