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sex education for primary children

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

  1. I apologise if I actually directed this question at another poster.
    Even so, it is worth considering.
  2. Bingo! I could applaud.
  3. So is it a teenager we're discussing or a child of primary school age? This would greatly change the debate as the content of SRE lessons for children in Year 8 upwards (the teenage years) would be different to that of the primary programme.
    I do not (and never could) claim to speak for all schools. As well you know, there are good ones and not so good ones out there. Those that are not carrying out their duties properly clearly need to improve. However, I don't subscribe to the view that there is an 'abuse of trust'. By choosing not to withdraw the child in question (albeit from an uninformed point of view because of the school's failure to provide you with adequate information), you have given tacit acceptance to the programme of study.
    Does this mean you have raised this issue and the school have not dealt with satisfactorily? If so, you will of course have the right to go through the school's complaints policy.
    Again, this is a matter of opinion, given the volume of time children spend with their teachers (but that's a whole separate debate!)
    I'm afraid nothing will, unless you find a school that lets you teach SRE yourself in your own time and in your own way. And since that is unlikely, I fear that in this area, you will never be completely satisfied.
  4. Glad you agree. And yes, I will be talking to the school.
    I actually only refered to this one school in relation to this issue of not getting information when asked. The more general statements were made regarding the innappropriate nature of the material taught, in light of the experience of other posters also sharing experiences of innappropriate content, who I presume had kids attending a different school (but then this is anonymous so - who knows). And I accept this may not be fair - we don't know the extent of this happening.
    Perhaps. And so far, definitely.
    Perhaps. But according to some posters on here, the more "unbelievable" experiences are not part of the curriculum. So, why are they being done at all?
    Well, I doubt the consequences of this discussion will be that far reaching [​IMG]. On the other hand, if 99% of parents are simply unware, and decide they do agree with me when they hear and think about it, I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it.
    My concern however is more about "the rest of the nation" forcing their views on my family - especially when its not part of the curriculum. But actually I think the take of the majority is pretty passive.
    Perhaps you will all see my plan for what it really is, I've always wanted to live in the USA - Tennessee I think... [​IMG]

  5. Since my kids cover the range, I look at it from both perspectives.
    Consider it this way. One of the main defences given for allowing Sex Ed for kids of 5 years of age is the appropriateness of the curriculum. (Lardylegs was even kind enough to point me towards some information on that). However, I have also learned that some of the more "unbelievable" things I and others have mentioned being delivered to older kids are not actually required by the curriculum (I checked out the PSHE stuff and I can't find it), but taught anyway. So, the issue then ceases to revolve around whether the proposed 5 year olds curriculum is appropriate, but whether the schools will go beyond the curriculum (as they seem to have done with older kids).
    Hence me saying it is an issue of trust.
  6. From my perspective of believing the reports I hear, from the source I hear it. I find it hard to call it anything else. That's my opinion.
    You have made an assumption.
    I'm not sure how what I said can mean what you said, will you clarify? I was referring to your attitude towards accepting a witness student's evidence. What evidence would you accept?

  7. It's called exercising the option to withdraw your child from Sex Ed, and teaching it the way you were anyway at home. Until they are 15 of course, then they can endure the classes under compulsion. Well, it's only one year, and by then enough parental teaching will have gone in to give them quite an independent outlook on the curriculum and be able to make a balanced comparision between what they learned at home, and what the government wanted them to know all this time (or was it what some random teacher wanted them to know - so hard to tell when they don't just stick with the curriculum).
  8. Hiya
    Do you mind if I use your quote above in my research project I am doing for college? I am on an Access to teaching course and as my final research project have been looking at Should sex education be taught to 5-7 year olds. I have had a lot of feedback from my questionsaires, but I like what you have written and would be nice tio have a quote from someone that is actually a teacher. Thanks in advance Penny
  9. This is exactly why it is better for parents to do it - so that they can time it right for their child and not for the whole class or year group wheresome children could be ready a whole 2 or 3 years before others. I teach top primary and while a few of my children are entering puberty the majority are still very much children and should be allowed to stay that way until they are ready to move on.

  10. 'then they can endure the classes under compulsion'
    Spottr you do seem to have a low opinion of education, I'm sorry you have had such a poor experience with your children. I wonder whether you have considered the impact of your opinion on your child(ren)? Is it just the PSHE at your child's school that has been handled ineffectively? It seems as though there may have been other problems and your confidence in them has been completely eroded. You really need to speak to them though and if you still have concerns I would consider finding another school - there are lots of good ones, with caring teachers who work conscientiously with their children's best interests at heart (even though they have lots of marking to do[​IMG] )
    You only have a few children who have experienced growth spurts, pubic and underarm hair growth, breast beginning to develop, emotional ups and downs that they don't understand?
    I would say around half of our girls have experienced some effects of puberty by the end of year 6, I don't think this is unusual.
    I teach year 5 and have taught puberty to the girls in both our year 5 classes (the other class teacher was not confident enough to do it). Quite a few had talked to parents already, but many had not. I held the session as a circle time and kept it very informal and as I was their teacher and already had a good relationship with them it was a safe environment for them to ask questions or just listen. I thought it went really well, they were all really interested and wanted to talk about it. I think there's a place for schools and home to cover the same ground : i think it helps to get more than one person explaining it (not that parents do it wrong! but different people come at it from different angles, use different words etc ) and to have different experiences: one to one (in my year group it was only mum and daughter and one child asked whether they cound talk to dad about it) and in a group (you can get things from others that you might not have thought to ask yourself). Also with the best will in the world some parents will not be as well informed about everything - like your face shape changing, or think about what would happen if you started your period at school or who would you go to at school if you needed a sanitary pad or just if you felt really rubbish and didn't know why!
    If they've talked about it with their teacher already it makes it easier to ask for help when they need to. Remember they're at school all day, 5 days a week: as a parent wouldn't you want your child to know that they had support at school rather than having to wait until they got home if they needed it?

  11. Oh and I always give out a leaflet and encourage the children to talk to their parents about what we've discussed and give ideas like 'accidentally' leaving the leaflet in your lunch box so that mum sees it, for those who are embarassed to initiate the chat. And I follow up by asking them later, who's talked about it at home.
  12. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    <font><font size="2">I'm surprised there are so few of your class affected by puberty.</font><font size="2"> </font>
  13. I have been teaching year 6 for a number of years and in several schools. I also have teenage daughters and a son of my own! I can assure you that in my wide experience it is a minority of children who reach puberty in Primary school. Unfortunately, despite what you say about it being better for the children to know more - the number of teenage pregnancies is still increasing - and this is due in no small measure to the detailed sex Ed before the students are ready (there is plenty of research out there to show that since the introduction of sex ed, teenage pregnancy rates have escalated. Students and teachers, in the main, have a far more relaxed and informal relationship than in the past and i have never had students who have been too worried to talk to me or to my TA. It's not about 'holding things back' it's more about not over loading them with information they don't need.
    We teach about keeping clean and about how the body developes which obviously includes periods for the girls. That is all they need to know at this stage. I have never had any problems either with the children at school or with my own children.
  14. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    There are plenty of studies that show it the other way round. The main stories that come out in your opinion are in the Daily Mail.

    Why you want to leave things so late, or late enough that children don't understand what is ahppening to them is beyond me. We'll have to agree to disagree. Can I ask though, are you religious?
  15. I find your comments extremely insulting.
    This is a professional forum and i expect to be able to have professional dialogue. As professionals we should all be free to agree or disagree without it becoming personal. If you have been pursuaded by a different set of studies from the ones i have found most convincing that is fine and i can accept that as a professional diagreement. Any set of values can be attributed to a particular newspaper or religious orientation (or non). However, as professionals we should not allow ourselves to be influenced by unsupported studies or by those from a limited population. Our refernces 'should' come from balanced studies undertaken by recognised, independent and professional psychologists/ sociologists and not from people with a political or religious axe to grind - these have no place in a professional debate or discussion.
    We are both entitiled to our views and i would thank you not to insult mine simply because they are not the same as yours. For some reason you appear to think you have the moral high ground.
    No offence intende - this is not intended to be personal.
  16. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Hold on here. You said you had read studies, I said the same.

    I asked if you were religious. If you don't want to answer the question then don't, but it does have relevance.
  17. The question of religion is irrelevent - most people are religious in one way or another whether they belong to one of the main religions of the world, or are non believers - that in itself is a religious view.
    However, religion, politics or other personal details do not and should not come into professional debate.
    We may have both read studies - however, i do not comment on your presumed reading of the tabloid press ( you imply that rather than reading studies i take my views from the daily mail and presumably you disagree with their views) You further imply that my views are in some way fashioned by what you consider to be my religious orientation. You have no idea of my beliefs or which newpapers i read but base your comments on your prejudices. This and only this is what i object to. I am more able, it would seem, to discuss this on a professional and not a personal level.
    Maybe its best to leave it as agreeing to differ.
  18. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Blimey! I think you read too much into things. I never implied your views are based on religion. I asked if you were religious. You assumed that is what I meant. I stated that the studies you talk about appear in papers like the Daily Mail. I would back that claim 100%. The Mail is renowned for publishing that type of story, right or wrong. I never said you based your opinions on what was in the paper though.

    I am discussing things on a professional level. You are getting your back up about things you think have been said, but actually haven't.

    Religion does come into this if you are religious but that is a separate debate for another day. Although I will say that in no way is Atheism a religion. That is an excuse thrown around far too often without any thought.
  19. I was unaware that the Daily Mail printed studies - i had always thought they only printed short extracts or simply commented on studies. Do tell which ones they have published in full, i would love to know!
    Religion is a belief system and Atheism is just that - a system of beliefs and as such has as much impact on the life style of its believers as do the major religions of the world as well as the lesser ones.
    But i know many Atheists would like to distance themselves by claiming not to be religous at all - that is a misconception.
    No offence. i would hate to fall out with anyone on the basis of what is believed - afterall there is enough unrestI in the world -caused in no small part by differences in religious beliefs! Let's not join that.

    I will zip up now - promise. [​IMG]
  20. tiffster

    tiffster New commenter

    Our Curriculum Committee signed off our updated SHRE policy yesterday - complete with an appendix which details every area of the curriculum which deals with sex, health and relationship education of any sort, at any stage of a child's education. We were advised, and we felt, that making this available was a good way to communicate to parents what was taught, by whom, when, why and how. Activities include: learning about personal space and how to treat each other with respect (EYFS); trip to the local farm to watch lambing (Year 2); life cycles (Year 4) hygiene (Year 5) and puberty (Year 6). Before we do "the puberty talk" with Year 6 we circulate a letter explaining what will be taught and invite parents in to view the materials, if they would like to, the week beforehand. A very few do.


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