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In his fourth article for Teachwire, Justin Hancock of DO… explains that great SRE helps young people explore their own opinions – without simply being told what to think.
There are so many topics that sex and relationships education (SRE) could possibly cover, and so many things that we want young people to know about. Topics like STIs, contraception, abusive relationships, non-consensual sex and abusive sexual images are often in our thoughts because they’re so frequently featured in the news.
Our instinct is to keep young people safe from harm – but if we frame sex as inherently harmful we risk alienating them. Whilst topics like these are important, most young people don’t have sex with someone until they’re over 16, and often don’t encounter many of these issues.
It can also be really difficult to teach these topics. Just imagine how hard it would be to stand in front of a class and cover everything young people need to know. It’s challenging to ensure the content is informative and accurate. It’s easy to rely on presentations, demonstrations and talks, because delivering these topics needs a lot of confidence.
We also need to avoid telling young people what to think, or worse, what we think. When we’re talking about sex and relationships, we need to be aware of our own feelings and opinions so that we don’t give young people our personal point of view. If we feel strongly about something, it can be difficult to take ourselves out of a discussion and remain objective.
Understandably, teachers worry about getting it right.
But young people are tired of being told what the problem is without being given the chance to think for themselves. Thankfully, teaching really great SRE goes hand-in-hand with interactive learning methods and facilitating discussions.
The DO… resources, help you to improve your confidence to teach SRE, as well as providing a framework to help you deliver engaging lessons once you’re in the classroom.
DO…’s reflective learning resources help you explore your own experience of SRE and your own assumptions and values before you get into the classroom. There’s also a comprehensive practical guide on how best to deliver SRE that we hope will make you feel more comfortable about getting started. And what’s more, the DO… resources for teachers have been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark for best practice PSHE education teaching resources.
The DO… lesson plans have a wide range of different learning styles, from pair and share to diagrams and drawing. This means that the lessons are interactive, and students are involved, engaged and switched on. On top of this, each lesson plan has lots of advice about how to deliver each activity and how to stretch your students with additional discussion questions.
At the end of the programme, students get to apply everything they’ve learned over the last five lessons, when they explore examples of real life situations through answering questions to their own ‘advice column’. And we’re also bringing DO… to you: we’ll be partnering with leading SRE organisations across the UK to run DO… training sessions where you can take part in engaging discussions, learn from other like-minded practitioners and reflect on your own SRE.
DO… makes SRE easier for you to deliver and more enjoyable for your students by distilling the basics of SRE to some fundamental core principles and making these core ideas discursive. Young people deserve great SRE, and you deserve support to help you deliver SRE confidently and effectively. With DO…, we can make sure we teach SRE that achieves the goal that unites us all: putting young people first.
With the traditional model of sex and relationships education, teachers worry about getting it right and saying the right – or wrong! – thing. With DO…, we’re making SRE more relevant and approachable for students and more comfortable for you to deliver.
For resources and support to make great SRE happen in your school, visit dosreforschools.com.
DO… is a unique collaboration between leading SRE experts and Durex to make great SRE happen in our secondary schools. Justin Hancock is a member of the DO… collaboration – he’s worked as an SRE specialist since 1999. He’ll be writing a series of exclusive articles about how to best approach SRE.
We want to make SRE more relevant and approachable for students and more comfortable for you to deliver. The DO… approach empowers you to facilitate really engaging lessons that really inspire young people – without needing to be an expert in SRE.