Relationships and Sex Education

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ApauseToo: Effective Teacher-led SRE

ApauseToo is the adult-led component of the Apause programme. It can be used to complement a programme of peer-led education, or as an effective stand-alone curriculum. ApauseToo is divided into twelve easy to deliver exercises (6 KS3 & 6 KS4), each sharing a common Apause teaching methodology - the Five Os .

Health professionals can play very important roles in SRE and are welcomed in classrooms by students and teachers. See Health Professionals roles in Apause below, for a discussion and ways in which health professionals can participate in individual exercises.

 

ApauseToo - The Rationale
All schools need at least one SRE specialist to champion and coordinate full curricular entitlement. Experience had shown, however, that in many instances Apause-trained teachers get promoted, move schools or are simply unavailable to teach SRE under a modified timetabling regime. Consequently, for most schools, within a few years of starting out, maintaining programme consistency increasingly becomes a challenge as the original team becomes more disparate.

ICT Supported training enables consistent delivery
To achieve programme fidelity, we concluded that non-specialist SRE teachers would need to feel confident enough to deliver ApauseToo having committed an hour or two to familiarising themselves with the resources and training. So the training for ApauseToo exercises is ICT supported. In-house training programmes include video clips of effective classroom practice enabling teachers to quickly understand this new and challenging role.


Organising an ApauseToo exercise

Carefully developed resources
The ApauseToo exercises themselves have been carefully developed after extensive consultation and trials with young people, providing schools with a theoretically sound alternative to the original teacher-and-nurse-led version of Apause. Using ‘scripted’ Teacher Guidelines, it equips teachers with both the resources and the training to enable even novice practitioners to successfully facilitate ApauseToo exercises without a dependency on the expertise of a visiting health professional.  In subsequent delivery of an exercise teachers often use the scripts as 'scaffolding' building their own lesson with adaptation to their personal style and class situation, or just use the abbreviated lesson plan supplied.

Additionally, the classroom resources themselves are sufficiently intuitive to enable the learners to quickly engage in small group tasks with a minimum of complex explanation and subject-specific knowledge on the part of the teacher.


All exercises extend communication skills with minimal teacher intervention

Small group work and feedback tasks maintain focus
Finally, whilst spontaneous discussion is greatly valued, the successful facilitation of the exercises does not require the teacher to draw on specialist subject knowledge in order to promote class discussion. Rather, the small group exercises involve a preparation by the learners in the presentation of some key ideas through a range of 'performed' feedback tasks. These include: sharing ideas about preset questions; script reading; suggesting solutions to problems; responses to relationship games and simulations.  This performative element is essential in constructing a class consensus around healthy normative expectations.  Healthy ‘norms’ are consolidated by reiteration with the practice of appropriate vocabularies and language skills.”


Each group feeds back 'Out-loud' their prepared contribution

As the learners progress through the twelve ApauseToo exercises increasing demands are placed on their vocabularies, communication skills and ability to make personal decisions about the effective management of intimate relationships.


Guideline questions enable the novice teacher to generate more informal discussion during the 'Overview'

Participation by Health Professionals
In the original Apause programme the teacher-led sessions were co-delivered with health professionals who were much valued. Though such professionals are now rarely available for participation in every lesson to every class they can clearly make a major contribution. There are clear opportunities in several of the sessions for a visiting health worker, perhaps the school nurse, to introduce their role and the local sexual health services with a friendly human face.

As the learners progress through the twelve ApauseToo exercises increasing demands are placed on their vocabularies, communication skills and ability to make personal decisions about the effective management of intimate relationships.

SRE in science

We have created a curriculum and lessons for year 7 and/or year 8 students, usually taught as  biology.  This material is designed to ensure that all have a basic understanding of human development around puberty, its normal variation, and human reproduction.  This is available from us (see Resources) but is NOT in the new ApauseToo format or included in the bundled resources.  See a summary.  

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