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Secondary School Resources

Media & Digital literacy resources for 11+ yrs

Media Smart’s resources focus on topics such as advertising, digital advertising, body image, social media, influencer marketing and creative careers. These resources have been created to support educators, parents and guardians, so that media and digital literacy can be taught more efficiently in school, and at home.

The teaching materials are perfect for school assemblies, PSHE and ICT/computing lessons, and across the curriculum in secondary schools. They are also ideal for workshops and presentations in youth organisations.

These lesson guides are engaging as well as educational – from explaining what an advert is, to creating an advertising campaign.

Scam Flags add up to a Scam
Suitable for 13+ yrs
Key stage 3 & 4

In today’s digital age, the rise of scams targeting young people is alarming. Recent findings by Action Fraud highlight a concerning trend:

Over a thousand children and teenagers in the UK are scammed every month. 

Scam awareness and education are more crucial than ever.

Media Smart is supporting the UK Government’s National Campaign Against Fraud through an innovative scam awareness campaign. ‘Scam Flags Add up to a Scam’ helps 13+ year-olds identify scams, where to report them and where to go for support.

Head over to our Scams page to watch our five short, animated films and download our useful support guide. If you are an educator or parent, we’d love you to play them in your schools or discuss them with your children at home. You might find you even learn something too!

What’s the Deal with Political Advertising?
Suitable for 13+ yrs
Key stage 3 & 4

Research shows that people are significantly less likely to trust political advertising than they do commercial advertising.

Mindful of imminent local, mayoral and general elections, Media Smart (in partnership with the Advertising Association), has published a new 10-point guide to help people – especially young people preparing to vote for the first time – understand more about the political ads they will be seeing.

Please visit our Politics page if you would like to download and read the full guide.

Career Workshops
Suitable for 13+ yrs

We are excited to share a new interactive and educational workshop, all about the Advertising and Media industry as a career option for young people. The session will teach students about the kind of roles that exist, to experiencing first-hand what it’s like to work in an agency, through to thinking about their own relationship with ads.

It’s our hope that by engaging young people, we can inspire them to consider the advertising and media industry as a potential and exciting career opportunity that is available and accessible to everyone.

The detailed resources, which you can find here, will provide you with everything you need to facilitate the workshop yourself in the classroom.

How to Spot Greenwashing
Suitable for 11-17 yrs
Key stage 3, 4 & 5

Did you know that 52% of teenagers are concerned about the lack of action on climate change? And that it’s contributing to 56% of them feeling anxious.  One of Media Smart’s goals this year was to raise awareness of greenwashing and support the fantastic work the Advertising Standards Authority is doing in this area.

TikTok: Adverts, Creators and You
Suitable for 13-17 yrs
Key stage 3, 4 & 5s

This exciting, film-based educational resource, featuring successful TikTok Creators, will empower 13-17 year olds with the tools they need to navigate TikTok’s commercial side, ensuring they have the most positive online experience possible. It should also assist teachers, parents and carers who want to supplement their own knowledge to help young people confidently and securely use the platform.

Piracy: What’s the Big Deal?
Suitable for 11-14 yrs
Key stage 3

Did you know one in four over 12s have illegally downloaded film content in the last three months?  That’s the highest rate of piracy in the UK in the last five years.  At Media Smart, we have teamed up with Sky, The Industry Trust, The Intellectual Property Office and MPA to develop a new secondary school resource ‘Piracy: What’s the Big Deal?’

It includes a short film with TV presenter, content creator and YouTuber, Luke Franks, and TV presenter and producer, Jacqueline Shepherd, who help explain what piracy and copyright means and why it matters to young people.  Our research has shown that, whilst it’s important to flag to students that piracy is illegal, they really sit up and take note when they realise the risk piracy brings to their own personal content.  Downloading illegal content can allow viruses access to their own technology and could mean they lose valuable assets like homework and coursework.  The resources also explore the principle of copyright, highlighting the fact that so many young people today are already content creators themselves and may need to protect their own intellectual property.

Manage Your Online Advert Experience
Suitable for 11-16 yrs
Key stage 3 & 4

In this resource, we feature a three minute animated film and classroom resources to support pupil discussions around what is interest-based advertising, why does it exist and how young people can best manage it.

This resource can support your PSHE curriculum for living in the wider world with media literacy and digital resilience.  Specifically, it builds on the PSHE programme of study to support ‘how data may be used with the aim of influencing decisions, including targeted advertising and other forms of personalisation online; strategies to manage this’.

Creating an Advert
Suitable for 11-16 yrs
Key stage 3 & 4

This latest film-based educational resource aims to raise young peoples’ interest in creative careers by challenging them to design an entertaining and persuasive public health advert to encourage their peers to eat more vegetables.

Creating an Advert offers cross-curricular resources that could be run as part of a PSHE lesson on healthy eating, a Media Studies lesson, an English lesson, or a Careers enhancement day.

Influencer Marketing
Suitable for 11-14 yrs
Key stage 3

This innovative resource will help children understand the commercial link between social influencers and the brands they may be promoting. The rising number of social influencers in young peoples’ lives has prompted us to create a film-based PSHE teaching resource for 11-14 year olds, the first of its kind to tackle this area of marketing.

Social Media & Advertising
Suitable for 11-16 yrs
Key stage 3 & 4

Many young people use social media without much understanding of what they are seeing and why. This guide will encourage students to think more about the types of social media available to them.

The resource explains where and why there is advertising on social media, as well as providing insight into the business models that allow us to access social media services for free or at a low cost.

Body Image & Advertising
Suitable for 11-14 yrs
Key stage 3

These lesson plans support the PSHE Curriculum.

These resources are gender inclusive, but research produced by Credos highlighted the need to create educational materials that focus on the effects of negative body image on boys (as many are more female focused).

Accompanying the lesson is a short film called the Boys’ Biggest Conversation which was created in partnership with First News and Dr Ranj, who spoke to secondary school boys about the way they felt about their appearance and why.

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