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Body Image

Body image can be defined as:

How people feel about the way they look and the way their body functions. This can include a person’s thoughts and feelings about their weight, shape, skin colour, size, height and their appearance more broadly.

Reflections on Body Image, All Party Parliamentary Group, 2013

Oak Cottage Primary School (link opens in a new tab or page) here in Solihull shared their excellent practice with Ofsted who have written and published a good practice example of how they have developed a positive body image programme.

Key standards in teaching about body image (link opens in a new tab or page)

The PSHE Association has published practical guidance for teachers about the safe and confident teaching of body image in schools, as part of the PSHE curriculum.

The guidance aims to enable schools to promote positive body image with pupils by supporting teachers to develop their own teaching materials or adapt existing high quality resources for use in the classroom, a range of which are recommended in the guidance.

Suitable for Key Stages 1-5, the resource includes sections on establishing ground rules for a supportive learning environment, using visitors in the classroom and addressing the needs of vulnerable pupils.

The Be Real Campaign have developed a Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools promoting body confidence in students aged 11 to 16.The websites and resources below may be useful when approaching this topic in the classroom.

Dove Self Esteem Resources Teaching resources and useful guides for teachers.


Dove also have resources to support parents in developing self-esteem in their children. More information:



Reflections on body image report

Media Smart Resources (link opens in a new tab or page)

Media Smart have produced a useful online activity and lesson plan that allows an exploration of body image through the creation of online avatars mirroring the decisions children make when choosing how they are represented in computer games.

Body image and boys Media Smart and First News have come together to create the Boys’ Biggest Conversation – a campaign to encourage young men, across the UK, to talk about body image and the effect it has on their mental wellbeing.

Body image and girls  is a mindfulness activity guide for mentors of girls 11-14 years. The Mindful Me activity guide, developed with psychologists, experts and pioneers in body image and girl development, helps girls build body confidence and self-esteem.

Body Image in the Primary School (David Fulton Books) – by Nicky Hutchinson and Chris Calland

Your Body is Brilliant, Body Respect for Children (Singing Dragon) (link opens in a new tab or page) – Sigrun Danielsdottir, illustrated by Bjork Bjarkdottir. The colourful illustrations in this picture book will help children learn to love their bodies from an early age and appreciate all the wonderful things their bodies do. The book promotes a healthy attitude which will help children understand that all bodies are different and encourage them to take good care of their bodies throughout their lives.