Teaching healthy relationships: 6 resources to help

For children and young people, being in a brand new romantic relationship or making new friends can be exciting and fun.

If they have a phone or access to other connected devices, any new friendship or relationship is likely to develop through online communication as well as off. And in many cases, new connections start and develop primarily online.

But whether online or off, it’s not always easy for young people to identify when a relationship has become harmful or abusive. And if they do feel uncomfortable or unsafe, children can find it hard to know how or when to find support.

Children and young people have the right to feel respected, happy and safe in all their relationships. Age-appropriate opportunities to learn about acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in relationships are essential in supporting them to develop positive and fulfilling relationships, both on- and offline.

Thinkuknow in your curriculum

If you work in a school, you’ll already be delivering – or planning – learning activities to meet these objectives, under the new Relationships and Sex Education curriculum in England; Personal and Social Education in Wales; the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ strand of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland; or the ‘Personal Development and Mutual Understanding’ and ‘Learning for Life and Work’ strands of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Our Thinkuknow education resources provide excellent learning opportunities for children – from age 4 – around crucial concepts like consent, healthy and unhealthy behaviours in online and offline contexts, and getting support for themselves or their friends if they need it.

Download our new Thinkuknow UK curriculum links guidance to find out how each Thinkuknow resource can help ensure your curriculum offers your students the best possible learning in these areas.

Work in primary?

A fun animated series for ages 4-7, Jessie and Friends helps children explore topics including: consent in the context of sharing images online, the qualities of good friendships, the difference between secrets and surprises, and identifying trusted adults who can help.

For children aged 8 and over, our Play Like Share animations and Band Runner game consolidates and builds on this learning, developing children’s understanding of features of positive friendships, identifying signs of manipulative or abusive behaviours both online and off, and sources of support.

Work in secondary?

Use the Thinkuknow Toolkit to deliver engaging activities based on our Thinkuknow websites for 11-13s and 14+, and encourage them to explore the website in their own time for more advice and support.

For 11-13 year olds, our interactive film First to A Million is a fun way to deliver learning about negotiating the kind of online trends and pressures they will be starting to experience, and to build further understanding around consent, respect and support and sources of help.

For 14+, the Exploited film and resource pack provides excellent opportunities to explore the difference between healthy and exploitative relationships, and explores coercive dynamics within friendship groups.

Coming soon

We’re excited to announce that Send Me A Pic?, an exciting new Thinkuknow learning resource on non-consensual image sharing for 12-14 year olds, will launch in Spring 2020.

Watch this space for updates!

Preparing for statutory RSE in September?

Stay tuned over the next few months for more advice on how you can embed TUK resources within your relationships education provision.