Training Materials Review – Making Your Mind Up

 Making Your Mind Up
Nottinghamshire Council with Nottinghamshire Teenage Pregnancy Partnership


Split into four sections, each about 10 minutes long, this DVD explores sex and relationships issues, writes Elspeth Loades. The accompanying booklet offers crib notes to group leaders, identifies “key learning areas” and suggests lesson plans for each section.

It is an education teaching aid, similar – I am advised by my teenage son and his girlfriend – to others currently in circulation
in secondary schools – but certainly one that made them laugh, and prompted anecdotes at the trigger “discussion points”. They voiced concerns, however, that there was a tendency to stereotype young men as “predatory” and “pushy”.

The script and the acting is somewhat stilted and selfconscious – “about as real as the tooth fairy”, the girlfriend complained – but the film nevertheless portrays with humour and sensitivity some of the dilemmas young people face in exploring and defining their sexuality. Looked-after children’s particular difficulties in getting accurate and timely information are briefly highlighted.

Although primarily designed for use in schools, it would also be useful for carers, youth workers, school nurses, and looked-after
children’s designated nurses. But its effectiveness will depend on group leaders making sure they have prepared well for the session, by researching the learning points, and ensuring they have up-to-date local resource information for their young audience.

Elspeth Loades is planning and development manager for children’s services, Bristol Council

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