Children as young as four are being given lessons about sexual assaults, mental illness and cyber bullying in the UK’s first “kindness” school.
Pupils are also being taught about how to spot fake news and trolling on social media.
Four-year-old pupils are given lessons on recognising when they are a victim of sexual assault while older children have classes with rape counsellors.
The lessons are being rolled out daily at Ewyas Harold Primary School in Hereford which is the first official “kindness school” in the UK.
The school, which teaches 101 children aged from four to 11, has joined the Kindness Movement which focuses on mental and sexual health and online safety.
Pupils at the school – rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and in the top one per cent in the UK for its Sats results – have daily assemblies and classes tackling mental and sexual health.
Year 6 pupils have already been given a talk about sexual crimes by rape counsellors from West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre.
Elsewhere, lessons are devoted to depression and other mental health conditions.
Headteacher Laura Wallace said: “We can do all we can for physical wellbeing, and while that is all well and good, mental health is a massive, massive issue.
“If we start explaining that to children at the age of four, including self-esteem issues, we will have a generation where it’s acceptable and they know how to deal with issues in life.
“We might look at e-safety and how to stay safe online.
“There is the NSPCC’s Pants programme, which features the Pantosaurus saying ‘what’s in your pants belongs only to you’.
“We are talking about depression and what it looks like, how it manifests.
“The rape lessons are only for Year 6 pupils, who have started learning about sex education.
“We tell pupils that when they see someone, they don’t know what battles they are facing so they should smile and say ‘hello’.
“We have kindness books and a buddy bench where pupils can sit if they don’t have anyone to play with.
“Other pupils are encouraged to play with them if they anyone sitting there.
“Children make friendship bracelets for each other.
“Wellbeing is part of this academic year’s school development plan and has become a whole school focus, due to the great importance of children having a healthy mind.
“Developing personal confidence and the willingness to take on new experiences and challenges are among the core aims of our school.
“Exceptionally high standards and expectations of both education and behaviour ensure that every one of our pupils achieve.
“We advocate an ethos of mutual respect and tolerance. We also believe that teaching a sense of kindness, appreciation, respect and compassion is a vital part of childhood education.”