RSE KS4: Teaching Sexting Awareness
Presenter and YouTuber Mimi Missfit takes seven British teens to Holland to learn from the world leaders in sex education.
They meet writer Manju and actress Dzifa, who talk to the teens about a TV series they made.
In the series, the main character sends a nude photo to her boyfriend but it gets sent around her school.
The group discuss this issue, and Alys says despite having an assembly about it at school, people still send them.
Garthia talks about how people get others to send them nudes.
A key message highlighted is that when you click 'send', you are sending it to the world.
The teens discuss the issue of 'group chats' online that share nude photos of other people.
The teens advise to be very cautious and careful, and to steer clear of sending nudes.
This short film is from the BBC series, Mimi on a Mission: Sex Ed. For further episodes please visit the BBC iPlayer.
Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, we strongly advise teacher viewing before watching with your pupils.
Before watching the film
This short film is suitable for 14-16 year olds however always make yourself familiar with the content and consider carefully whether it will be appropriate and of use for your specific cohort. (every class is different, even if they are in the same year group).
Check your school policies to make sure you follow school guidelines and talk to a member of the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) if in doubt about anything.
Check to see if any of your class have any child protection issues or are vulnerable children.
Once you are confident it is the right resource for your pupils, watch it through alone and consider how it would work best for you all.
This short film might also be useful for teachers to use in CPD sessions (Continuing Professional Development).
During the lesson/watching the film
Set up a working agreement with the class and create a list of ground rules for the session so everyone feels safe and able to talk and join in discussions without being judged. Remember to include a reminder to always talk to a trusted adult if anything in the film makes your students feel uncomfortable – perhaps create a list of ‘go-to’ people in the school with them.
Also, due to the sensitivity of this subject, add a rule that no personal information, experiences or names are shared.
You could start the lesson by discussing the title ‘Teaching Sexting Awareness’ and using this as a starter. (NB: Discussion can be in pairs, small groups or as a whole class – choose what works best for your pupils).
The film shows Mimi with some British teenagers in the Netherlands (one of the world leaders in sex education), where they meet a writer, Manju and an actress, Dzifa who have inspired lots of students with a popular web series tackling the issue of sexting.
In this series a girl has a boyfriend and they get closer and more comfortable with each other and the guy asks to ‘see more of her’ so she decides to send a nude picture of herself to him and the picture leaks to the whole school.
- What do your pupils think of this?
- Have they ever heard of other stories where this has happened? Remind them of the working agreement at this point and request that, so everyone feels comfortable and safe, no personal experiences or names are used.
Garthia picks up on this. She thinks that a lot more people send nudes than we know.
She thinks both sexes are as bad as each other - do your pupils agree? Why do they think this?
She says, “Boys are good at manipulating us girls. Like they’ll say ‘ah, your body is nice, you’re pretty, I can show you what I’ve got as well’. That’s how they manipulate you, that’s how they turn you mad! Girls are more sneaky when they do it. They’ll be like, ‘I bet you have a small thing anyway, init!’ And then when the boy sends it she shows her friend and then the friend shows their friend and then it’s just everywhere.”
- What do your class think of this?
- Do they agree or not? Why?
Dzifa reminds them that when you press send you are sending it out to the whole world. (Take time to clarify what she means by this if you class are unsure).
Joe picks this up when he says, “I think that a lot of people don’t realise the consequences that can come out of sending nudes. People do it purely because they think they can get away with it and it won’t happen to them but it doesn’t work like that and if it gets to the wrong hands, it’s gonna be really bad for you.”
The conversation moves on to message groups and whether people use these to spread pictures and the consequences of that.
Joe points out that this is completely illegal. At this point you could take some time to look at the laws around sending sexual images and sending on other’s sexual images – be sure to really research this and make sure that you are looking at current laws as they can change – a good place to start would be your Government’s website.
- Do your pupils think they need more lessons on this in your school?
- If so, what do they feel they need to learn? You could note down their thoughts (maybe do some voting), and give this to SLT to plan into the curriculum.
There’s some discussion on trusting next.
- Do your pupils feel this is a factor?
- Can we ever fully trust someone with intimate images?
- What if we break up or someone accidentally gets hold of the phone? Is it worth it?
Open up some discussion with your pupils on this and let them freely share their views. (You might want to remind them of the working agreement here).
Joe reflects – he says you might think you are sending it to someone you trust but it’s risky. He thinks when you’re young the best thing to do is not to send nudes or do sexting but he does think when you are an adult this might be different.
- What do your pupils think of this idea? Why?
Garthia finishes by saying, “The moral of the story is don’t send them…but you could send them at your own risks.”
- Who agrees with this, or part of this? Why?
At the end of your session allow time for any questions or further discussion, pull everything together and make sure you allow for some quiet reflection at the end.
Always check in with the group and remind them to talk to someone if anything they have seen or discussed has made them feel uncomfortable and always signpost where they can get further support or information both within and outside of school. ChildLine will talk to people right up to the age of 19 for support and is free to use.
These short films were created in consultation with a PSHE education expert and will fit within:
- Citizenship and PSHE (RSE) in England.
- The Curriculum for Excellence (Health & Wellbeing Education) in Scotland.
- Learning for Life and Work in Northern Ireland.
- Personal and Social Education (PSE) in Wales.