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The Dove Self-Esteem Project: 5 tips for boosting your pupils’ self-esteem

How a 45-minute workshop can build young people’s body confidence

Sign up to download the workshops HERE

Over the past weeks, we have been working with the Dove Self-esteem Project to offer teachers its acclaimed in-school body confidence resources.

The workshops and 40-page parent booklet are specially designed for you to deliver in schools, whatever your specialism or background, and are proven to improve how pupils feel about themselves.

The single session Confident Me workshop, aimed at 11-14-year-old boys and girls, will help pupils feel more capable of taking part in social and academic activities and boost their self-esteem. [1]

There is also a set of 5 workshops, covering a comprehensive range of issues that impact on body confidence, including the damaging effect of media message, image manipulation and how appearance ideals are constantly changing.

All the workshops offer an evidence-based insight into why young people have self-esteem issues and what they can do to combat them.

Produced by international experts in the field, and accredited by the PSHE Association, they have been developed to support the school curricula in England, Scotland and Wales. [2]

Top tips for boosting young people’s self-esteem

  1. To help young people think positively about their bodies, emphasise what their body can do, rather than what it looks like.
  2. Point out how images of celebrities and models in the media are manipulated. Young women, in particular, feel huge pressure to look a certain way and will often digitally manipulate images of themselves before sharing them with friends on social media. Discuss positive examples of women that focus on their strength and abilities, not just their appearance.
  3. Here’s a quick‚ eyes-shut, hands up exercise to find out how confident your students feel about their body.
    Ask the class if they know how to improve their body confidence. The higher they hold their hand up, the more confident they feel. Repeating these questions at the end of the session will allow you to demonstrate the progress your class has made during the session.
  4. No matter how old they are, people constantly compare how they look with others, not just celebrities but people they know too. View the film Inner Critic (below) together and discuss how everyone, no matter how confident or attractive you may think they are, has insecurities about their body.

   5. Make it clear it’s okay to take care of your appearance! Self-esteem issues arise when pupils get caught up in trying to achieve a look that is impossible for most, use up too much time and money in the process and feel bad about themselves if they think they have failed.

Advice adapted from Uniquely Me, the FREE 40-page booklet you can share with all parents at your school, Confident Me: Single Session workshop and Confident Me: Appearance Ideals


Register for FREE teaching resources to deliver PSHE Association-approved in-school self-esteem workshops here.

For parents

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

PDF iconUniquely Me parent guide.pdf

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.