Body Positive Schools

A New Educational Resource for School Teachers

Developed by University of Bath researchers and Anorexia and Bulimia Care, this free educational resource explores a wide variety of young people’s body-themed topics from appearance pressures, social media to digital health technologies.
Specifically designed for flexible teaching, the new resource includes classroom activities, videos, group projects ideas and whole school approaches to promoting body positive confidence and culture at your school.

Who is it for?

Aimed at supporting teaching and learning at Key Stage 3 (11-14 years old). Also suitable for youth projects working with the same age groups.

How was the resource developed?

Recognising the rising number of young people experiencing body disaffection and disordered eating, the University of Bath set about researching and gathering evidence on how to help address these concerns through schools-based approaches.

A 2016 pilot project by Professor Emma Rich identified the need for further research with young people in schools to explore how they learn about health and their bodies as well as the impact of this on their identities, health practices and wellbeing.

In collaboration with Anorexia and Bulimia Care, a funded PhD study by Niamh Ni Shuilleabhain explored how teaching and learning might be done in a way that prevents and responds to feelings of body dissatisfaction amongst young people.

From Jan-June 2018, the research involved work with two secondary schools in the South West, approx. 380 Year 8 students and their teachers to co-create approaches to health education and promoting body positive school cultures.

Research and resource development activities included:

    • 39 workshops
    • 11 staff interviews
    • 5 student focus groups
    • A number of short paired interviews with students
    • A 5-week facilitated creative project over school lunchtimes

This unique resource incorporates the university’s research findings on this topic as well as invaluable input from the young people and teachers involved in its development and associated activities.

Download your free ‘Body Positive Schools’ resource here.

Check out the two short animated videos below, created in collaboration with Stacy Bias, and made for use alongside the resource on page 29.