Lessons in sleeping and dealing with trolling to help make kids 'healthier and happier'

Last updated at 06:21
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You're used to learning maths and English at school...but what about lessons in sleeping?

The government says from next year they want schoolchildren aged four and above to be taught about looking after their mental health and staying safe online.

They'll also be taught about relationships and health education, including how to spot when their friends have anxiety.

For now though the changes will only apply in England, because education in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is decided on at a more local level.

What kind of lessons might you be having?

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Schoolchildren will learn about the link between physical and mental health, with lessons focused on the importance of getting enough sleep, and spending time outdoors.

They will also receive lessons in online safety, such as what to do when they come across something they find uncomfortable, trolling, and chatting to strangers.

Students aged 11 and older will be taught about forced marriage and domestic abuse.

Teachers at secondary school will have to take lessons in online safety topics, and how the internet can promote an unhealthy view of relationships.

Why are these new lessons being introduced?

Schoolboy writes on the smart board while the rest of class ask for the next goGetty Images

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "Growing up and adolescence are hard enough, but the internet and social media add new pressures that just weren't there even one generation ago.

"So many things about the way people interact have changed, and this new world, seamless between online and offline, can be difficult to navigate."

The minister is hoping the new classes will help children learn how to look after themselves, and "the importance of getting away from the screen and the headphones".

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Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of campaign group the National Children's Bureau, says the changes are "a welcome step forward in preparing children for adulthood, improving their wellbeing and keeping them safe and healthy".

She added: "This is an important milestone but there is further work ahead to ensure the new requirements fulfil their potential for helping children grow up healthier and happier."

What do you think of the government's plans? Do you think these are good things for you to learn about in school? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Comment number 2. Posted by GreenCarrotPenguin

    25 Feb 2019 16:56
    Hey. I think this is a good idea
  • Comment number 1. Posted by BlueElite99

    25 Feb 2019 16:55
    I think that lessons about mental health will be really beneficial. It will help people who suffer from bad mental health to help themselves. It will also make their friends more aware if they are suffering even if the friends don’t know.
    I hope this comes to our school