We help you inspire young people to know, love and respect themselves and their bodies
Puberty and Well-being Education for Schools
"We were so lucky to have Janoel and Robin come and offer their ‘Puberty and Well-being’ Unit. They were so professional and knowledgeable, creating a safe, secure environment for our grade 5/6s to really engage with the topic in a deep and meaningful way. I would really recommend this program." Stephanie Millar, Grade 5/6 Teacher, Thornbury Primary School, Feb 2017
Purpose of our programs
Our aim is for students to be informed and confident about their body and themselves and the changes they will go through, to become people who love and respect their own bodies and needs - and to honour and respect others and their needs and differences, too.
Why sexuality and wellbeing education with us?
Our approach is to offer learning that lasts.
The ability to listen to and respect yourself and your body is a vital element in growing up to become a healthy adult who loves life. Engaging students in a program that lasts over a number of sessions provides ongoing opportunity for them to develop greater understanding and ease with the challenging areas of puberty and sexuality.
Our programs are based on teaching methods that:
are interactive and enjoyable;
give them confidence and knowledge about their body and safe behaviour;
allow students to consider their beliefs, developing further understanding and compassion for diversity;
enable them to ask questions; and
empower them to know how to get support if they need it.
Why we offer multiple sessions
In contrast to the traditional guest speaker night for a parent and child to attend, we provide a minimum of 4 weeks and up to 10 weeks of sessions for students. This gives them an opportunity to integrate their learning and develop a positive approach as part of the class and school culture, and to become comfortable with the topics.
We allow for anonymous questions, so no-one needs to feel embarrassed. We often find that after a few weeks into the program, many students are comfortable asking their questions openly, because of their increasing confidence in talking with respect about bodies and sexuality in response to our calm and open approach to providing age-appropriate answers.
Research on the effectiveness of programs to increase communication about sexuality found that multi-session program for both parents and their children, and school classes with homework assignments to encourage discussion at home, were the most effective. (Kirby, 2002) Catching On Early: Sexuality Educationfor Victorian Primary Schools, DEECD, Victorian Government, Melbourne, 2013
From an article about our puberty and wellbeing program by Rachel Power in AEU News, April 2016
Anthony Atkinson, teacher at Merri Creek Primary School, says his school community realised that the standard sex education program was “increasingly not hitting the mark” with the students.
“Before, it was an old-school pedagogical approach – basically a teach-and-preach session. There wasn’t an openness to engaging with the kids on some of their questions and a lot of topics still seemed to be taboo,” says Anthony. “At the parent information session, it became clear that the school community was looking for something more diverse. There was a feeling that questions were not being answered adequately, even things like kids understanding about IVF. It seemed to be restricted to traditional sex ed to avoid things that were perceived as ‘minefields’.”
… [Janoel Liddy and Robin Darch were] engaged to run a series of classes for the Year 5/6 boys and girls, funded from its health and wellbeing budget. For a month, [they] conducted two-hour sessions a week with each class, some with girls and boys together and others separately.
“It was really positive,” Anthony says. “All the anticipation and nervousness and giggliness they felt in the lead-up to it fell away pretty quickly due to the openness of the conversation and the kids’ realisation that they were going to get straight answers from us.”
Teachers were expected to be part of the discussion and actively involved with answering questions, he says, so that the students knew they could talk to their teachers as trusted adults. “If you’re a Grade 5/6 classroom teacher and you think you can abstain from that conversation with kids at that pre-adolescent age, it’s unrealistic,” Anthony says. “Sure, you can take them out for a run more often, but you must be willing to talk to them, too.”
He says the open style of the facilitation meant the conversation expanded into issues related to body image and feeling safe, and the right to have control over who touches your body and so on.
“In the sessions just with the boys, it was an opportunity to talk openly about how you perceived yourself as a male. And we talked a bit about pornography and the unhealthiness of some stuff they might come across.” There was “definitely a big collective sigh of relief ” at the end of the program, says Anthony.
“They’d asked questions individually but they were part of a collective experience and no one had been personally embarrassed. I perceived that they felt like they’d grown up a bit after doing the program. They’d passed a hurdle.”