Social media – KS3 and KS4 lesson plan

Students explore the topic of social media, and learn actions a person can take to look after their wellbeing online and offline.


  • KS3
  • KS4


  • PSHE
  • RSHE

What's this for?

Developed with teachers, this lesson explores social media and the impact that online content can have on a person's wellbeing. Engaging video content helps students to consider the positives and negatives of social media.



Please note: If teaching this lesson with Year 7 students, there are age restrictions for joining social media platforms. In most cases students will be required to be 13 years of age.

Learning objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the terms wellbeing and social media
  • outline a range of strategies to improve wellbeing (including how to use social media responsibly)
  • explain the importance of balance in online and offline activities

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

Respectful relationships including friendships

  • Students should know the characteristics of positive and healthy friendships (in all contexts, including online).

Mental wellbeing

  • Students should know how to critically evaluate when something they do or are involved in has a positive or negative effect on their own or others’ mental health.

Build on primary knowledge of internet safety and harms

  • Students should know that for most people the Internet is an integral part of life and has many benefits.
  • They should know about the benefits of rationing time spent online, the risks of excessive time spent on electronic devices and the impact of positive and negative content online on their own and others’ mental and physical wellbeing.
  • They should also know that the Internet can also be a negative place where online abuse, trolling, bullying and harassment can take place, which can have a negative impact on mental health.

Supports the PSHE curriculum

Core Theme 1 (Health and wellbeing)


  • H2 - to understand what can affect wellbeing and resilience
  • 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
  • H13 - the importance of, and strategies for, maintaining a balance between school, work, leisure, exercise, and online activities


  • 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 
  • H12 - the benefits of having a balanced approach to spending time online

Core Theme 3 (Living in the wider world)


  • L22 - the benefits and positive use of social media, including how it can offer opportunities to engage with a wide variety of views on different issues