We were delighted to welcome back Dr Tess Opie to the Junior School last week to talk to our Year 6 parents and students on the importance of relationships and sexual education. This topic is an essential component of the health education curriculum at St Peter’s College. Young people need to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills through evidence-based and relevant learning and teaching, so they can develop respectful relationships with themselves, and with others.
Recent evidence emphasises that young people are increasingly citing sexuality education as simplistic, risk-focused and irrelevant. Instead, young people have voiced their preference for practical information about navigating respectful relationships in a culture saturated with distorted and often confusing ideas about gender, sex, relationships and sexuality. To address some of these issues, St Peter’s College engaged Dr Tessa Opie, the founder of In Your Skin – an organisation dedicated to relevant and pragmatic relationships and sexuality education.
Tess presented to our Year 6 parents, giving context and background into why these conversations are so important and relevant to our students in today’s society. We were delighted to welcome 40 parents into the Function Space in person, whilst another 57 families joined us via a Live Zoom link from home.
Tess worked with our Year 6 students later in the week, facilitating conversations around changes in puberty, being an active bystander, and respecting personal boundaries. I was immensely proud of their conduct throughout the workshops, offering relevant, respectful and mature responses to the questions posed. The conversations and group work led to deeper understanding of what a respectful relationship might look like now and in later life.
Feedback from the students following the sessions included:
- “I learned a lot about having respectful relationships.”
- “This was super helpful and it was a great thing to learn about.”
- “Tess was was very knowledgeable and open to our questions.”
- “Tess was an excellent presenter.”
- “It was really useful to find out about the laws and legislation.”
It was a beneficial workshop for our Year 6 students and we look forward to welcoming back Tess again next year.
Mrs Ceri Slinger
Head of Junior Years – Teaching and Learning