Remember the SRE Core Curriculum for London?

We recently received a request from someone wanting to track down the SRE Core Curriculum for London.  Those people who were around at the time will remember that CWP were commissioned to gather good practice from the London boroughs and write a scheme of work that we could share across the capital.  When the Young London Matters site was archived to the British Library, the Core Curriculum went with it.  However, all is not lost and the site can be found here.

Campaign for statutory PSHE & SRE

On Tuesday 11 June, MPs will vote on the opposition plans for an amendment to the Children and Families Bill which would make PSHE statutory. We are supporting this campaign because we agree with most parents, teachers and young people that all children deserve high quality sex and relationships education (SRE). That means that SRE needs to be made part of the statutory national curriculum. We urge you to contact your MP; visit the PSHE Association website for up-to-date details on how you can support the amendment.

Coventry Healthy Schools

CWP ran Drug & Alcohol Training for secondary teachers in Coventry this week, hosted by the local Healthy Schools Team who supported schools by providing a CWP tailor made training day and giving each participant a copy of our new Teaching Drug & Alcohol Education resource.

We are delighted to receive this feedback:

“Inspirational ideas for delivery”

“Actually exceeded my expectations! Really good to have the opportunity to bounce idea off others and gain ideas too”.

Why is SRE important in Primary Schools?

Sex and Relationships Education in primary school has, at times, been a contentious issue. The media are quick to pounce on the word ‘sex’ and assume that this is what is taught in every lesson. A good SRE curriculum is age-appropriate and builds up a child’s knowledge gradually, as with any other subject at school. In Key Stage 1 a child will learn about gender stereotypes as well as the correct scientific vocabulary to name parts of the body. These lessons start to build up a child’s confidence so that by Key Stage 2 they are able to talk more comfortably about what happens to the body and emotions during puberty. Everyone knows that puberty can be a difficult and confusing time.  For many, girls in particular, some of the changes begin to happen whilst at primary school.  In our experience the lessons at school provide reassurance for the children and fulfil the natural curiosity they have at this stage of their lives.  In some cases these lessons may give information that parents/carers have already talked about with their children at home, but we cannot assume that this is always the case.  In many instances SRE in primary school deals with the awkward questions and issues that many parents/carers may not feel comfortable or confident talking about with their children.

Becky Casey, Trainer

CWP releases new resource

Teaching Drug and Alcohol Education with Confidence in Secondary Schools is the fourth resource in our Teaching with Confidence series. We use the same popular format which provides teachers with armfuls of resources to teach our easy-to-follow lesson plans and schemes of work for Years 7 – 11. Basically everything a busy secondary school needs to address the issues raised by drugs, tobacco and alcohol use.

Cornwall supports new Drug Pack

Thank you so much Cornwall Healthy Schools and Kate Pordage who has nudged, urged, praised and found funding to support us in producing our new resource: Teaching Drug and Alcohol Education with Confidence in Secondary Schools.  Teachers in Cornwall have given it the thumbs up already – click on our curriculum overview to see what you think.  Copies can be ordered on our resources page.

Sexual Exploitation

Issues concerning the sexual exploitation of young people – and young women in particular – have been much in the news lately. Recent studies are also telling us that significant numbers of young people are experiencing domestic violence in their relationships. (The British Crime Survey 2009/10 found that 16-19-year-olds were the group most likely to suffer abuse from a partner).

In September the coalition government announced that the definition of domestic violence will now extend to young people under 18, aiming to increase awareness that young people in this age-group do experience domestic violence and abuse. The government also launched its Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan this year.

From our point of view these findings more than ever reinforce the need for a robust sex and relationships programme in both primary and secondary schools. This view was expressed by Yvette Cooper – Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities – in her speech to the Labour Party conference in October.

It is vital that we continue to teach children in an age appropriate way, about issues such as the meaning of consent in relationships or friendships, what is and is not appropriate behaviour, and where pupils/students can get help and support. CWP has over the years incorporated these issues into its work and we know that pupils value the opportunity to engage with them.

Give us your views – how can educators/practitioners help young people to have safe, healthy relationships?

Addressing sexualisation – where to begin in the classroom?

Challenging sexualisation can begin with a simple discussion with KS1 classes about gender stereotyping: what are the differences between boys and girls, what can they do, how do they look and so on.   The media constantly encourages children to be aware of their appearance and presents stylised ideals of body image for both girls and boys.  With the onset of puberty, these body images quickly become a lot more relevant to the changes that are happening to their own bodies.   Equipping KS2 children with the skills to manage these changes and understand why they are happening – and that they will be happening to their classmates too – is a vital part of SRE in primary school.  Reinforcing the message that we are all different and that that is what makes us individual and interesting, is part of the process of children learning to have confidence in who they are. This forms the basis for discussing what makes a safe and happy relationship with friends and family; children can then explore how and why an adult sexual relationship is different from their own relationships, and what personal qualities are important when forming an adult relationship.  Giving children the opportunity to discuss these issues in a structured way during transition to secondary school increases their confidence to sensibly tackle more complex issues, such as pornography and sexual consent, later on in the secondary PSHE curriculum.

Ten Minute Rule Bill 17th October

The Christopher Winter Project wish MP Diana Johnson every success in the House of Commons today when she introduces The Curriculum Bill which requires the Secretary of State for Education to include Relationships, Drug and Alcohol Education in the National Curriculum, making it compulsory in all schools, including academies and free schools.

Like CWP, Diana Johnson wants drugs and alcohol education to give practical information such as the growing dangers from ‘legal highs’, the alcoholic content of different drinks and the health implications of drinking from an early age.   Young people need to be supported to make choices about drug and alcohol use and about relationships, including sexual relationships.  A structured, taught curriculum can help to kick start discussion in the classroom in a safe and supportive way.