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Understanding Consent: Teaching children about consent through an Aardman animation

Understanding Consent

Upper Key Stage Two

RHE Link:

Caring friendships

Pupils should know

  • how to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed. 

Respectful Relationships

Pupils should know

  • practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships. 
  • that in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority.
  • the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults. 

Being Safe

Pupils should know

  • what sorts of boundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others (including in a digital context). 
  • that each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact

Download Lesson Plan, Lesson Guidance and Resources:

GHLL RSHE Lesson Plan KS2 Understanding Consent

Understanding Consent: Lesson Guidance

Resource Sheet 1A: Scenarios

Resource Sheet 1B: Scenarios for children needing additional support

Resource Sheet 1C: Scenarios challenge activity

Resource Sheet 1D: Scenarios with answers

Resource Sheet 2: Role-play

Content on this page is available for any schools to use with kind permission of the  Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning Team and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and cannot be used for commercial gain. 


We are delighted to say that this lesson, along with all the associated resources, has been awarded the PSHE Association’s Quality Mark. The lesson plan, lesson guidance and resources can be downloaded from the links in the blue box.


Lesson Objectives

To understand what is meant by consent

To understand the importance of gaining, as well as giving, consent

To know that consent can be withdrawn at any time


Learning Outcomes

I know that consent is about agreeing to let something happen

I know that consent must be gained; it should not be assumed in the absence of “No”

I understand that we all have the right to change our minds regarding consent

I know where to go to seek support, if required



Aardman animation about Consent

Resource Sheet 1A: Scenarios

Resource Sheet 1B: Scenarios for children needing additional support

Resource Sheet 1C: Scenarios challenge activity

Resource Sheet 1D: Scenarios with answers

Resource Sheet 2: Role-play

Props for role-play (optional)



Begin the session by reminding the children of the ground rules for PSHE lessons; these may be
recorded in their PSHE books or on display in the classroom. (An example of ground rules can be
found in the accompanying Lesson Guidance)


Baseline Assessment Activity (5 mins)

Write the word consent on the board and ask the children to reflect independently on the question: What do you understand by consent? Ask them to write the word 'consent' in their books and, in one colour only, jot down their thoughts about what this term means. View the children's responses to identify starting points and misconceptions, and explain they will return to this at the end of the session.


Introduction to Consent (10 mins)

Play the Aardman animation on Consent and task the children to identify the key points of the film through questioning:

What is meant by ‘consent’?

  • Consent is about agreeing to let something happen

What should happen if consent for something is not given?

  • If consent isn’t given, then that thing should not happen

Once someone has given consent, can that consent always be assumed (e.g., if someone agrees to lend their friend a pencil, does their friend need to ask again if they want to borrow it again a week later?)

  • Any person who has given consent always has the right to change their mind
  • It is as important to understand about gaining consent as about giving consent


Activity 1: Scenarios (15 mins)

Working in pairs or small groups, ask the children to look through the set of scenarios on Resource Sheet 1A (use 1B for pupils requiring additional support and/or 1C for a challenge activity). Decide if the scenario is one where the named person in the scenario:

  1. is not wanting to give consent
  2. is wanting to gain consent
  3. has given consent but has now changed their mind and wishes to withdraw consent

Within their groups, encourage the children to discuss why they allocated the number they did to each scenario.

Bring the class back together to feedback their answers (answers provided on Resource Sheet 1D), addressing the key points raised in their group discussions. The children can share their thoughts about the scenarios. Discuss the importance of the language used around giving and gaining consent, and elicit/suggest sentence stems which they can use to seek consent, e.g. Is it okay to…? Would you mind if I…? Are you happy if we…? etc.

Key Learning Points:

  • Consent should not be assumed; the absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes’. No means no, but equally only yes means yes.
  • If “Yes” is spoken, but body language, voice, etc imply the person consenting is not feeling sure, then we should stop and think.
  • Consider if the person is feeling obliged/manipulated/coerced/pressured to consent.
  • Always remember that if a person has consented once, they may not choose to forever; everyone has the right to change their mind.

Activity 2: Role-play (10 mins)

When using role-play with pupils, it is important that they only role-play positive behaviours. Make sure children stick to the scenario provided and that they have time to come ‘out of the role’ at the end of the activity. For example, by ‘shaking off’ the character, or by wearing/holding a prop (a hat, pair of glasses, talking stick, etc) during the role-play which they then return/remove when they stop playing the character.

Share with the children the different role-play dilemmas (Resource Sheet 2). Together, the class can compose a list of key phrases to use if they don’t want to give consent or if they want to withdraw consent, e.g.:

  • No
  • Please stop
  • I don’t like what you are doing
  • I don’t like what we are doing
  • I have changed my mind
  • I don’t feel comfortable

In pairs, give the children their roles from Resource Sheet 2 and in pairs they can assume a character and role-play the situation, using language to practise being assertive in denying, or withdrawing, consent.


Activity 3: Judging Personal Space (10 mins)

Ask the children to get into pairs and decide on a partner A and a partner B. Partners A and B stand in two parallel lines, opposite each other, two or three metres apart. When they are ready to start, partner A will ask partner B if they can take a step closer to them. To begin with, partner B will give consent by replying “Yes”. Partner A then asks again before taking another small step. This continues until partner B feels uncomfortable about their partner coming any closer; once they do, they can reply “Please stop”. At this point, partner A has reached the boundary of partner B’s personal space; partner A must respectfully stop.

Once everyone in the class has said stop, the children can look at where they are all standing. Ask Why is it important to stop when asked? Each person’s idea of personal space may be different to someone else’s. Everyone needs to respect each other’s personal space. Why do you think some partners are closer than others? Relationships between people can be different; personal boundaries between friends are generally smaller than those between people who don’t know each other as well. Personal boundaries between family members are often even smaller.


Plenary and End Point Assessment (10 mins)

Remind the children of what they can do if they feel uncomfortable about how they are being treated. If they need support, they can go to their trusted adult at home or in school. Children need to understand the systems in place in their particular setting to enable them to ask questions, as well as to know how to access local and national support agencies (see Signposting below). 

It is essential they understand that they need to keep asking until they are heard.

Replay the Aardman animation on Consent and reflect on the key question, shared at the beginning of the session: What do you understand by consent?

The children can revisit their notes from the beginning of the lesson (baseline assessment) and, using a different colour to that used for the baseline task, ask them to add their new knowledge and understanding about the topic of consent in their book.

As an additional independent reflection, ask the children: Think back to what you have learned today about seeking and giving permission. How could you apply this to your own life? They might not want to share their response to this question but can if willing to do so.



It is essential children understand the systems in place in their particular setting to enable them to ask questions. These may include reminding the children that they can: approach their teacher if they have anything they would like to ask or are concerned about; visit a pastoral/nurture room at break times/lunchtime to speak to a trusted adult; post a question in the ‘ask-it basket’ accessible to them in their classroom; or another communication system set up in their school.

In addition, signpost the children to helplines such as Childline or a local support provider, where they can ask questions via text, a chat box or phone line.



See accompanying Guidance Notes

Tagged under: primary, rshe, Key Stage 2, ghll resource, lesson plans, consent, aardman

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