During the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, Facts4life is continuing to support schools and families to ride the ups and downs of their health.

In addition to the activities accessible on our Parents & Carers page, we are producing health-related activities for schools which aim to engage and reassure, encouraging self-care and supporting wellbeing. These resources can be used upon return to school and as part of your health curriculum. If your school cannot access these resources please get in touch via our contact page.



redefining health education

This is Fin and Bear

This is Fin and Bear is a children’s book for all families and teachers who want to help support their children’s health.
‘Fin has this amazing body, and so do you!’ Join Fin and Bear in learning about how bodies and minds work and what we can do to help us be healthy and happy.

This beautiful book will help children understand not just how their bodies work but that they are resilient and have control over their health” Chris van Tulleken, Doctor and TV Presenter

Resources & Training for Teachers

“The delivery of the training was really slick and focused. I was fascinated by the ‘Sciencey’ bit at the start of the presentation as it put the Facts4Life work in context. The presence of a GP and Paediatrician gave the programme credibility. It was a great starting point for us to re-think our PSHCE programme with current up to date thinking and issues that relate to the children of today.”
Lynne Bailey, Cheltenham Headteacher

Working with health professionals

“When I heard Hugh van’t Hoff’s presentation about the initial evaluation of the programme and the outcomes, I was completely blown away. The only positive, constructive idea on solving the NHS’s problems in a positive and preventative way that I have heard in my entire 40 year career in Medicine.

Dr Thornton MacCallum, Stroud GP

Engaging with children and the curriculum

“I think the most interesting part for me was when we learnt how to fight some of the diseases and the common cold and a lot of those things because it could help me in the rest of my life so I don’t get the worst part of it.”

KS2 Student, Participant in UWE evaluation

Working with parents and carers

“I feel having Facts4Life’s comprehensive health education programme is such an important part of the curriculum… in order to help prevent illness and promote healthy living.

Mrs Marie Mason-Peak, Parent

What is Facts4Life?

Facts4Life is a new way of thinking about our health which challenges commonly held beliefs about illness and builds resilience. We do this by exploring three key ideas:

  • Riding the Ups and Downs – sometimes we feel well, sometimes not. That’s normal.
  • Keeping Balanced – we often don’t recognise that most of the time, most of us get better from most illnesses without medical help
  • Smoothing the Path – we can learn to take greater responsibility for our health and respond positively to life’s challenges 

We work in a range of settings:

Our training programme and resources for primary and secondary teachers provide opportunities to learn more about physical and mental health (as well as relationships education) within the curriculum. We also run workshops for parents to provide support for children’s health.

We are working with pre-schools and children’s centres so that younger children and their parents can benefit from the Facts4Life messages about health.

Why Facts4Life?

We live in a climate where many worry about health and we often assume that perfect health is attainable. These unrealistic expectations can lead to the idea that medical services should be able to step in and fix us whenever we feel unwell. 

We believe that if we have developed the language to talk about our experience of health and illness, we are then able to take greater ownership of the factors that affect us. We can not only build understanding but develop positive attitudes and change behaviour. 

Never has there been a better time to open up the dialogue for young people, families and the wider community.

GP Surgeries:
We offer an Education for Self-Management course for patients who wish to develop further strategies to support physical and mental health.

Our work with schools and pre-schools in Gloucestershire is funded by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and is currently free to all Gloucestershire schools. To find out about training in Gloucestershire or in your area, click here, or contact us if you would like to know more.

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Rethinking ‘Rethinking Medicine’ – knowledge, power and paternalism

The current pandemic is forcing medicine to think and work more flexibly. We are also witnessing a rapid change in the way others think about health, where responsibility lies and the quantity, quality and delivery of the information shared. Now is the time to think more widely about how we bring education about health and illness into mainstream teaching – and not just for the next pandemic.

Can the Facts4Life approach work with adult patients?

Facts4Life was originally developed as an early intervention model, exploring themes and attitudes with young children so as to combat the culture of wanting a quick fix (usually using drugs) to our medical needs and to promote the idea that our bodies are remarkably...