Lesson video

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Hi, welcome to RSHE lesson on drugs and alcohol.

This lesson does cover issues about alcohol consumption.

If this is a sensitive topic to you, we recommend checking with a trusted adult before starting or doing the lesson with the trusted adult.

Like I said today we are going to look at low risk alcohol consumption.

I'm Mr. Duffy, I'm really glad you've joined me today.

So let's take a look at what you will need for the lesson.

You are going to need an exercise book or paper as you will be writing some things down today which will mean you will need a pen or a pencil.

So hopefully you've done the intro quiz.

We're going to look at what the definition of 'low risk' is.

We're going to look at what we mean by units of alcohol and the impact of alcohol on pregnancy.

And then you'll do your exit quiz at the end of the lesson.

So let's take a look at some key words.

So let's remind ourselves then of what alcohol is.

So alcohol contains a substance called ethanol which is a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar.

Tobacco contains a highly addictive stimulant alkaloid nicotine as well harmala alkaloids.

Dried tobacco leaves are mainly used for smoking in cigarettes or cigars but they can be smoked as well as in a pipe or in a shisha.

So what do we mean by low risk? Low risk means not likely to result in failure, harm or injury.

Low risk alcohol consumption means that by not drinking too much alcohol, you keep your health risks at a low level.

So alcohol is safe providing we don't drink in excess.

We always talk about quantity, don't we? We talk about having things in moderation and that's the same for alcohol.

As long as we drink at a low level and don't drink too much and we're not excessive with drinking, we can keep our risks at a low level.

So what does the term unit mean when discussing alcohol consumption? Pause the video, write something down and I'll see you in a second.

So units of alcohol are a simple way of expressing the quantity of pure alcohol within an alcoholic drink.

So one unit equals 10 mil of 8 gramme or 8 grammes of pure alcohol.

Which is around the amount of alcohol an average person or an average adult can process within an hour.

And it does vary and it varies dependent on the person, doesn't it vary on the height, their weight, et cetera.

This means that within an hour, they should be in theory little or no alcohol left in the blood of an adult.

Although, as I said, this will vary from person to person.

So what I want you to do, is pause the video and I want you to guess the number of units in the following drinks.

So we've got here at pint of 5.

2 strong beer, a large glass of white wine, a 300 mil bottle of lager and 125 mil glass of Prosecco.

So pause the video and guess the number of units and I'll see you in a sec.


So let's have a look then at the number of units.

So in that large pint of beer, there are 3 units.

There are 3 units as well in a large glass of white wine.

So they have exactly the same.

There are 1.

7 units in a bottle of beer, a 300 mil bottle of beer.

So not as much as the pint of beer but there is less liquid, less alcohol, less of a drink in the bottle cause it's smaller.

Pints are bigger.

And there is 1.

5 units of alcohol in the 125 mil glass of Prosecco.


So it's quite, quite a lot already considering the bottle based 300 ml and only 1.

7 in, in, in the 1.


Prosecco was 1.


So to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, what are the recommended number of units for a man and a woman? So considering all those drinks that you've seen there, how much is someone allowed to have and be classed as at low risk? Adding up the number of units.

Pause the video, I'll see you in a second.

So the NHS recommends that men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

So 14 units is roughly 4 large glasses of wine or 4 large glasses of beer, strong beer and that will bring you to 12.

Okay, so you might be able to have a small glass of Prosecco as well.

14 units is equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.

And obviously it's important certainly for an adult to sort of understand how many units are in their alcohol or in their drinks to ensure that they are staying within the low risk category.

And obviously looking at the amount of units in a pint of beer is not a huge amount of alcohol.

So is it absolutely safe then to while pregnant? Is that true or false? Pause the video, have a think and I'll see you in a second.

It says false.

Experts are still unsure exactly how much if any alcohol is actually completely safe to drink while pregnant.

And so the safest approach and the NHS simply say, "do not drink while pregnant.

We just don't know how much alcohol is safe.

So the safest thing to do is not to drink at all." One thing that we do know is that alcohol does have an impact on an unborn baby.

So there is a higher risk of miscarriage.

There is a higher risk of premature birth.

Premature birth means being born too early.

There is an increased risk of a lower birth weight.

There's an increased risk of learning difficulties after the child has been born.

There is an increased risk of behaviour problems and there is an increased risk of something that's called foetal alcohol syndrome.

So when a mother drinks alcohol, that alcohol passes from her blood through the placenta and onto and into her unborn baby.

A baby's liver is one of the last organs to develop and does not mature until the latest stages of pregnancy.

So a baby cannot process alcohol as well as an adult can and too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect their development.

What they have found through research, that drinking alcohol especially in the first three months, so you're looking at the what? The first 12 weeks of pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and your baby having a low birth weight.

So the baby could have quite a low birth weight and that's that's actually can be quite dangerous because they they are unable to fight infection, they are unable to take our milk particularly when they are born.

Drinking after the first three months of pregnancy could affect a baby after they were born.

So these risks are greater the more someone drinks.

The effects include; learning difficulties and behavioural problems. So obviously they will have problems at school.

Drinking heavily throughout pregnancy can cause a baby to develop a serious condition called foetal alcohol syndrome.


So drinking while pregnancy can be extremely dangerous.

Obviously it's linked to how much somebody is to drink while pregnant but nonetheless, we simply do not understand how much alcohol has these impacts on an unborn baby and as I said earlier, the safest thing to do is not to drink at all and that is what the NHS is recommending.

So what would you advise then? So Joseph has an older sister.


Who is pregnant.


She's over 12 weeks.

She's had her first 12 weeks scan and she's told everyone the happy news that she's pregnant, but she has got a wedding to go to.

And she's wondering if, can I have a drink, can I have one drink? Is one drink going to be okay? But having just learned about alcohol and pregnancy in school, what would you advise? Okay.

What would you advise considering the information that we've just talked about, considering those risks.

I want you to write a letter to Joseph so that he can explain to his sister what he thinks she should do.

Once you've wrote your letter, It'd be fantastic if you could share it on our Twitter so that I can see what you've written and we can see how much you've learned over this lesson.

I really hope you've enjoyed the lesson and if you would like to, please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Twitter tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak.

I've been Mr. Duffy.

I really hope you've enjoyed the lesson.

I really hope you've learned something today and I look forward to seeing your letters on Twitter.

Take care.

Bye now.