The DARE Primary Programme

Delivered to almost 10,000 young people each year

The DARE Primary Programme is delivered into primary schools – either directly by one of our highly trained DARE Officers, by us sharing the delivery with your teaching staff or by you completely.

The course teaches children to be responsible, to think about the consequences of their actions and to make informed decisions.

It also gives age appropriate, accurate and up to date facts and information which enables children to learn about the health effects which drugs have on the human body.

As the course progresses, learning develops and children’s awareness around communication, resisting pressure and managing stressful situations improve.

The DARE Primary Programme Workbook Cover

Independently Evaluated Download the PDF Evaluation

Quality Standards Monitoring View our teacher feedback

How much does it cost?

100% DARE Officer delivery
£28.50 per child

We deliver all of your programme.

50/50 Shared delivery
£21.50 per child

We deliver 6 sessions, your class teacher delivers 5.

Teacher Led Plus
£10.00 per child

Plus £110.00 (extra classes are £55.00 each).  We deliver the first session and the graduation.

Teacher Led
£11.00 per child

You deliver all of the DARE Primary Programme, we provide workbooks, namecards and certificates.

Why choose the DARE Primary Programme?

Children are extremely vulnerable to peer pressure and don’t know the facts about drugs and alcohol – they are often unaware of how to communicate effectively, or deal with risky situations. School has a responsibility to ensure children leave fully equipped for transition to secondary school/adolescence and all that entails and to ensure that they will be able to make safe and healthy choices.

The longer term impact of drug use can be seen on the individual, family, wider community and society in a range of different ways including physical and mental health issues, crime and antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse. This can indirectly affect all of us including financially and socially.

Parents often don’t have the confidence or knowledge in order to teach children about drugs and alcohol. We encourage parents to be involved in the programme by attending a parent/carer information briefing at the beginning of the course, by encouraging and working with children on their course homework and by providing feedback on the course and attending the graduation.

Knife Crime Module - New for 2018

Piloted in Spring 2018

Knife crime is currently in the news. We know that since 2011 knife crime has been increasing in England and Wales (Crime Survey of England and Wales) and that this is an issue that everyone is concerned about. Children can often be frightened by what they see or hear about the topic. Our knife crime module, funded by the Home Office, was successfully piloted in the spring term of 2018, with over 1500 children having input on the topic.

Available as an Option Now

We are pleased to be able to now offer this module as an optional part of our D.A.R.E. programme. This lesson concentrates on giving facts to children, ensuring that they aware of the legal implications of being in possession of a knife and also providing reassurance to children who may be feeling anxious or fearful. This session utilises our D.A.R.E. DECISION MAKING MODEL in order to ensure knowledge and understanding are embedded, in relation to a knife crime scenario.
* The Knife Crime Module is available as a direct replacement for the Volatile Substances Module. If you choose Knife Crime as an option your course will not cover the topic of Volatile Substances.

Meet the D.A.R.E. Crew

Cartoon images of the DARE Crew; Josh, Ami, Michael and Darryl

At the start of the programme pupils are introduced to the DARE Crew - Michael, Josh, Darryl and Ami. The DARE Crew manage to get themselves into a range of difficult situations by making poor decisions and it is the job of the class with the support of the DARE Officer to learn how best to help them. Alongside this the class will also learn how to use our unique DARE DECISION MAKING MODEL which allows children to practice making more complex decisions in a step by step way.

The course comes with access to video clips of the DARE crew as they demonstrate how easy it is to get it wrong; question and answer sessions along with practice and decision making discussions enable the children to share their views and to develop new skills in a safe environment.

How does it work?

The DARE Primary Programme is delivered over 10 weekly hour long lessons, with an additional graduation session. You can choose to have the programme delivered wholly by one of our highly trained DARE Officers, to deliver the course yourself, or to share the delivery. If you decide to deliver the course yourself we can provide training to support your delivery.

Whichever option you decide upon, we will provide all the resources needed for the full course to be delivered including access to videos, PowerPoint presentation and comprehensive lesson plans. For each child there will be a workbook, a name card, and a graduation certificate.

Before the DARE Primary programme begins you will be contacted by our DARE Officer who will discuss your requirements and plan how we will work with you in order to deliver the programme in your school. We will agree dates for the delivery of lessons and for the graduation and will offer a parent/carer briefing to enable parents/carers to be fully involved in the DARE programme and to support their children during the course.

We have many schools who have been involved in the DARE Primary programme since delivery began in 1995.  Many use our services year after year; this has enabled in excess of 360,000 young people to graduate and learn how to make better choices.


The course utilises a range of teaching methods which encourages children to discuss and debate issues and problems and practice in role play scenarios, dispelling misconceptions regarding the normative nature of and the expectations linked to substance abuse.  Lesson reviews and homework allow learning to be embedded and parents to become involved in the discussion.


As the course progresses a range of issues are addressed which includes giving basic facts and the health effects of a range of drugs including alcohol, tobacco and volatile substances – there is also an option to include cannabis in the programme (or if required a discussion on the law around theft).  Our programme also discusses and the concept of drugs that are ‘helpful’ or ‘harmful, ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’.


Knowledge and skills are acquired in relation to more confident communication, effective listening and understanding the importance of non-verbal communication.  Cyberbullying and bullying are explored with the children completing a poster and discussing a bullying scenario and working out how to make things right, and where to obtain support when things go wrong.

At the end of the course the children write a D.A.R.E. report in which they can reflect on what they have learned. This is often completed as part of a literacy lesson, with the class teacher.

The DARE Primary Programme ends with the graduation at week 11 when the children get an opportunity to show off all that they have learned to invited guests – which could be other classes, parents and carers or funders. Graduations can range from simple to very grand affairs and may include the reading of DARE reports, singing of the DARE song and maybe a play, a short sketch or poetry related to the learning that has taken place.

Support for your young people

All the kids from St Philip Neri School who sung at the Friends of DARE Event

Meeting Key Stage 2 Requirements

Drug and alcohol use can begin during primary school years - before children become aware of the risks and consequences of experimentation with substances.

Education in relation to this is a part of the Year 6 programme of study in the National Curriculum which states ‘pupils should be taught to recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way the bodies function’.

The DARE programme will enable you to support children’s learning in these important areas. Our DARE Officers will provide a cost effective, quality service which will support your teaching of drug and alcohol education, whilst teaching your pupils valuable life skills that will last a lifetime.


Our internal quality standards framework is important to us and we use all comments received in order to help improve our programme.

We undertake wrap around feedback on the DARE primary programme and ensure that we ask children, parents/carers and teachers/head teachers for their thoughts about the programme.

We are also in the process of returning to interview DARE graduates from past courses (some from over 20 years ago!) to see what they recall about the programme and how what they learned on the course was useful for them over the years.

‘if someone offered me alcohol I would refuse and walk away’

‘I learned how to stand up to bullies and tell a trusted adult’

‘I learned that drugs are sometimes good for you when you are ill, but mostly they aren’t’

A DARE Officer delivering the DARE Primary Course

Parent Quote

‘he has really enjoyed completing the DARE programme and demonstrates good understanding of the concepts discussed’

DARE Graduates celebrating with medals

Parent Quote

‘fantastic, great, done in an appropriate way thank you’

Children listening to a DARE Primary delivery

Parent Quote

‘his knowledge and confidence has grown beyond measure during the programme. The factual information given has helped develop his confidence’

Mentor ADEPIS Logo - - Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service

Externally, our programmes meet the requirements of the Mentor-Adepis quality standards, for example:

Clear and relevant learning outcomes and learning objectives are set and assessed – All lessons have clear learning outcomes which are shared at the start of each session.

A baseline assessment is completed in lesson one in relation to the children’s subject knowledge - Learning is assessed via questioning and observation of tasks during throughout the course and lesson reviews and the final DARE report is completed which demonstrates clearly the learning that has taken place.

Schools* are invited to make use of the D-Vibe assessment tool in addition to the programme assessment in order to establish a clear understanding of where pupils ‘are at’ in relation to their knowledge of drug and alcohol.  (Link to D-Vibe)

*not available in all schools – please check locally or ask us for more details

Positive social norms are reinforced – DARE ensures that children are aware that the overwhelming majority of young people do not regularly use drugs or alcohol

Learning is interactive - the DARE primary programme uses a range of teaching methods to ensure all children are involved, engaged and their learning style is allowed for - including video clips, workbooks, question and answer sessions, small and whole class discussion.

The PSHE Association Logo

We also adhere to the principles of effective drug education as set out by the PSHE association, for example:

Take a positive approach which does not attempt to induce shock or guilt but focuses on what children and young people can do to keep themselves and others healthy and safe and to lead happy and fulfilling lives – the DARE Primary Programme uses facts which are up to date and relevant, and places strong emphasis on the concept of personal responsibility and making safe and healthy choices.

Encourage young people to reflect on their learning and the progress they have made, and to transfer what they have learned to say and to do from one school subject to another, and from school to their lives in the wider community – At Lifeskills we see our programme very much as a part of the national curriculum, not as a ‘bolt on’.

We strive to make links between our course and the national curriculum (click here to see how) – our workbook body maps are replicated in biology, links can be made to geography when discussing the origins of drugs and to maths when working out the cost of smoking. Our DARE Officer are trained to make these links and to understand school policy and procedure in relation to bullying and which will be highlighted during lessons. The impact of drug use on family, community and society is discussed throughout the course.

D.A.R.E. Officers

We recruit and train all our or DARE Officers to a high standard.

All DARE Officers will have prior experience of working in an area relevant to the subject matter together with experience in supporting others through the learning process. 

All DARE Officers are subject to enhanced DBS checks and undergo annual refresher training in Safeguarding Children & Young People, along with other relevant continuous professional development.

Our 6 day intensive training course for DARE Officers includes drug and alcohol information, teaching and learning, classroom management, safeguarding and partnership working. At the end of the course DARE Officers are assessed in a live classroom environment and given an overall rating for their performance. Feedback is then carried through to termly quality assurance school visits by our Training Manager or Senior DARE Officer, with a view to ongoing development of knowledge and skills.

Delivered to your exact requirements

100% D.A.R.E. Officer

Our DARE Officers deliver every aspect of the 10 week course plus the graduation in week 11.

50/50 Delivery

Delivery by DARE Officer and class teacher. Delivery is alternated weekly.

Teacher Led Plus

Delivery by class teacher with a DARE Officer delivering week 1 and attending the Graduation.

Teacher Led

Delivery by the class teacher with all support material provided. Training is available.

MoD Schools

We have trained MoD Officers to deliver the DARE Primary programme. Call for info.

BFPO Schools

We have trained British Forces Officers around the world to deliver our programme, call us for info.


  • What is it?

    A course developed to help children years 5 and 6 (Age 9 – 11) acquire a wide array of personal and social skills, including:

    • understanding the need to take personal responsibility for ourselves and others
    • effective communication and listening
    • coping by dealing with pressure and stressful situations
    • decision making
    • resistance skills
    • the identification of risks and consequences, particularly in relation to substance abuse
  • The Curriculum

    The programme is delivered over a 10 week period and covers the following subjects:

    • Bullying
    • Peer Group Pressure
    • Use of Social Media
    • Choice of Cannabis or Theft
    • Use of Illegal Drugs
    • Misuse of Legal Drugs
    • Misuse of Alcohol
    • Smoking
    • Choice of knife Crime or Solvent Abuse
    • New Psycoactive Substances

    Each week builds upon previous knowledge reinforcing the core principles of the programme.

  • Delivery

    Your school has the option of various forms of delivery; by one of our uniformed and fully trained DARE Officers, by a teacher, or a partnership of the two. Delivery options are:

    • 100% DARE Officer delivered – including the graduation
    • 50/50 Delivery – 6 sessions by DARE Officer, 5 by teacher
    • Teacher Led Plus – First session and graduation delivered by DARE Officer
    • 100% Delivery by teacher

    If you are based outside the East Midlands and South Yorkshire please give us a call if you want a course involving a DARE Officer.

  • Cost

    100% DARE Officer delivery£27.75 per Child
    50/50 – 6 sessions by DARE Officer, 5 by teacher£20.75 per child
    Teacher Led Plus – First and last session by DARE Officer£9.75 per child + £107.50 with an Additional £53.75 for each extra class
    100% Delivery by teacher£11.00 per child
  • Whats included?

    Along with whichever method of delivery you choose you get:

    • Full PDF lesson guides with intended learning outcomes
    • Student workbook
    • PDF presentation
    • Videos featuring real children and their graphic counterparts
    • Graduation certificates
    • Name Cards
    • Access to the evaluation tools
  • How does it work?

    The curriculum has been developed in line with current advice and guidance on effective PSHE and drug education in the U.K. by:

    • Using interactive methods
    • Delivery through a series of 10 structured sessions (usually once a week)
    • Delivery by trained facilitators
    • Providing opportunities to practice and learn
    • Addressing perceptions of risks associated with substance abuse, emphasising immediate as well as longer term consequences
    • Dispelling misconceptions regarding the normative nature of and the expectations linked to substance abuse.
  • Does it work?

    Our programmes follow the International Standards set out by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC). These standards are promoted and used by mentor-ADEPIS. The results of our Quality Standards survey are here.

    An independent study in the City of London was undertaken in 2013 and shows positive outcomes. Nottinghamshire County Council’s D-Vibe data consistently reports improved resilience scores of pupils after undergoing the D.A.R.E primary programme.

    An independent randomised control sample evaluation of the programme in 51 classes (over 1500 pupils) in September and December 2015 has shown statistically significant improvements in children who took part on the D.A.R.E. Primary programme over those that didn’t. The report written by Professor Tseloni of Nottingham Trent University can be found here.

The Videos

The D.A.R.E. Primary Programme is underpinned by a series of videos, both filmed and animated, that help young people understand the role play scenarios so that they can resolve problems in a structured manor. 

  • Meet the D.A.R.E. Crew

  • Stefan's Story

Calculate the Cost

Cost Calculator
Min. 10 for Teacher Led and 17 for all other courses.
Plus postage

Still not sure?

Want to test us out? Check out our taster session here. This session will let you see how the lessons work without the commitment of the full course. We are sure that you will like it and will refund your taster session fee if you book a whole course afterwards.

In the taster lesson the children will look at ‘helpful’ and ‘harmful’ as well as ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ drugs, they will learn about the DARE DECISION MAKING MODEL and the begin to think about how using this might help them in getting out of tricky situations. As the teacher you can see how the course works in practice and check out for yourself the quality of the resources and the delivery.

Want to chat about things? Any questions or queries? Give us a call on 0300 111 3273 and we will be happy to help.

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Tel:  0300 111 3273
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Address: Unit 21, NBV Enterprise Centre, 6 David Lane, Basford, Nottingham, NG6 0JU