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Programme Material

Programme Material

Incorporated as part of the Science, Citizenship or Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum, Making Sense of Health aims to engage students between ages 5 to 16 years with a series of linked initiatives, each supported with materials appropriate to the age group being addressed. There are:

  • A series of nine films and documentaries that bring to life the important issues, some highlighted by personal stories. These are shown during the science lessons and then discussed between the teacher and the students.
  • Printed materials and activities that help the teacher deliver effective health and science education, which includes over 90 lesson plans and 300 activities (excluding the variations available when customising)
  • For older students, a copy of the health guide, Health Problems and How To Deal With Them. This is a comprehensive guide to many of the physical and emotional concerns that young people may encounter and contains helpful, practical advice. Parents may also find it a useful reference document.
  • An online resource providing support to students, parents and teachers. This also includes online access to the health guide.

The nine themes covered are:

Teeth & Eating

For Teeth & Eating Making Sense of Health has the great fortune of Rik Mayall as narrator. This is the first schools programme he has every done and has given a great deal of energy and an important sense of zaniness to the film. Teeth & Eating also makes use of wonderful cartoon animations, a high yuck factor in the shape of gruesome shots of rotting teeth and gums and lots of year 2 and 3 students to give great relevance and entertainment. Teeth & Eating is a great fun programme that sets up the need for food and water and a varied diet, in humans and in animals. The film also introduces the variety and purpose of teeth in humans and the animal kingdom and the importance or keeping our teeth and gums healthy.

The Human Machine

The Human Machine is earliest MSH programme that goes a bit deeper in the concepts of diet and exercise so it is important to make the subject matter entertaining as well as educational. With lots of cartoon examples - powerful tools for entertainment and education - and the presence of their peer groups in fun, easily replicable activities the film is hugely relevant and accessible for the age group.

Amazing Micro-organisms

As well as key areas of diet and exercise hygiene is clearly an important issue for primary students and public health. Through cartoon animations and amazing microscopic footage, the film brings to life the world of micro-organisms. And with lots of practical activities with the peer group Amazing Micro-organisms is hugely relevant and accessible in demonstrating the effects of hygiene and simply washing your hands.

Puberty and Relationships

Reproductive health, puberty and relationships are some of the most sensitive subject matter for students... and teachers. So rather than have lots of experts preaching about what is right and wrong, Puberty and Relationships has lots of students of all ages talking about puberty and relationships. What has it been like for the older students and what do the younger students think puberty will be like? The results are surprising, endearing and often very wise. Out of this you have a great film that is very effective in breaking the ice.


Outbreak! is a great programme at demonstrating the link between schools and public health services. With great relevance to the age group an outbreak of meningitis occurs in the class of year 9 students. What happens when a student get a such a life threatening illness like this? Outbreak! gains unprecedented access to the A & E and PICU departments of St. Mary's Hospital and the monitoring processes of the Health Protection Agency

Fit and Healthy

In 2012, London will stage the greatest sporting event in history. Fit and Healthy uses this unique opportunity to inspire students to choose sport and physical activity. The film is narrated by the greatest para-Olympic athlete of all time - Dame Tani-Grey Thompson and features many of today's top athletes. And what makes this film even more relevant is the extension of being fit and healthy to also look at the mental and emotional well being of students.

Heart disease: The Evidence

Heart Disease is just an old man's disease isn't? Unfortunately, no its not and a film like Heart Disease: The Evidence is an important film in trying to break down this stereo-type. So what is it like to have heart disease and how do you make a 15 year old care? Answer get a relatively young man to explain in graphic detail what it is like to have a heart attack. Barry Sherman has had two attacks is an example of the many strong and engaging characters that is a feature of the Making Sense of Health films.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Through an innovative mix of cartoon animations, recounting the story of young woman's cancer treatment and the interviews with the health professionals who treated her, Diagnosis and Treatment is a great insight into a wide range of health professions and the impact that these positions can have on the life of a beautiful young woman.

Human Genetics

An articulate and angry young man who knows he will die before he is 27; A young couple whose first child who was born with crippling genetic disorder and yearn for another child but want to ensure it is not born with the same condition; another family's only child was born without an immune system! Can science help these people…should science help these people? These dramatic and tragic stories provide the hooks for a fascinating journey into the scientific and ethical complexities of genetic science.


IVCA Winner: Gold Award for Best Film in Education for 'Puberty & Relationships'

National Curriculum

How Making Sense of Health is compliant with the National Curriculum through Key Stages 1-4 (age 5-16)


What is Making Sense of Health and what topics does it cover?

Support Material

• 9 films on 4 DVDs + bonus material
• Online resource
• media files
• extensive documentation
• over 300 lesson plans and

Contributing to Government Strategy

Contributing to Government Strategy The Making Sense of Health programme has been recommended to be mainstreamed by the 'All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care & Public Health'. Read more.

Background & Research

Why was the programme developed and who was involved?


Are you interested in using the Making Sense of Health programme? Please either click here to complete a short contact form, email or call 020 3142 6829.