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Any teacher can do this!

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs from the University of the West of England, explains how to deliver an in-school workshop to promote your pupils’ self-esteem

Watch Confident Me: workshop lesson plan

Teenagers today are under huge pressure to look a certain way.

Anxieties over appearance can affect both boys and girls’ health, friendships and performance at school.

The Dove Self-Esteem Project’s mission is to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping young people to raise their self-esteem and realise their full potential.

Its in-school workshops explore how society, social media and other agencies, such as TV and magazines, promote an unrealistic ‘ideal’ body, and teach 11-14-year-old boys and girls strategies to protect and build self-confidence in themselves and others. Other age groups can also benefit from these resources, but this is the age for optimum results.

The programme includes tools for parents, mentors, teachers, and youth leaders.  Watch the film above, in which Dr Phillipa Diedrich, associate professor at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, leads you through the Dove Self-Esteem Project’s Confident Me in-school workshop.

‘The good news is that our research indicates that any teacher from any subject, whether it’s maths, science, language or health, can be trained to deliver these workshops effectively, so there is no need to hire an external facilitator, or to have extensive knowledge about body image.’

Students who participate in a Confident Me workshop experience improved self-esteem, have a more positive self- image, and feel more cable to participate in social and academic activities. [1]

These free, evidence-based resources are specially designed for teachers to deliver and have everything schools need to run successful curriculum-aligned body confidence workshops.

They have been developed to support the school curricula in England, Scotland and Wales [2] and are accredited by the PSHE Association.

Its website says:

‘These resources contribute to the following outcomes identified in key stage 3 (the target key stage) of the PSHE Association Programme of Study:

For young people to learn: 

  • to recognise their personal strengths and how this affects their self-confidence and self-esteem
  • to recognise that the way in which personal qualities, attitudes, skills and achievements are evaluated by others, affects confidence and self-esteem
  • what might influence their decisions about eating a balanced diet
  • about eating disorders, including recognising when they or others need help, sources of help and strategies for accessing it
  • how the media portrays young people, body image and health issues and that identity is affected by a range of factors, including the media and a positive sense of self.

Register HERE to download the complete workshop for free.


For parents

Download the free Uniquely Me parent guide to hand out to your pupils and parents.

This downloadable pdf contains expert advice from Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders and media representation to create a resource for parents that is focused on advice and action.


Planning your PSHE Curriculum for next year >


 [1] Diedrichs, PC; Atkinson, MJ; Steer, RJ; Garbett, KM; Rumsey, N & Halliwell, E (2015): Effectiveness of a brief school-based body image intervention ‘Dove Confident Me: Single Session’ when delivered by teachers and researchers: Results from a cluster randomised controlled trial.

[2] The programme has been developed to support the school curricula. In England and Wales, Key stage 3 outcomes include identifying personal strengths, recognising how personal qualities are evaluated by others, awareness of healthy eating, and media portrayal of body image. For those following the Scottish CfE 3rd level health and wellbeing programme, it covers emotional, social and physical wellbeing, planning for choices and changes, and the impact of popular culture and the media.