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The Serious Chat - Drugs & Alcohol (KS3-5)

60-minute high quality, detailed & flexible workshops or assemblies.

Performed to students in small or large groups.

May suit carousel days or one-off visits. Available throughout the year.

How do the sessions run?

Our workshops are performed by 3 professional actors.

We start by breaking down what we are covering in the sessions: we explore the definitions, clarify facts and any laws surrounding the topic, and invite the students to answer questions and get involved.
The students are then shown scenes with characters in everyday, relatable situations.

We use elements of Augusto Boal's 'Forum Theatre: following scenes which see young characters with conflicting objectives, we freeze the action and split the audience into groups; the students are invited to advise the characters about what to do next. This is designed to allow students to articulate opinions and feelings in a safe, objective environment.

What We Cover

Drugs & Alcohol - the Risks, Reasons & Staying Safe.

Our workshop explores issues included in the PSHE Suggested Programme of Study (Core Theme 1 - Health & Wellbeing.)

We take a focused look at the facts, laws and consequences of underage drinking, possession and use of illegal substances, drug & alcohol abuse, peer pressure and curiosity.

The students are invited to offer advice to a series of characters, one is being peer pressured to try cannabis; another has become unwell from underage drinking at a party and her friend, who is trying to help her.

We conclude by outlining help and resources available.

We're more than happy to tailor the workshop upon request to focus on any issues you feel are particularly relevant to your students.

Included with the workshop

  • Teacher's further work pack

Why is it so important to discuss drugs, alchol and risky behaviour with young people?

According to a Public Health England report, there were "14,291 young people in contact with alcohol and drug services between April 2019 and March 2020."

HCSIS research, 8 out of 10 young people will have tried alcohol by 15; but according to a recent Ofsted Report, 'pupils were far less aware of the physical and social damage associated with alcohol misuse, including personal safety.'

Ofsted said 'Where learning was weak: understanding of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle seemed to be patchy with gaps in knowledge, most commonly about mental health, alcohol, sex and relationships...'

An NHS Study showed 47% of 15 year olds thought it was OK to drink alcohol once a week, and 19% thought it was OK to get drunk once a week, and 57% of young people said 'On the first occassion they tried drugs, they had got the drugs from a friend, with most of these being from a friend of the same age.'

UpFront Theatre Company's workshop outlines the key facts and risks, but also explores the reasons why young people are interested in engaging in risky behaviour, equipping them with the information to make informed decisions.

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