Parents can support teachers and contribute to school sex education in several ways:
- Ask to see a copy of the sex education policy and/or a copy of the sex education programme for your child’s year so you can support what the school is doing at home
- Ask for or arrange a meeting to discuss sex education. Some parents find it easier to discuss sex education in small groups so class or year PTA sessions are ideal. Others prefer the anonymity of a large meeting.
- Ask to see the resources used in the classroom. You may be able to borrow books or videos to use with your child at home. If you disagree with some aspect of the sex education that your child is receiving or you think the school isn’t tackling it well enough, make an appointment with the school’s PSE Co-ordinator to discuss this.
In non denominational schools the nurses/teacher will deliver a programme of sexual relationships education from Primary 6 to Secondary 6.
P6 are taught about body parts and menstruation to ensure children understand the proper names for body parts, understand the menstruation cycle and how hormonal changes can affect feelings and emotions.
P7 are taught about growing up to increase their knowledge of the physical changes which take place during puberty and explore how moods and feelings may change throughout adolescence.
S1 are taught about puberty and contraception; emotional impact and responsibilities to reinforce information already given regarding changes during puberty and raise awareness of the link between puberty, sexual intercourse and development of a baby. Also to look at different kinds of relationships and the need to respect other peoples values and opinions.
S2 are taught about values and attitudes to encourage young people to value the decisions of others. To inform young people of the law and the legal consequences of underage sexual activity. To encourage young people to make informed choices and appreciate the consequences when decisions are ill informed or inappropriate. Also given an introduction to sexually transmitted infections and contraception.
S3 are taught about sexually transmitted infections and contraception to provide young people with clear information on sexually transmitted infections and related issues, to allow them to make informed choices about their sexual health. Also to reinforce the importance of personal responsibility, respect for others and the emotional investment within personal relationships.
S4, 5 and 6 are taught about breast and testicular cancer to promote breast cancer awareness and the prevention and early detection by self examination and to promote testicular cancer awareness and the prevention and early detection by self examination.