Teaching Kids How To Make Smarter Choices

Rise Above has been developed by PHE to address health challenges in a way that resonates with young people and influences them to avoid or delay taking up risky behaviours.

The programme has a digital hub offering young people a safe and inspiring space where they can learn and rehearse how to deal with the issues that matter to them and build their resilience and confidence.

Rise Above provides interactive videos, developed with and featuring young people, plus aspirational vloggers and influencers who model risk avoidance rather than risk taking, and make it appealing to young people. Which has now been complemented with the offering a programme tailored for use in the classroom.

The Rise Above programme is based on the ‘Prototype Willingness model’ (Gibbons & Gerrard, 2006). This model, developed following rigorous academic and clinical research and intervention testing, remains the best model for analysing risky youth behaviour. It explains that risky youth behaviour (such as smoking or drinking) is frequently unplanned by the young person, but is made on impulse, “in the moment”.

The model shows a reasoned path (where behaviour is based on intention to act) and a social reaction path (where action is based on the willingness to engage in the behaviour). The social reaction path is the more dominant path for 11-16-year-olds. Interventions to influence youth behaviour should focus on the social reaction path, but using both paths can enhance their effectiveness — this is the approach taken by the Rise Above programme.


The Rise Above lesson plans have been developed in conjunction with the PSHE Association and have been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark.

Flexible lesson plans

Each lesson plan includes:

  • learning objectives, outcomes, and key vocabulary
  • links to the PSHE Association Programme of Study
  • a resource list and preparation tips
  • a selection of starter activities to help teachers carry out an initial baseline assessment of students’ prior knowledge, skills, and understanding to track and evaluate their progress during the lesson
  • interactive main and plenary activities, featuring:
    • Rise Above’s interactive and role-play videos
    • many opportunities for peer-to-peer work
    • suggested key questions to ask students
  • time allocated to enable students to use the Rise Above website independently, allowing them to explore issues they may not feel comfortable discussing with the whole class
  • extension activity ideas

Check out the lesson plans

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