Friday, 29 January 2010

Two things surprise me

Two things surprise me regularly when I'm teaching SRE.
Firstly, how much some young people know about sex.
Secondly, how little some young people know about sex.

Strangely this seems true across all demographics of age, culture, up bringing and economic background. Some young people just seem to have a much greater awareness of sex at a younger age and some seem to be the complete opposite. This presenst some problems when teaching SRE. I know that if I aim too basic in my session I will be irrelevant to some of the class and more worryingly they may then decide to not ask me that question that they really want to know. On the over side if I aim high I may be concussing to people in the lesson or I may give them ideas that they wouldn't have thought of before.

I believe the best approach is to aim somewhere in the middle, never assuming anything. Ensuring all my language is clear and concise examplianing new terms as I use them. At the same time I aim to never let my language appear to encourage any activities at a young age. The big example of this has been Oral Sex.

In many lessons I have defined oral Sex saying "oral sex is when someone uses their mouth to provide pleasure to someone's genitals" sometimes adding "by licking, sucking or kissing for example."

I have discussed with a number of workers and a few teachers about this particular definition. Does the definition act as a short how to, encouraging young people to engage in an activity they may not have previously thought of. In a basic way it does, it gives the very basic technique but does it encourage young people to have a go? I'm not sure but currently I believe all it does is break down the gossip and misunderstandings that go around the school playground. Sometimes I ask the group to give some examples of the slang terms they use. This can again help young people to cut through misunderstandings.

At my recent lecture at The University of Chester, one of the students made the point that we should be working with the sick not the healthy and used this idea to support the aim of teaching SRE aimed at young people who are thinking and talking about the bigger issues. They need help and support. The young people who hadn't heard the terms or hadn't spent a lot of time thinking about it wouldn't be damaged by hearing some more details. Details that are clear and correct, not gossip or Chinese whispers.

Information isn't damaging (unless it is misinformation)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Oasis Esteem Sex and Relationship Course

In Chester we are hosting a 4 day Oasis Esteem Sex and Relationship Education course. Please download the attached JPG flyer.

[caption id="attachment_34" align="aligncenter" width="426" caption="Sex and Relationship Education Course in Chester"]Sex and Relationship Education Course in Chester[/caption]

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Visit to the University of Chester

Today I am visiting the University of Chester, Christian Youth Work Course. I am giving a guest lecture to the 3rd years about the role of Sex and Relationship Education in Youth Work. As part of the lecture I used a Powerpoint which I have attached to this blog post if anyone wants to make use of my quotes and figures.

Sex and Relationship Education in Youth Work

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Relationship Pyramid

I have based this exercise on the Intimacy Pyramid from the Oasis Esteem Programme. I have used lots of the same words but have added some extra words and changed some wording.

Simply the exercise works by getting the class into groups of around 3 or 4 and giving out the cards (holding back the cards that say sex).
- Ask the groups to pick the top 10 cards that they would want in a good friendship.
- Ask them to put the card into a pyramid with the most important card at the top.
- Go around the group and ask them to feedback the top 3 cards in the pyramid.
- After everyone has feedback, point out how similar people's top 3 cards are. Encourage the group that although we are all different we are all looking for similar things in friendships.
- Now get tell the group to make the pyramid into a romantic relationship by adding 3 cards and remove any cards they think should not be in a relationship pyramid.
- Ask groups to feedback the 3 cards they have added and explain the positioing of at least 1 of the new cards.
- Then give out some sex cards (the 5 cards on the bottom of the page). Some people will choose not to include the 4 cards describing 4 distinct sexual activities some may just use the simplified card saying "Having Sex". Make your decision based on the group you are working with.
- Ask the groups to decide if they think these cards should be included in a relationship pyramid. Let them spend a lot of time discussing the question. You can also encourage them to think about if they believe as they got older sex may get more important.
- Encourage groups to feedback what they have decided, (I don't recommend you force every group to feedback, as some individuals may be uncomfortable). It may also be appropriate to encourage the class to discus the different groups decisions.

Finish the exercise by reminding everyone that their are no right and wrong answers, we just want to encourage people to think about what their priorities are in relationships. I suggest its worth saying that sex is best kept for a relationship built like a pyramid and that this happens best in a long term/marriage what ever your pyramid look likes.

Now to make this exercise well you have to know the cards well. Don't aim to make sure everytime you do this exercise you will get young people making the same pyramid. There aren't right answers to this exercise. The process is more important then the pyramid. It helps young people think and talk about their priorities in relationships.  So if you use this exercise be flexible and look at the cards you are using, work out what cards you will use.

Below I have posted a jpg version of these relationship pyramid cards and a word document version below if you would like to change, remove or add your own cards.

[caption id="attachment_23" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cards for a SRE exercise"][/caption]

Relationship Pyramid

Friday, 8 January 2010

True False SRE 6th Form Powerpoint

Ok I wanted to post a quick resource that I have created and used with 6th Formers. It is a True/False PowerPoint, unlike the PowerPoints I use with younger age groups it uses some more explicit language and terms.

All the images are royalty free and come from SXC.hu (an excellent website for anyone doing an kind of image work). You can use them for any not for profit educational work.

I am happy for you to use this PowerPoint for any sessions you are doing. Please credit me If you are using it. I have reduced the file size and preserved my pretty fonts by making the slide show into simple images.

True False 6th Form (jpg)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I can blog on the move

I can now write blogs on my iPod so hopefully I will be blogging more.

Sorry I'm a bad blogger

I apologise i started this blog and haven't used it. So i will try to use it more. To be specific I am currently planning a session for a 3rd year Christian youth work university students exploring the role of SRE in the youth work context. I will be sharing some information about the Oasis Esteem project which is currently the primary source of all the work I do.