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Photo by Caolyn Katu

Relationship and Sexuality Education - Year 9 and 10

Carolyn Katu —

Our School has selected to participate in the ACC school-based healthy relationships programme called Mates & Dates.

Our School has selected to participate in the ACC school-based healthy relationships programme called Mates & Dates. The programme will start for all our Year 9 and 10 students in Week 6 of Term 2. ACC has developed Mates & Dates to help prevent dating and sexual violence. This is important given that 1 in 5 female and 1 in 10 male secondary students say they have had some form of unwanted sexual contact. 57% of those who experience this tell no one.

Mates & Dates is about all kinds of relationships - including friends, family and whānau.

The programme teaches students how to:

  • have healthy relationships built on respect, equality, and consent. This includes communication skills, problem solving and decision-making skills.

  • exercise their rights and responsibilities related to consent and safety.

  • be critical of ideas in the media about equality, gender, body image and sexualisation.

  • identify inappropriate and abusive behaviours.

  • access help from trusted adults and professionals in their community. · safely intervene in situations that could lead to harm.

The programme taught in each year group will be appropriate for that age group. It will be taught by specialist sexual violence prevention programme facilitators over five one-hour sessions. Mates & Dates is not a sexuality education programme but will include materials and discussions about what is relationship violence and the issues that young people face in today’s environment. This includes consent, dating, relationships, identity, attraction, pornography, alcohol and or drug use. The programme takes a harm minimization approach by openly discussing topics so young people are empowered with information to make safe choices.

The programme, which starts Week 6 of Term 3 specifically covers the following content areas.

  • Session 1 – What is a healthy relationship, your values and how do you end relationships respectfully. Support services and the importance of reaching out for support are talked about in every session.

  • Session 2- Consent and what this means in everyday life as well as sexual relationships. This includes discussion around the law and sexual interactions. Explore what impact the media can have upon consent; reality versus fake, as well as the impact that pornography can have upon ideas of consent and healthy relationships.

  • Session 3- Gender, identity, and sexuality. Critically explore ideas that may be portrayed in the media about equality, gender, body image, consent and what a healthy relationship is.

  • Session 4 – Keeping safe and the impacts of violence (both sexual and non-sexual). Focus on staying safe online and online grooming. How to support a friend.

  • Session 5 – The bystander effect. Focuses on how you can keep you and your mates safe and what you can do if you see something happening that not ok.

Prior to our Mates and Dates sessions, our Health teachers will be teaching Sexuality Education for 5 weeks specifically focussing on

  • menstrual cycle, period products and pubertal changes (Year 9)

  • Sexuality identity and Diversity (Year 9 and 10)

  • Conception and Pregnancy (Year 9 and 10)

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), and accessing health care (Year 9 and 10)

  • Contraception (Year 9 and 10)

  • Pornography (Year 10)

Underlying these topics will be a focus on key Health concepts - Hauora/Wellbeing, Attitudes, Values and Beliefs and Health Promotion.

Should you wish your child to be removed from aspects of the Sexuality Education unit and/or Mates and Dates sessions, please indicate which particular topics you wish them to be removed from by emailing me or your child's health teacher.

Carolyn Katu - ckatu@rghs.school.nz

Caroline Beamish - cbeamish@rghs.school.nz

Annalyse Pearse - apearse@rghs.school.nz

Jade Northey - jnorthey@rghs.school.nz

Rachael Marjoribanks - rmarjoribanks@rghs.school.nz

Sophie Williams - swilliams@rghs.school.nz

Carolyn Katu - Head of Faculty PE and Health