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Inclusive RSE - The Sexuality aGender Toolkit

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For many years, the young people that we work with have been telling us that their needs are not being met through the sexual health education that they have received through mainstream education:

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual young people tell us they feel excluded for sexual health education, due to a heavy focus on pregnancy and contraception.
  • Trans young people tell us they feel disempowered to engage in sexual health education programmes, due to incorrect assumptions being made about them and their body parts, by the subject facilitator.

Sexuality aGender v2 is a toolkit that enables a broader, more useful set of conversations with all types of young people because it:

  • Assumes everyone has a gender, but people might have different ways in which they describe or experience theirs;
  • Assumes everyone has a sexuality, but people might have different ways in which they describe or experience theirs;
  • Assumes everyone has a body with genitals, but that genitals on one body may look different to genitals on another body;
  • Assumes everyone has like and wants, but a person may have different likes and wants to another person;
  • Assumes that body parts come together during sexual activity, but what a person might like and want sexually may be different to another person.

Sexuality aGender v2 encourages a youth work approach of exploring these things, not by telling young people what to do, rather by questioning, and working with information that young people supply in that process – working with them from where they are.

FAQ’s

Sexuality aGender v2 is a fully planned out and resourced four lesson/session pack that:

  • Can be delivered as part of your PSHE/RSE programme;
  • Can be linked to the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum in these ways;
  • Helps you meet your statutory requirements to deliver LGBT+ inclusive RSE;
  • Helps you meet the needs of all students, including those that are LGBT+, and those from LGBT+ families, in line with the Equality Act (2010) and Ofsted obligations;
  • Is fun, engaging and easy to deliver!

Applicable from September 2021, The Department for Education’s Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance states that:

“In teaching Relationships Education and RSE, schools should ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Schools must ensure that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, (please see The Equality Act 2010 and schools: Departmental advice), under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics.

and

Schools should ensure that all of their teaching is sensitive and age appropriate in approach and content. At the point at which schools consider it appropriate to teach their pupils about LGBT, they should ensure that this content is fully integrated into their programmes of study for this area of the curriculum rather than delivered as a standalone unit or lesson. Schools are free to determine how they do this, and we expect all pupils to have been taught LGBT content at a timely point as part of this area of the curriculum.’”

Read the full guidance here.

In creating Sexuality aGender v2, a sexual health toolkit that is LGBT+ inclusive, we are absolutely helping schools meet the above requirements.

No.

This toolkit does not attempt to replace existing schemes of work in this area. Many other sexual health schemes of education exist that cover other topics, for example STI’s and contraception; so we have therefore not included them in Sexuality aGender v2.

What this toolkit does do, is enable meaningful conversations with all young people on related topics that are currently often missing from existing sex education programmes. These include discussing variations in identities, bodies, sexualities, and included within the latter, sexual activities.

Through the open conversations enabled by the toolkit, facilitated by education professionals, we can help develop communication skills within young people. We want young people to be confident in communicating what they want or don’t want, helping them to navigate any sexual or romantic relationships that they subsequently become involved in.

We recommend that the toolkit can be used with young people aged 13 and older. We have selected this age, as this is recognised as the age that young people are starting to come to us in youth groups, and asking questions about things that are not answered elsewhere in their lives.

As a skilled practitioner delivering this toolkit, you will also be aware of the stage that your young people are at, as well as their age. As with any educational resource, adapting the activities to meet the needs of your group is part and parcel of what we do as teachers and youth workers.

We know that many young people have easy access to a broad range of images and information about sexual activities through pornography online widely available through their phones and other devices. Often adults around young people are not aware of the access young people have to this. Learning about a range of sexual activity from pornography might lead to assumptions about what a sexual relationship has to look like. Pornography delivers a narrow, skewed and sometimes violent representation of sex, which may then lead young people emulating this behaviour or being more susceptible to coercion. We want to better equip young people with skills and confidence to enable them to communicate with partners about the types of sexual activities they might want to do now and in the future; and crucially, to communicate about the sexual activities they do not want to do, so that they have more control over their own bodies.

As such, the toolkit comes supplied with two inflatable dice, which form part of the fourth and final session in the pack. Leading up to this, we have already explored variations in identities in session one, variations in bodies and body parts (including genitals) in session two, and variations in different people’s “normal” and “safe” in relation to their own sexuality in session three.

The dice game enables facilitated conversations around the many different types of sexual activities that people may choose to do. The names of body parts commonly used in sexual activities are printed on the dice, and once both dice are rolled, the facilitator to asks the group of the given combination “what is the pleasure associated with this activity?” and “what are the risks associated with this activity?” It very much engages young people with where they are at with their current understanding, from what they have learned about sexual activity from elsewhere. Through this activity, young people are encouraged to take control of their sexual choices and their own bodies.



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