Date
11 August 2022

Plan sexuality and gender education years 1-8

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Developing an inclusive classroom and curriculum’

Capture student voice

Capture student voice

Students from intermediate schools speak about their experiences.

Match learning to children’s development

Match learning to children’s development

Develop classroom programmes that respect the diverse values and beliefs of students and of the community.

In years 1 to 3

  • Children are interested in pregnancy and birth. Some may be aware of the connection between “making babies” and sexual pleasure.
  • Some children will become aware that not everyone is heterosexual.
  • Children have a growing awareness of sanctioned gender roles, such as “girls don’t like motorbikes” or “boys don’t cry”.

Focus areas for this age group include:

  • friendships, belonging and the different types of relationships
  • changes in growth and identifying body parts
  • questioning and discussing gender stereotypes and norms
  • Understanding personal identities and how they can differ
  • identifying stereotypes
  • contributing to and following inclusive guidelines
  • sharing and expressing feelings.

In years 4 to 8

  • All children need to know about pubertal change before it happens
  • Sometimes children feel anxious about puberty
  • Children may go into and out of gender segregation, applying harsh gender stereotypical rules and censure to each other’s behaviour
  • Some children will have an interest in expressing their sexuality in dress
  • Children may begin to show an interest in ‘who loves who’

Focus areas for this age group include:

  • pubertal change as well how to support ourselves and others through that change
  • developing a positive body image
  • how pubertal change can impact on wellbeing, and how it relates to social norms around gender and sexuality
  • how social messages and stereotypes about relationships, sexuality, and gender affect your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others
  • planning strategies for positive relationships
  • messages related to gender, sexuality, and diversity.

Create spaces of belonging

Create spaces of belonging

Rainbow tamariki and whānau at primary and intermediate schools in Aotearoa talk about their idea of a dream school
Video hosted on Youtube http://youtu.be/q77dwSYVkgU

Tips for developing programmes

Tips for developing programmes

Successful programmes are:

  • well planned, informed by theory and evidence, and up-to-date
  • integrated into the curriculum, with clear achievement objectives identified
  • aimed at influencing specific risk factors/protective factors/core competencies
  • focused on developing personal and social skills
  • developmentally, personally, and culturally appropriate
  • designed to include critical thinking and reflection
  • not focused solely on dangers, risks, and prevention but explore the meanings associated with sex and sexuality for individuals and society
  • assessed according to learning (not behaviour)
  • connected with the social worlds of children and young people
  • informed by the needs and perspectives of students
  • linked with families and communities
  • considerate of environmental influences and contemporary issues and practices
  • designed using active and interactive teaching methods, including inquiry-based learning
  • planned and delivered by teachers who have the requisite knowledge and the appropriate skills, values, and qualities
  • resourced appropriately, including in relation to teachers’ professional development needs
  • supported by documented guidelines and school-wide practices.

Source: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Inside Out for Year 7–8 students

Publisher: RainbowYOUTH

Visit website

Sexuality Education

Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1–8

Read time: 10 min

Publisher: Health and Physical Education Online

Visit website

Website

Primary/Intermediate teaching resources

Publisher: New Zealand Family Planning

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Develop an inclusive classroom and curriculum”:

Return to the guide “Supporting LGBTIQA+ students”

Guide to Index of the guide: LGBTIQA+ students

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