Prevention resources for schools

A young person’s school plays a vital role in prevention: the research tells us that young people’s attachment to school is a powerful protective factor which makes them resilient against substance misuse. This is strengthened by a positive and supportive school ethos, as well as the provision of quality alcohol and drug education.

Here you will find resources to support teachers in the provision of quality alcohol and drug education, as well as provide support to school leaders wishing to improve their school’s approach to alcohol and drug prevention and education.

Resources for teachers

KS2 Lesson Plans

This resource pack includes:

  • Introductory Lesson – Establishing ground rules; starting to consider ways to develop resilience and reduce risk-taking
  • Lesson 1 – Helping children identify and discuss their emotions
  • Lesson 2 – Understanding peer pressure; discussing strategies for addressing such situations
  • Lesson 3 – Understanding ‘social norms’; learning how to give and receive constructive feedback, using the protocol of ‘two stars and a wish’
  • Lesson 4 – Discussing ‘what makes for a good group presentation’; demonstrating a situation which might involve ‘risk’; giving and receiving constructive feedback
  • Lesson 5 – Exploring media portrayals of alcohol as well as parental attitudes to resisting peer pressure
  • Lesson 6 – Understanding the importance of assertiveness; presenting learning to parents / carers

KS3 Lesson Plans

This resource pack includes:

  • Lesson 1 – Helping children understand tobacco marketing over time
  • Lesson 2 – Understanding the media’s influence on our perceptions of alcohol use
  • Lesson 3 – Understanding New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and practical strategies for building resilience and resisting pressure
  • Lesson 4 – Developing skills to asses risky situations and manage potential risks
  • Lesson 5 – Exploring ethical decisions on health made by individuals and governments; demonstrating effective communication and team working skills

Guidance for teachers

What are the underlying principles of alcohol and drug education? What are the best teaching methods to use when delivering alcohol and drug education to young people? This briefing paper provides advice and tips for teachers (and other educators) responsible for delivering alcohol and drug education in classroom and community settings.

Click to access Delivering alcohol and drug education: Advice for teachers [May 2015]

Resources for school leaders

Reviewing your school’s drug and alcohol policy

This resource aims to help schools with the process of reviewing their drug and alcohol policy, with practical advice on consulting with teachers, pupils, parents and others in the community. It can be used by primary and secondary schools & pupil referral units, and should also be helpful for colleges.

Click to access Reviewing your drug and alcohol policy: a toolkit for schools

Needs assessment guidelines

An effective programme of alcohol and drug education needs to be tailored to meet young people’s requirements and priorities, meaning that both pupils’ needs and learning processes must be regularly assessed. This paper outlines the different and complementary ways to make an assessment.

Click to access Efficient needs assessment for schools [March 2014]

Making alcohol and drug education inclusive

When delivering alcohol and drug education in multicultural settings, you will need to tackle sensitive issues. Not all young people are comfortable discussing certain topics, and some parents are reluctant to allow their children to explore certain themes.

This briefing paper outlines key requirements to ensure the delivery of culturally sensitive alcohol and drug education in a classroom or community setting.

Click to access Making it Inclusive: Alcohol and drug education in multicultural settings [July 2014]

Involving families affected by substance use

This document contains relevant learning on how schools can enhance alcohol and drug education using any sort of visitor, focusing particularly on contributions from families affected by substance use: for example, a parent whose child experienced problems with alcohol or drugs. This resource aims to help schools and families to accrue benefits and avoid mistakes in collaborating to deliver alcohol and drug education.

Click to access Involving families affected by substance use in alcohol and drug education [November 2014]

Supporting children affected by substance use at home

Substance use can impact the lives of young people in many ways, especially if they are affected by problematic alcohol or drug use in their own homes. The following resource was developed primarily for schools, but may also be useful in certain informal or community settings. Its aim is to summarise the key issues for children affected by parental substance use, and how schools can consider supporting them.

Click to access Identifying and supporting children affected by parental substance misuse [November 2013]

Advice for school governors

A strong school alcohol and drug policy can support pupils’ wellbeing, behaviour and safety. This presentation for governors, produced with funding from the Department for Education, explains how to ensure that schools are doing what they need to in order to be sure that the school is delivering high quality PSHE education and can manage alcohol and drug incidents with confidence and consistency.

Click here to access the School governors’ presentation [February 2013]

What works for schools

Mentor has drawn on years of research and experience to produce advice regarding effective prevention in schools. Read more about what we know, and how it can help with evidence-based alcohol and drug education in schools.

Click here to access What works for schools



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