Teacher resources

Complete ‘Save a Mate’ training with your students before attending RRISK

A comprehensive, 45–60-minute lesson plan to deliver Save a Mate training can be found here.
Putting a person affected by drugs or alcohol, or any unresponsive person, into the recovery position can save their life. The ‘Save a Mate’ session builds students' confidence to place someone into the recovery position, how to help a friend in trouble and how to respond to an emergency.

Pre and Post learning resources to support RRISK content

Access lesson plan ideas to expand on the content and the skills covered in RRISK.

We recommend these learning resources be localised to the needs of your students. This might include using local stories, events, places or customs. For inspiration, you can also see Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia's scenario activities or student activity sheets. 

Topic/Skill Resources Lesson ideas
Safe drinking behaviours Save a Mate lesson plan Follow the Save a Mate lesson plan to teach students the recovery position (recommended before coming to RRISK).
Safe drinking and drug taking behaviours; responding to peer pressure Life Ready ‘Applying strengths and skills’ lesson plan Use some of the scenarios at the end of the lesson plan to discuss how students can respond to challenging situations involving drugs and alcohol. You can follow some or all of the example activity steps.
Drug and alcohol knowledge Life Ready ‘Myths and Facts’ lesson plan Use the lesson plan to run a class quiz. You can expand on this by asking students what myths were dispelled for them after watching RRISK, or what facts they learned they didn’t know before.
Getting support Life Ready ‘Support for self and others’ lesson plan Use the fact sheets from ReachOut in Activity 2 of the lesson plan to discuss how students might reach out to a friend if they think they are struggling with problems related to drugs or alcohol. Get the students to list what options there are for

professional help in their area (including phone help lines) that was covered in RRISK.

ReachOut fact sheets:


Drug and alcohol knowledge Life Ready ‘Reframing vaping’ lesson plan Play the true or false game on page 24 on the lesson plan.
Safe drinking and drug taking behaviours; responding to peer pressure Life Ready ‘Reframing vaping’ lesson plan Use the sample situations below from the lesson plan and use the fortune teller strategy on page 53 to discuss the risks and strategies that may change the outcomes of the situations. In groups, allocate students to the following roles:

  • The predictor’s role is to suggest what is likely to happen to the individual in a given situation.
  • The advisor’s role is to suggest some strategies that may reduce the risk of the situation.
  • The decider is to decide on what strategy would be most effective in the situation.

Sample situations:

  • Your friend vapes every day. You’ve noticed changes in their mood. They are having trouble concentrating and working with you in class.
  • Your brother is vaping in the school toilets in class breaks to fit in with his friends.
  • It’s lunchtime and your friends are discussing which brand of vaping product is the best.
  • You’re on the school bus and some of your sister’s friends who vape regularly are pressuring you to vape.
  • You don’t want to vape. Some students in your year group who vape are bullying you and other students who don’t vape.


Topic/Skill Resources Lesson ideas
Safe driving behaviours/ responding to peer pressure Life Ready ‘Counting the cost’ lesson plan Use the questions in the lesson plan to reflect on Sara’s story and who might have been impacted by that crash. In small groups, get the students to write down 3 strategies the Sara, her sister and her friends could have used to avoid the crash.
Safe driving behaviours/ knowledge Life Ready ‘Reducing road user distraction’ lesson plan Use the top 5 driver distractions from NSW Police (Mobile phones, adjusting vehicle settings, passengers, eating/drinking/smoking, external distractions) or get the students to make a list of common driver distractions. Answer these questions from the lesson plan:

  1. Categorise the list of distractions into the four types of distractions:
  • Physical/manual Visual
  • Auditory Cognitive
  1. Discuss:
  • why do some distractions fit into more than one category?
  • in what ways could some distractions be more dangerous than others?
  • select three distractions and describe strategies that you could use to minimise the risks for you or your friends.
Safe driving attitudes Pick any three campaigns about safe driving to show students. Ask the students to pick the one they think is most effective. Discuss which one is most likely to change young drivers’ attitudes about unsafe driving practices and why.
Safe driving knowledge/ attitudes Life Ready ‘Safe travel – can you really multitask?’ lesson plan (under the ‘Life Ready’ drop down box). Do some of the activities from the lesson plan. Our picks:

  • Play the multitasking video (1 min) in activity 2 under the ‘expanding the context’ section.
  • Discuss how this would relate to a real-life driving example, e.g. trying to look and focus on the road while someone is telling you about their day. Or, make up your own activity (e.g. can students throw and catch a ball while texting?
  • Tell your partner about your pet while playing paper scissor rock).
  • Complete the mind map in activity 4 under ‘expanding the context’
  • Watch ‘It’s people like us’ (22mins) to see a documentary about young Australian drivers’ attitudes about using their phone while driving and how reliant we are on phones. Ask students what could happen in the 2 seconds they are looking at their phone and not focusing on the road. Discuss at least 3 strategies students could use to not be distracted by their mobile phone while driving. Some of the video participants doubt they can stop using their phone unless something bad happens. What messages can the students tell themselves or others to convince them that driving and using their phone is a bad idea?
  • Get students to design their own promotional campaign following the activity under the ‘So what does this mean for you as a road user’ activity.


Safe driving behaviours/ responding to peer pressure BStreetsmart lesson ideas Ask students to think of a time they felt unsafe as a passenger, or think of a scenario when they would feel unsafe (e.g. driver speeding, passengers being silly, driver has been drinking). In groups, get the students to practice what they would say to the driver or other passengers in this situation to make it safer. Discuss options students have to avoid or get out of unsafe situations.
Safe driving behaviours/responding to peer pressure


Try Guys try distracted driving (9min 38 sec) Watch the video. Discuss why the 'Try Guys' did this experiment on a closed course. Most of the distractions iin this video are outrageous examples -get the students to identify 5 realistic distractions for young drivers and when and where these are most likely to occur. In groups, get students to describe 5 strategies that drivers could use to minimise distractions, and 5 strategies passengers could use to minimise distractions for the driver.

Other support available to schools

Department of Education Schools can also access support from the NSW Road Safety Education Program. Visit this page to find out more and contact your local Education Officer.

Further education about safe driving for all schools is available here.

Topics covered in RRISK seminars

RRISK is about harm reduction around smoking, vaping, alcohol and other drugs, and driving.

Topics are roughly aligned to the NSW Life Ready program, a mandatory 25-hour course designed to prepare and support senior students as they encounter situations related to health and safety that all public schools must deliver.

RRISK schedule

Day 1:

  • Staying safe if drinking alcohol - Paul Dillion from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA)

Day 2:

  • Drugs and vaping - Paul Dillion from DARTA
  • Peer influence: Overview of support services for young people; how to seek support for a friend; responding to peer pressure

Day 3

  • Safe driving and driving distractions - NRMA and Northern NSW Local Health District Health Promotion staff
  • Personal story from someone local with lived experience of a car crash


The RRISK program (Reduce Risk, Increase Student Knowledge) aims to reduce injury and harm resulting from risk taking behaviours associated with alcohol and drug use, driving and celebrating among young people.

It does this by increasing student knowledge and skills to reduce risk taking and develop safer celebrating strategies, providing students with tips to handle some of the risks they are likely to encounter. It extends the school-based drug education and road safety curriculum for Year 11 students.

RRISK had been offered as a one-day seminar to all Year 11 students in Northern NSW (NNSW) since 2000 and in Mid North Coast (MNC) since 2011 and has since transitioned to an online program delivery by webinars across three mornings in November.

The program has been rigorously evaluated. An impact evaluation found that participants engaged in significantly more protective behaviours and less risky behaviours1. An outcome evaluation conducted by the George institute found that in comparison to other P platers in NSW, RRISK participants were 24% and 42% less likely to be involved in a crash during day and night hours respectively 13 years after the program’s completion2.

  1. Zask A, van Beurden E, Brooks LO, Dight R. Is it worth the RRISK? Evaluation of the RRISK (Reduce Risk Increase Student Knowledge) program for adolescents in rural Australia. Journal of Adolescent Health 2006;38(5):495-503.
  2. Senserrick T, Möller H, Kris Rogers K, Cullen P, Ivers R; Youth Resilience Education and 13-Year Motor Vehicle Crash Risk. Pediatrics December 2021; 148 (6): e2021053414. 10.1542/peds.2021-053414