The Telegraph reports that teenagers are under more pressure than in any previous generation, England’s public health chief has claimed, as officials roll out a new syllabus to help children cope with the digital age.
Classes devoted to cyber-bullying, body shaming, and “fear of missing out” on line will be available in secondary schools from this term as part of revamped Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) package designed to “build resilience” among social media “natives”
The initiative, Rise Above For Schools, follows research suggesting one in five young people are experiencing cyberbullying and one in three describing themselves as “too fat”.
Developed by PHE and backed by the Department for Education, the new classes will be available to the majority of schools in England who chose to teach PSHE, however the Government this year signalled its intention to make the subject compulsory.
Eleven to 16-year-olds will also be encouraged to express how the digital world affects them on “graffiti walls”, as well as by choosing the emoji that best represents their feelings. The new syllabus has the backing of the PSHE Association and the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield.
“Building children’s resilience is essential if we are to help them to live happy and healthy lives,” she said.
PHE said the package is aimed at improving mental health among young people, as well as helping them practically navigate the world around them. Earlier this year a study by the University of Hertfordshire found children not taught PSHE in school had a higher risk of self-harm.
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