Open Book Schools

I believe schools can build a culture of respect and equality through sexuality education 

Do modern schools need to prioritise sexuality education?

Sexuality Education covers a huge range of topics including protective behaviours, the lifecycle, respectful relationships, pleasure, solo sex, disability, race, sexual health, inclusion, and more.

The reality is that most people didn’t receive any of this education which in an organisation as big as a school can cause a lot of issues. It’s one thing for the government to provide legislation and curriculums, it's another thing entirely to be able to recognise their importance and implement a range of strategies to truly make your school respectful and safer.

I believe schools want to do their best for students but often feel overwhelmed and the range of issues concluding promoting gender equality and inclusion, addressing domestic and family violence, stamping out sexist and discriminatory attitudes, and creating a culture of consent, dignity and respect.

 

Does that sound like a challenge you face?

If it is, you are not alone.

Working alongside an experienced sexologist and accredited sexuality educator can provide the advice and support your school needs to develop policy, address stigma and discrimination, implement curriculum topics, and join the growing movement of people who recognise sexual rights as fundamental to wellbeing (you can read more about the Declaration of Sexual Rights). Open Book Project offers both Online and Face to Face Professional Development including the popular Deep Dive SAR workshop (for practitioners and educators), and face to face student delivery of specialist sexuality education (contact us to arrange a free discovery session).  

The Curriculum

Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is now a feature of the HPE stream of the Australian Curriculum from Prep to Year 10.  Respectful relationships education that promotes gender equality has been identified as a key contributor to reducing Violence Against Women with the Queensland Government recently making respectful relationships education a compulsory initiative of the new Sexual Violence Framework.

However, not everyone in a school environment can, or wants to, deliver this information. Open Book Project is here to help because there are too many benefits of RSE to not deliver it.

 

Download this flyer for a great summary of how we can support your school. 

Open Book Project provides face to face delivery to students along with quality professional development to staff to implement proactive approaches to relevant classroom issues. It is advisable that teachers (depending on year level) receive training in:

 

Age-appropriate RSE allows for information, concepts, and skills to be taught that suit the developmental stage and year level. This also means that most of the information required in primary school can be delivered by a teacher who feels well supported and has received expert instruction and professional development RSE can be both foundational learning and integrated learning. Supporting staff to identify topics they already teach that could explore gender, sexuality, and respectful relationships ensure that RSE learning is reinforced throughout the year. I am also committed to providing inclusive, compassionate and relevant sexuality education to young people covering the issues they face every day; homogeneous and discriminatory messages in pornography, relationships and social media, sexting, consent, and identity.

 

Relationships 

Relationships within a school environment are diverse and complex. Managing boundaries and intimate relationships in a school in the #MeToo era is one important aspect that covers sexual harassment, gender equality and sex-discrimination, addressing homophobia and transphobia, recognising trauma, development and auditing policy and procedures and more.

Sexual harassment is not a consensual, flirty bit of fun. It’s an unwelcome sexual advance, request, comment, or action that makes a person feel intimated, uncomfortable or scared. Schools have a responsibility to make their workplaces free of discrimination. This requires proactive leadership that recognises the need for sexuality education that explores gender-based violence and consent.

Many victims fear also fear repercussions from speaking out or worse, missing out on education while the offender stays in class. Other students may have participated in a culture of sexual harassment by being complicit and not intervening. The development of good policies and supportive training around relationships and bystander behaviour can make a big difference to protecting students and to the satisfaction and productivity of staff.

Whether it’s creating a culture of change, helping leaders embrace their role in shaping culture, helping teams navigate issues, or equipping people to embrace justice and compassion, Open Book Project uses evidence informed approaches that incorporate theory and experience.

We also offer support and consultancy in developing policies regarding sexual and gender diversity, inclusion, the intersection of technology and sexuality, respectful relationships, and gender equality. 

For a range of resources to assist in teaching sexuality education to all ages and abilities, visit our Resources page. 

If you are wanting to discuss how to become an Open Book School contact us to arrange a free discovery session. 

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Kerrin Bradfield is an Accredited Clinical Sexuality Educator with the  Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd. They adhere to the Society’s  Code of Ethics and Practice.

To find out more, go to www.societyaustraliansexologists.org.au

Open Book Project is based in the Yuggerah nation and acknowledges and pays respects to the Yugambeh, Koombumerrii and Bundjalung people, past, present and future, of the Gold Coast. We recognise the sovereignty of First Nations people and the resilience shown in fighting for lands, laws, and peoples.

Always was, always will be Aboriginal land. 

©2020 by Open Book Project