BCY’s involvement in SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) was completely revolutionised with the advent of The LoveLife Project. Beginning as an in-house Project, it is now a separate organisation in its own right and we continue to use the project to deliver SRE in our local schools. A precis of the work is below. You can also visit their website here and contact them directly here.
Founded in 2009 by Sarah Rushby it is first and foremost a sex-positive Project. Since its inception, the Schools Workshops have developed enormously, reaching more schools and, in 2013, carrying out a large survey of over 500 year 9 pupils exploring where they learn about sex and relationships (the results are alarming!). There is also now a second stream to the project, Workshops for Parents. These Workshops draw directly on the results of the survey and aim to give parents and carers an understanding of current youth culture that will give them the confidence to talk openly with those in their care about sex and relationships.
Currently the schools workshops are aimed at year 9 students. Whilst originally written as half-day Workshops for between 40-60 students at a time, these aspects can be tailored to suit the individual timetabling needs of the school. We implement a mixture of teaching from the front, small group discussion, gender-based group debate and large group question and answer sessions to cover the following issues:
· abstinence (which we promote strongly for health and ‘common-sensical’ reasons -not simply religious or moral reasons)
· contraception and STI’s – symptoms and prevention
· pornography and ‘sexting’
· gender stereotypes (shown often to be unhelpful and misleading)
· relationships in real life, reflecting on hopes and expectations, commitment and compromise
The workshops give the students the opportunity to think for themselves and to hear what their peers think through reasoned discussion and debate. They also offer the chance to hear from and ask questions of Sarah and Matt as a married couple who share candidly their own experiences, mistakes included! The students are offered the chance to text their questions anonymously to be answered at the end of the session – more often than not the phone number is inundated. The students greatly appreciate the chance to ask whatever they would like without embarrassment – this is a hugely valuable element of the Workshops.