Welcome to Head Ed, a brand new, free mental health literacy teaching resource for secondary school or college PSHE

Head Ed is made up of nine, hour-long modules for use across Key Stages 3 and 4, covering topics such as stress, anxiety, depression and resilience. Every module includes a lesson plan, bite-size educational videos, a classroom task and discussion points, learning objectives and assessment opportunities. Head Ed videos feature views from secondary school students and experts alike.

Head Ed has been designed with consideration to the RSE and Health Education statutory guidance, which will be mandatory in schools from September 2020. The content offered is developmentally suitable, with appropriate content for Key Stage 3 and 4 respectively.

stem4, creators of Head Ed, are a teenage mental health charity with a 9-year history of delivering mental health education in secondary schools/colleges, providing not only accurate and trusted information on signs and early symptoms but also offering a number of clinically developed tips and digital resources to help make change. Head Ed has been trialled successfully in over 100 schools in the UK, with feedback guiding the finished product.

Prior to looking at any of the modules, we advise that you read the Guidance for Use document. This provides guidance on setting the environment prior to delivering the lesson. It also gives advice on who at school/college needs to be aware of what you’ll be presenting and when you’ll be presenting it just in case a student finds the content challenging.

This content is copyright of stem4, teenage mental health charity, charity number 1144506. You are free to share this content to support your students under the following terms:

  1. You must acknowledge the source of the material and indicate if changes have been made; our terms are referred to in our Terms & Conditions.
  2. You cannot claim copyright to the existing content or images.

If you have any queries regarding the distribution of this content please contact education@stem4.org.uk.

Each module in the Head Ed programme can be delivered through the ready-made PowerPoint presentations provided. Handouts for students, including optional worksheets for recording information from the formative and summative assessments, are also available for each topic.

So how do you get started with the programme?

    1. Review the module overview. This will give you a good understanding of what is included in the module.
    2. The PowerPoint presentation is available in the same section as the module overview. This is the driving force of the entire lesson. The core learning videos are embedded in the PowerPoint presentations to ease delivery.
    3. The resources, which you’ll need to print out prior to the lesson and are used alongside the module to aid the learning experience, are listed under the Resources section.
    4. Review the learning objectives and learning outcomes to make sure that the module is appropriate for your students.
    5. Please take note of any sensitivities mentioned in the module. These are vital to ensure each student gets the maximum benefit of learning about the subject matter especially if they’re experiencing the condition themselves.
    6. Take note of the areas in which data needs to be collected from the formative and summative assessment opportunities. The difference between these two sections will give you an indication of how much your students have learnt.

This programme is delivered using a PowerPoint presentation. Once you have your printouts and the PowerPoint you’re ready to give a comprehensive lesson on the topic. There are suggested class tasks and discussion points to break the module up and keep students fully engaged in the lesson.

If you need any further information on a topic please feel free to access all the information we have available at www.stem4.org.uk.

Please don’t forget to gather the results of the formative and summative assessments and enter them into the website at the end of the module. This will help stem4 improve subsequent programmes as well as giving stem4 the data needed to apply for grants to continue providing relevant free mental health advice to teenagers.

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KS3 programme

Students will learn stress is a normal bodily response that can be positive and negative. They will be taught to understand how stress can affect someone, as well as how to manage it.

Students will learn that anxiety is a natural defence reaction we all experience. However, sometimes this reaction becomes extreme or is triggered when defence isn’t required. The lesson will teach the symptoms of unhelpful anxiety and how to manage them.

Students will learn the difference between low mood and clinical depression. The lesson will teach how depression can affect an individual whilst pointing towards ways to manage depression, emphasising that early help means quicker change. 

Students will learn that resilience is the ability to deal with the adversities we face in life. They will be taught that mental health and ill-health are on a spectrum and that becoming more resilient can keep us on the mental health end of this.

KS4 programme

The KS4 stress, anxiety and resilience modules contain higher-level material for a deeper understanding of the topic.

Students will develop their understanding of stress as a normal bodily response that can be positive and negative. They will learn the difference between internal and external ‘stressors’ and how the effects of stress, including exam related stress, can be managed.

Students will develop their knowledge of anxiety as a natural defence reaction. The lesson will teach the physical, thought based and behavioural symptoms of unhelpful anxiety and how to manage them. Students will also learn about the management of exam-related anxiety.

Students will learn the difference between low mood and clinical depression. The lesson will teach how depression can affect an individual whilst pointing towards ways to manage depression, emphasising that early help means quicker change.

Students will learn how to boost their resilience (their ability to deal with the adversities we face in life). They will be taught the differences between mental health, mental distress and mental illness, deepening their understanding of the spectrum of mental well-being.

Students will learn that self-harm is a physical reaction to an emotion. They will be taught to understand the different ways self-harm can affect someone, as well as ways of managing self-harm.