Relationships and Sex Education

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Apause is a comprehensive SRE programme for secondary schools.

It provides what we believe is a minimal entitlement for all young people planning  relationships

Apause offers a straightforward and engaging way for schools to implement an effective SRE curriculum

The resources facilitate safe and effective learning. They are easy to teach and adapt to suit a specific teacher, class, school, area or even country!

Teachers and schools can of course just use parts of Apause. They can add to it or suggest changes to us, and make a valued contribution to our programme development.

Apause has proven effectiveness in thousands of KS3 and KS4 classrooms and has been cited as ‘Good Practice’ by DfES and OFSTED. We strive to meet the changing needs of young people and, as a core member of the Sex Education Forum, continue to work towards and contribute to the latest PSHE criteria and guidance.

There are two main parts to the main programme

A teacher facilitated set of twelve 20 to 30 minute exercises delivered in Key Stages 3 and 4, usually with year 9 and 10 classes.

Four peer-led sessions aimed at year 9 students. These 40 to 60 minute sessions can be split into two parts and can be delivered by older students from years 11, 12 or 13.

Ideally the programme is managed in a school by a lead PSHE teacher with appropriate training, or through senior management, but it is designed for classroom delivery and management of peers by any teacher, from the inexperienced through to expert PSHE staff. In many schools Apause has proved an invaluable boost and launch towards developing a school’s own, more context specific, curriculum.


 Sixth form peer educators in training - they will help 13 -14 year olds practise these assertiveness skills

“Superb! As a busy teacher my responsibilities are teaching and learning, this is greatly helped by having pre-packed resources.” Maths Co-ordinator

Delivery of Apause

Both specialist teachers and those with no prior experience in SRE can deliver Apause. Learning is achieved through small group tasks focusing on carefully designed resources and requiring some practice by students of novel communication skills. The subject-specific and sensitive information is contained within the resource itself, leaving teachers to concentrate on classroom management and facilitating the feedback from the small groups to the whole class.

“I think that the exercises were good because they were not just worksheets and did not patronise us.”
Yr 10 student from Somerset.

Apause is a unique combination of teacher-led and peer-led components. A school can deliver the whole programme in-house and can use either or both components or, use the option of our negotiation programme Get WISE 

Peer-led components

Perceptions of our social world are shaped by both the adults and young people in our lives. Accordingly, a programme delivered by peer-educators to 13 and 14 year olds with a clear ‘delay’ message, including practise in assertiveness skills, is successful at promoting postponement of first intercourse.

Just as importantly, for those young people who are or going to be sexually active, Apause is effective at enabling them to be better at obtaining and using contraception. Read more about Peer Education

Teacher-led components

The adult-led exercises (ApauseToo) complement the peer-led exercises by facilitating deeper understandings about sex and sexuality, with an emphasis on the exploration of the beliefs, attitudes and skills necessary in building successful relationships.

Within this overarching context of relationships education more medical aspects such as contraception and STIs are explored. Find out more about ApauseToo

KS3 Students engage in small group work and share ideas

External evaluation of Apause

In 2004, NFER (the National Foundation for Education Research) published an evaluation of Apause with data taken from 104 schools. NFER reported that Apause had been enthusiastically welcomed by teachers, health professionals, commissioners and young people. Its flexibility has enabled adoption in academies independent, single sex, faith, grammar and comprehensive schools.See the full report here and more detail of all evaluations here

How Apause works – and why

Rooted in social cognitive theory, Apause is based on the notion that the primary driver in the forming of novel actions is the perception we have of the behaviours, values and attitudes we encounter around us. This is not a model that posits we passively arrive at new behaviours through social influences alone, but rather states that individuals consciously and actively acquire the self-efficacy beliefs and behavioural skills with which to exercise more control in their lives.

Next steps

Teaching effective SRE could not be easier than with Apause. Once you have decided Apause is right for your school, simply download the resources you need for free, or purchase them ready made and re-usable from our on-line shop: Resources

Get more detail and view all the resources and video clips for examples of how the sessions can be delivered using these links to Teacher led SRE and Peer led SRE and/or get more detailed synopses of each exercise from the Resources pages - choosing "Individual components" .

Decide which lessons to deliver and then teach!  (We encourage you to at least read the introduction to the Five Os method and you may be surprised how well it goes if you just pick up the class resources and follow the teacher guide!) 

We’re here for you, every step of the way - while the ApauseToo resources have been designed for on-line training using clips of classroom practice, our twilight introductory session for any teachers responsible for SRE has been well received and can be tacked on to a peer training and train the trainer day. This is a bespoke session which should give your staff a thorough guide to our unique training and delivery methods.

Contact us at the SRE project now for more information!

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Read more about Apause:

Peer led SRE - KS3 lessons facilitated by older students.
Teacher led SRE - lessons for KS3 and KS4, delivered by a teacher or adult.