This month, we had the pleasure of leading some fantastic relationships and sex education (RSE) teacher training for the staff of Oasis Academy Silvertown. It is always fun to work with a new group of passionate educators and this staff team was no exception. To fit in with the school’s timetable, we provided the training across a number of twilight sessions after the students had finished for the day. Across the sessions, we covered everything from self esteem and relationships to sexting, pornography and STIs.
We enjoy training both youth workers and teachers. Both have their own experiences and strengths to draw upon when studying RSE. Teachers are great at quickly picking up the theory and exploring different educational approaches for presenting the topic to students. Both Sarah and Gareth had the opportunity to work with the school staff at Oasis Academy Silvertown. The group had some great discussion and debate about the best approach to take and how to balance imparting facts about relationships and sex and cultivating healthy attitudes.
This balance is a consistent aspect of RSE - all educators have to find the appropriate equilibrium for their own work. Sometimes, it is essential to present key facts clearly and in an unbiased way. The challenge is to find the most interesting and effective way to teach the facts. For example, when we educate about HIV and condoms, it is essential for young people to learn clear medically accurate information. In comparison, when leading sessions on self esteem and relationships, we often aim to help young people discuss and develop healthy attitudes. Changes in attitudes are the most effective method of improving a young person’s relationships and sexual welfare in the long term. It is the hardest aspect of RSE to measure yet it remains a key focus of effective RSE.
'I really enjoyed the session on relationships - I found it helpful to think about different people's priorities.'
'I thought much more about the correct language and the activity about pictures sent on phones.'
'Really informative, interesting and fun. Come back next week?'