Relationships and Sex Education

It’s a RAP

Our tenth and final session of RAP has come around far too quickly.  The peer educators are just doing the finishing touches to their assessments before leaving Exeter University as drama graduates. Our clients are thinking about the next stages in their lives and relationships.  So, there was some sadness in the room for our final session.

But the learners still organised the warm-up and theatre games without any prompting from the adults and there was no shortage of pranks and laughter. Eventually, though, it was time to reveal the ‘Case Studies’.  Each Case Study is a set of observations which have been built up as a collaboration between the RAP project leader, David Evans, and the peer educators. These are carefully read through with the learners who can make changes and add comments, so that the final document has been agreed as a fair account by all the parties involved.

There is a great deal to feel proud of.  All of the learners have made remarkable progress.  Typically, they have shown increased confidence and trust in themselves and the rest of group.  The physical theatre games and exercises requires sensitivity to others through eye contact, touch, movement and balance and these qualities are then displayed in the way they set about their improvisations.  Improvisations take the form of negotiations around tricky personal issues, for example a couple agreeing that they don’t want to take the physical side of their relationship any further, or one friend supporting another in their decision to insist on consenting to have protected sex only.

It is impossible to invent practice scenes for every situation people will encounter in their personal lives, but the important thing is that through the RAP programme learners should believe in their ability to take control and perform whatever behaviours are necessary to keep their relationships fulfilling and safe.

Most exciting of all is the moment when a learner agrees with the progress recorded in their Case Study and they go on to add how RAP has proved useful in their daily lives.

Job done!!  Congratulations everyone!!  A huge ‘Thank you’ must to go the staff, Sarah and Steve who contributed the work with sensitivity and insight.

To round off the session one of the learners led the whole group in one last game which I will always remember as “Cat in a washing machine.”

By David Evans Project Coordinator of RAP