Help students to develop the considerable skills needed to form secure relationships; to learn how to respect other people’s emotions and feelings; to know how to make simple choices; to develop some basic techniques for resisting peer and media pressures.
The aims of the set are:
- to raise pupils’ self esteem and confidence in their relationships
- to help pupils understand their sexual feelings and behaviour
- to help students develop the skills of decision-making, choice and assertiveness when dealing with other people
- to help students to develop and use communication skills when discussing personal topics
- to develop assertiveness and discernment to cope with the influences of their peers and the media
- to respect and care for their own bodies and emotional well-being
Young people are raised in a sexualised world. They are bombarded by sexual images and situations in the media, in ‘soap operas’, through musical lyrics and pop stars’ actions. Values and beliefs they hold about relationships have been developed from an early age and will have been influenced by all of the above plus, more importantly, the role models of parents, friends and celebrity life styles.
Young teens frequently act in way that they think is expected of them, i.e., to have a relationship which involves some sort of sexual activity. However, because sex education often focuses on the mechanics of sex but ignores the emotional issues, many young people are unaware of the psychological involvement which accompanies a sexual relationship. They are taught about the need to take precautions against unwanted pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Diseases but not about the need to consider their own mental welfare and consequently they are often unable to make safe choices or to order their actions.
Good, effective, Sex and Relationship education focuses on the development of skills and attitudes, not just the acquisition of knowledge, and it is vital that we help students to develop the considerable skills needed to form secure relationships; to learn how to respect other people’s emotions and feelings; to know how to make simple choices; to develop some basic techniques for resisting peer and media pressures.
We are all aware of ‘sexting’: there are literally thousands of sexual ‘selfies’ sent every single day. The majority of young people (even from the age of 10 yrs), think it’s appropriate to send a nude or compromising photo, even as an introductory gesture or as an initial greeting. They do not pause to consider the effects, not only if the text falls into the wrong hands, but also to the prospects of any relationship that may follow.
The Relationship Timeline offers a unique opportunity to students to carefully consider which activities might actually be appropriate and at what stage in a relationship they could be safe both physically and emotionally. The cards cover a wide range of activities but are not exhaustive: the students themselves may suggest ideas which they can write on the blank cards.
Suggestions for use
The players are given a selection of cards: we suggest a maximum of 30 cards per session is a viable amount to discuss in a half–hour slot. The wide choice of cards available allows the teacher/leader to select those they feel are most appropriate for a particular group: this will vary according to age and maturity.
The students then place each card onto the part of the board that they think is suitable for that particular action. They are allowed to stack cards on top of each other if they think they should go in the same place.
One of the most important parts of the activity is the discussion that takes place between the students.
There will be some actions that are never appropriate: these are placed on the Never Ever square.
When all the cards have been placed on the board, the group can discuss their choices with the teacher and explain why they have made their decisions.
1 A3 Board
1 Set of instructions