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Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post 16, Post 18
  • Subjects: Personal, social, health and economic education, Science
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 35
  • Venue: Seized! gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum


An education session which enables pupils to learn about the effects and consequences of drug use and misuse through critical thinking, discussion and hands-on interactive learning. It is led by trained and experienced members of the Seized! education team at Merseyside Maritime Museum. 

Further details

Student explores a simulated drugs box

Pupils are asked to come up with a list of drugs from which a discussion will be facilitated. This discussion provides a strong introduction to the subject of drug use and addiction (including medicines, alcohol, tobacco, volatile substances and illegal drugs) and is followed by a look at our simulated drugs box which allows pupils to learn what drugs look like and what the effects and consequences of taking them could be. The booze goggle challenge is a fun activity with a serious point relating to alcohol use. The law regarding cannabis, legal highs, steroids etc. is also outlined.

During the session pupils are encouraged to question some firmly held beliefs.  What is the most addictive and harmful substance, for instance. Our staff help pupils offer their own opinions and listen to others, enabling them to make informed choices in the future.

Our unique relationship with the UK Border Force and training programme ensure our staff up to date with the latest seizures, discoveries and thinking in drugs education.

Curriculum links

Key Stage 3/4

Hooked links to PSHE with its focus on the use and misuse of both recreational and medicinal drugs, making healthier choices, keeping safe, strengthening self esteem and providing an opportunity for informed debate. Following the changes to the curriculum the teaching of PSHE is still encouraged but with no statutory guidelines.


In particular, citizenship education should foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Teaching should equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens.

  • Pupils should use and apply their knowledge and understanding whilst developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action.
  • Pupils should be taught about the nature of rules and laws and the justice system, including the role of the police and the operation of courts and tribunals.
  • Pupils should be taught about the roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society, and the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities, including opportunities to participate in school-based activities.


  • the effects of recreational drugs (including substance misuse) on behaviour, health and life processes.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • Identify characteristics of good health and how to stay physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.
  • Make informed choices about their health and well-being and explain reasons for their choices.
  • Demonstrate effective ways of resisting negative pressure, including peer pressure.
  • Describe the main effects of, and laws relating to, alcohol, tobacco and other legal and illegal drugs.
  • Describe the positive and negative impacts of risk-taking on their health and well-being.
  • Assess and manage risks associated with personal lifestyle choices and situation.


Pupils will:

  • Improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.
  • Learn to question and discuss issues relating to drug use that may affect their own lives, or those of the wider society.
  • Develop their confidence and ability to make safer choices in terms of their health.
  • Give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.


Pupils will:

  • Be introduced to the role the UK Border Force and how it protects our society.
  • Be introduced to the work of the education team and the value of a visit to a museum.
  • Learn about the techniques used by smugglers to get drugs into the country and the ways the UKBF try to prevent this.


Pupils will:

  • See the museum as a fun and interesting way to learn more about the past and the present.
  • Realise the influence that the media and government has over the choices we make.
  • Be inspired to have the confidence to make the right choices for themselves backed up by factual information and expertise.