Lessons Plans: Sexting

A unique feature of The Reward Foundation lessons is the focus on the workings of the adolescent brain. This best helps pupils understand and build resilience to potential harms from sexting and pornography use. The Reward Foundation has been accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners in London to teach professional workshops on pornography's impact on mental and physical health.

Our lessons comply with the latest Department of Education's (UK government) “Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education” statutory guidance. The Scottish Editions align with the Curriculum for Excellence.

All Reward Foundation lessons are also available for free from TES.com.

They can be used as stand-alone lessons or in a set of three. Each lesson has a set of PowerPoint slides plus a Teacher’s Guide and, where appropriate, packs and workbook. The lessons come with embedded videos, hotlinks to key research and other resources for further enquiry to make the units accessible, practical and as self-contained as possible.

  1. Introduction to Sexting
  2. Pornography and the Adolescent Brain
  3. Sexting, the Law and You**

** Available for pupils in England and Wales based on the laws of England and Wales; also available for pupils in Scotland based on Scots law.

Lesson 1: Introduction to Sexting

What is sexting, or youth-produced sexual imagery? Pupils consider why people might ask for and send nude selfies. They compare the risks of sexting to consensual sex. The lesson also looks at how pornography use affects sexting and sexual harassment.

It offers information about how to protect themselves from unwanted harassment and where to find online, youth-focused resources to learn more.

Pupils learn about how to have sexual images of them removed from the internet.

Lesson 2: Pornography, and the Adolescent Brain

This lesson looks at the fantastic, plastic adolescent brain. It explains why neuroscientists say , "Of all the activities on the internet, porn has the most potential to become addictive". How does it influence sexting?

Pupils learn about how internet activities like porn, social media, gaming, gambling etc. are  'supernormal stimuli' that feel more exciting than anything else.

How much porn is too much? What mental and physical health issues might it cause? What effect does it have on attainment or relationships?

Pupils learn about how the brain can learn to exercise self control, to self regulate and what strategies help to achieve that. They find out about resources to help them be well-informed and be able to make positive choices.

Lesson 3: Sexting, the Law, and You

Sexting is not a legal term but has very real legal consequences. It is illegal for children to make, send and receive indecent images of children, even with consent. The police regard it as a safeguarding issue. If a young person is reported to the police for sexting offences, it can affect later job prospects, even volunteering, if it involves work with vulnerable people.

We provide two lesson plans here (for the price of one), one for the lower school and one for the upper school. They each have different case studies to reflect changing stages of maturity. The case studies are based on real live legal cases and reflect common situations that pupils may find themselves in.

The Case Studies Pack for Teachers provides a range of answers and suggestions to help pupils think through and discuss these tricky situations found in the Case Studies Pack for Pupils. They allow pupils to discuss matters in a safe space and help build resilience for use outside the classroom.

Pupils learn about how to have sexual images of them removed from the internet.

The law has been checked by the Crown Prosecution Service for England and Wales, by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and by the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration in Scotland, by police officers and lawyers.

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