Building connections – KS3 and KS4 lesson plan

Students explore the meaning of loneliness and connection


  • KS3
  • KS4


  • PSHE
  • RSHE

What's this for?

Developed with teachers, this lesson encourages students to recognise that everybody feels lonely at times, and that young people can manage loneliness by making meaningful connections. Students also think about how they can look out for others who might be feeling lonely.

The accompanying video is featured below.

Building connections video

Learning outcomes

After the lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what loneliness and connection means
  • give advice to a young person who wants to feel more connected
  • evaluate different actions that can be used to build connections

For more information on how to use these lesson plans in the classroom, visit the PSHE Association website.


Supports the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education statutory guidance

Mental wellbeing

Students should have the opportunity to learn:

  • that happiness is linked to being connected to others
  • how to talk about their emotions accurately and sensitively, using appropriate vocabulary
  • the benefits and importance of physical exercise, time outdoors, community participation and voluntary and service-based activities on mental wellbeing and happiness

Supports the PSHE curriculum

Core Theme 1 (Health and wellbeing)


  • H5 – to recognise and manage internal and external influences on decisions which affect health and wellbeing
  • H10 – a range of healthy coping strategies and ways to promote wellbeing and boost mood, including physical activity, participation and the value of positive relationships in providing support


  • H2 – how self-confidence self-esteem, and mental health are affected positively and negatively by internal and external influences and ways of managing this
  • H7 – a broad range of strategies – cognitive and practical – for promoting their own emotional wellbeing, for avoiding negative thinking and for ways of managing mental health concerns

Core Theme 2 (Relationships)


  • R2 – indicators of positive, healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships, including online


  • R1 – the characteristics and benefits of strong, positive relationships, including mutual support, trust, respect and equality