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sex education for primary children

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tinarouse, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Hi, just wondered what everyones opinion was on teaching sex education to primary children, and what age do you think is appropriate for teaching sex education? There are so many conflicting opinions and I am really not sure what I think. I have to provide a paper to my Head with what my opinions are and am really stuck on this one. Any help would be great appreciated!

  2. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Do I think we should be teaching 5-year-olds about contraception? No
    Do I think that we should pretend that sex and puberty don't exist until secondary schools? No

    So, you need to decide what you want Sex Ed to look like at your school rather than whether or not it should be taught at all.
  3. emma44

    emma44 New commenter

    We started using a scheme called Lucinda and Godfrey at our school last year and I was supposed to teach the year 5s about wet dreams and periods which filled me with horror at first! So i started off by explaining that we were going to be learning about changes that happen as we grow up and I asked them what they wanted to know about and went from there. It turned out to be much better than I thought because they had loads of things they wanted to ask about but they had nobody they felt they could talk to. Some of them said they weren't allowed to talk about things like that at home and a lot of them were confused about things. I asked them all to write a question anonymously and i planned my teaching from the questions. I would definitely recommend this approach. Obviously you have to inform parents that their children are going to be taking part in SRE lessons first but our head didn't go into any specific details with them.
  4. cj3


    I do not think we should be teaching sex ed to kids in Year 5. As a parent I consider that to be my job. Or it can be taught in a medical context by the school nurse to Year 6's perhaps. I was appalled that my young son was shown videos of someone masturbating when he was 10. Totally uneccessary at that age. The vast majority of kids are not sexually active until they are in theri teens and I don't think they need to know about these things until they are in Year 8. Not all kids are interested in having relationhships until they are about 14. I think you have to look at when kids start to mature physically - and for girls and boys - things don't really start to happen until they are in year 9. I have no problem with kids learning about the biology of reproduction/and bodily functions etc at primatry level - and learning about methods of contraception at about age 13 or 14.But I don't think that learning about sexuality or sexual responses is appropriate at primary level - and I also don't think it is the job of education to do this. This is what parents should talk to theri kids about - or perhaps some informed medical professional.
  5. As a parent I regard it as my job to be the first person to educate my children in all matters related to sex education - from the simple body changes, periods right thorugh to the whole relationships and sex bit. Whilst I am not opposed to my primary aged children learning about sex ed at school I am opposed to the lack of honest information schools share with parents about the content of what they are going to teach. A vague letter about learning about 'change and growth' and 'our bodies' is inadequate. Basically, I want to have educated my kids about it before they learn about it at school!!!
  6. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    trouble is do you educate them before the pick up misleading or inappropriate in formation. Many parents dont, or refuse to speak about things to their children.....mine never did and i picked up all my information from the lads in the street.
    I think done carefully there is no harm, although maybe we dont have to be quite so descriptive in some area.Both sexes need to be awre what is right, and if you dont feel you can ask your parents then who do they ask! So im not against it,
  7. I think it is not appropriate or needed to start sex education so young. I want my child to enjoy their innocence a little longer. I also want to be primarily responsible for that education when it happens.
    If schools are going to insist on teaching it, they should do it in a twilight or evening session with kids and their/a parent/guardian present, and then it should not happen until age 9 as a minimum. At that age it should avoid references to sexual intercourse or any other form of sexual stimulation or technique, and prepare kids gently instead for their impending puberty.
    As parents are primarily responsible for the rearing of their kids (not schools), parents should have the option to decide whether their kids attend such classes. Schools should be seen as providing an option for parents to take up, and thereby supporting the parental responsibility, not superseding the parent and usurping their role.
    In my experience it is school and sex education classes where my kids pick up the "innappropriate information".
    I am against it, so young.
  8. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I find that impossible to believe. I've seen a whole variety of SRE materials available, and I've never yet come across anything so graphic.

    As for the 'it's may job as parents', I fully agree. But some parents don't feel able, or don't bother, to do it. There is always the option for parents to withdraw their child.
  9. Is this option always available for parents? Or does there come a time when it is not?
  10. I think you have to look at when kids start to mature physically - and
    for girls and boys - things don't really start to happen until they are
    in year 9
    well i hate to tell you this but yes although a lot of children dont develop untill this age....some do....do we leave them to make their own way just so we can wait for the majority to catch up????
    my eldest son has just left primary school to start at high school....he is now in year 7 and the physical changes he is going through now suggest to me that yes year 5 and 6 pupils should be made aware of these changes...as we all know how scary adolesance is!!!
    i do take this as my responsibility, as a parent but i would also like to be assured that if my son found it to embarressing or uncomfortable to talk to me or dad then the option was there to learn and ask at school withteachers that are familiar with the child development levels and offer the most appropriate support.
  11. Year 9????? What???? My Y5 girl is rapidly becoming a young woman, many of the Y6s at school already are. Leave everything until they've already had a go themselves , and you're asking for disaster. I reckon Y5/6 is about right.
  12. I think Yr5/6 is about right for teaching them about puberty etc, and the basics about sexual relationships and not only because one hears of 12 year-olds becoming pregnant - could it be because they don't really understand what they are doing?
    However, what astounds (and saddens me) is how much children in Yr 6 are already aware of, the words they have heard, the things they have seen. They are in no way the innocents that we were (well, I was) at their age.
    I think the internet is fantastic, but one of its major downsides is the availability of **** which many children appear able to access at home, not least of which are the many pop videos which can only be considered pornographic, and which young children listen to/watch on a regular basis.
    I'm fairly liberal, but when I overhear an 8 year old talk about gang-banging (although I'm not saying they know what the word really means) I think things have gone too far. And yes, I did talk to the child's class teacher and, yes, she did follow it up. Sadly, however, similar situations don't appear to be an exception, but rather they have become commonplace.
  13. Agree with the sentiments C R L, but I think it's down to parenting, more than the internet. I can remember being an 8 year old (long, long ago), and learning "things"from my mates. Now, my kids learn things they want to know about from mum & dad...I'm really pleased they can ask us anything, and I suspect this is true for many families. My ignorance as an 8 year old was due to my parents not feeling able to talk about "it", so I learned on the streets.
  14. I love the sentiment but fear that in our ever-changing times, where children seem to want to discover the world at an earlier and earlier age and see and hear a wider range of imagery in the media, this is unrealistic.
    Oh, how I wish the many thousands of parents who seem not to actually want their children, let alone take an active part in bringing them up, could see this. If all parents actually espoused this philosophy, schools would be rather more pleasant places for all concerned.
    As previous posters have correctly stated, they do.
    I refer to my previous comments about the relative roles of parents and schools in children's lives. More and more children begin school these days seemingly unable to sit still and listen, use cutlery or even dress themselves. It is the schools and the staff that suffer because of the lack of parental responsibility here. Believe me, any teacher who has had to deal with any of these situations would be only too glad to hand back responsibility for them to the parents. However, it seems that an increasing number of them don't bother at home, causing us to have to pick up the pieces. While I am sure you are a responsible and caring parent, there are many out there who are shirking their duties.
    But how can facts, taught principally through a scientific context, be considered inappropriate. While the story of the masturbation video is appalling (though verging on the unbelieveable), the overwhelming majority of resources handle the subject matter sensitively and tastefully. Parents have the right to view them beforehand and if they feel strongly about it, they should do so.
    Finally, as previous posters have stated, children are physically maturing at a far earlier age (generally considered to be to do with diet or other aspects of lifestyle). This makes the issue of sex education all the more relevant from an earlier age, whether it is the primary responsibility of schools or parents.
  15. I have to disagree. This may be the case for many children, but not for my children. Strangely perhaps, the parenting approach in my house even encompasses the amount any type of access our kids get to the media. It may be unfashionable, it may be uncommon, but while in general it may or may not be true to call it unrealistic, in individual cases it is not. We individual cases would like tobe allowed to parent and not be superseded.
    True indeed. But again, please no one size fits all enforced worst case scenario approach, just because some parents are happy to devolve their responsibilities to the state.
    If true, glad to hear it. But realistically, do I. Didn't the law make sex ed compulsory? Not sure how this impacts on my rights to decide - but sounds a tad restrictive.
    This BBC article might throw some light on the so called right to opt out:
    It won't stop here, pressure will grow to reduce opt out options even further. So much for choice in education. More importantly, so much for parents being primarily responsible for their kids. A brave new world indeed.
    I accept all this. However, the government seems quite able to determine how much I might or might not be entitled to in tax credits, they have no problem working out how much child benefit we are due, and the fact that I cannot claim benefits. So the system ought to be able to support an approach that meets areas of need, without affecting areas without need.
    I guess all I am saying is, without penalty, without stigma, parents are the agents - they choose - and have this choice respected. (Apparently choice is something of a holy grail in education - lets hope it applies here too).
    The teaching scientific facts of human reproduction are not a concern for me (e.g. mensturation, fertilisation etc.). What is a concern (and I know you find the masturbation video hard to believe) is that, based on what I hear from mine after school I actually don't find it hard to believe. I mentioned it on another thread on Opinion, but tell me why kids would be taste testing lubricants in class? Or making posters extolling the virtues of masturbation? This is way, way beyond the requirement of any of the NC documents I have been able to find on the QCA website - so who is deciding to teach this and what is their curriculum based rationale?
    If anyone who claims to know anything about the NC on this will provide the links to show me where it is required teaching I will be grateful. Otherwise I have to wonder where the teachers get of promoting this pseudo **** to under age kids.
    You now have the experience of 2 parents. Disbelieve us both, or begin to question (as some of us are) the validity and appropriateness (or innappropriateness) of what is being taught in some schools - by strangers to kids, without the prior knowledge or consent of parents.
    In researching the subject I came across this interesting report from the Family Education Trust - worth a read by anyone serious about debating the issues:
    I think the appropriate introduction of sex education ought to time with puberty (whenever that is) - but this should steer clear of teaching sexual technique, and teaching kids to enjoy sexual activity (which, if you read the PDF above some local authorities seem to think is their aim)
    I am not yet aware of 5 year olds being about to enter puberty. So, I stick to my original argument.
    And, because as parent I am primarily responsible. It is my view that counts.
  16. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    I don't think life has changed that much from when I was young in that, the ones who know most about sex are the ones with older brothers or sisters. These kids get the info and pass it around. The difference is that, when I was young, the strongest thing the older brother could access was "Penthouse". Now, that brother can see any variety of sexual scenario on his laptop, provided he ticks a box that says "Yes, I am 18".
    So, as a result, primary school kids know a lot more about the mushy detail these days.
    Year 5 girls get periods. That means they could carry a child. So, they need to know what's what.
    If you still want to believe your little Cub Scout goes to bed dreaming about Thomas the Tank Engine rather than Cheryl Cole, you can always withdraw them from Sex Ed. There will be a form to sign. You will be told when it's happening in your school. Withdraw them. (Mind you, you would have to withdraw them from the following playtime as well, when all the kids who DID see the video are going, "Urgh, did you see that?? Where that baby's head came out of??")
  17. I think some people are getting confused with "year 5" and "5 years old".
    HMG want to start delivering sex ed to 5 year olds.
    That is what I object to. A bit too young for cubs scouts don't you think? And at that age Thomas the Tank Engine is perfectly normal entertainment and subject of dreams wouldn't you say?

  18. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    No, I'm not confused. If you'd read the actual guidance instead of the Daily Mail version, you would know that the agenda for 5 year olds is very simple and appropriate. (No masturbation tips)
  19. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

  20. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

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