Pills, pop and potions - healthy choices

Pills, pop and potions is a session which introduces key stage 2 pupils to the ideas of making healthier choices, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping themselves safe.  Pupils learn about some of the positive and negative uses for prescription medicines, the effects of too much alcohol on health, the impact of energy drinks, caffeine and sugar on health and how to keep themselves safe around household chemicals.

Workshop details

The session is led by trained and experienced members of the museum’s education team who deal sensitively with the subject matter and tailor each session to the group level of understanding.

Using discussion and hands-on interactive learning, the children engage in fun activities with a serious learning outcome, such as our booze goggle challenge where pupils take part in a task wearing vision impairment goggles to help demonstrate some of the negative side effects of drinking too much alcohol. This is particularly helpful for year 5 and 6 as they prepare for secondary school and may be exposed to the use of alcohol by peers and older pupils. We also look at the side effects of drinking energy drinks which are extremely popular with children and young people.

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

Curriculum links

Key Stage 2 - Science

  •  recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function

Pills, Pop and Potions links to PSHE with its focus on the use and mis-use of medicines and household products, tobacco and alcohol and their effects, healthy lifestyles making healthier choices, keeping safe, strengthening self esteem and providing a safe environment to ask questions. Following the changes to the curriculum the teaching of PSHE is still encouraged but with no statutory guidelines.

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 alcohol, tobacco and prescription medicines.    


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.


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.


Pupils will:

  • See the museum as a fun and interesting way to learn more about the past and the present.
  • Learn how to keep themselves safe
  • Be inspired to have the confidence to make the right choices for themselves as they get older.