Year 12 students have been learning how to build healthy relationships in a series of workshops designed to help them explore their own values and attitudes to some of the big topics of life.
Students discussed sensitive topics in a mature way – such as unplanned pregnancy and choices; the impact of pornography, HIV and AIDS. They also had fun finding out their primary “love language” based on the bestselling book by Gary Chapman.
After the course 96% of students said they felt better prepared to make healthy life choices concerning sex and relationships and felt more able to express their own values, with 100% saying they were now more aware of the risks associated with sexual activity and how to stay safe.
One of the students said: “I learnt never to rush into a relationship and just try and make the other person happy – make sure you are comfortable yourself.” Another student added: “I learnt how to stay safe within relationships and also several helplines to contact if needed.”
During the sessions, students are equipped with the skills and confidence to tackle real life issues effectively and Sarah Bartlett, Ethos Support Consultant, explained: “Most students have some basic vocabulary already but we help them to explore their hopes and expectations for their future and grow more confident in their own values and beliefs. The principles they learn can be applied to any type of future relationship, reflecting the diversity we see in modern Britain today.
“The choices we all make about sex and relationships can have long-lasting consequences – both emotionally and physically, and it’s important to explore how long-term committed relationships can be good for the individual and society as a whole. This day is an important part of the Academy’s safeguarding responsibilities, and also helps our students navigate the online world, unpicking gender stereotypes so they can become critical consumers of what they watch, listen to and read.”