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News » WAB Debate

Sex Education - Too Much, Too Young?

Sunday March 20 2011

We Are Barnsley has got hold of a document that outline's Barnsley Primary School's plans to teach 'relationship and puberty education' in primary schools. But what do you think? A sensible way to tackle teen pregnancy, or too much too young? Have your say in the comment boxes below or join us on Twitter by hashtagging #wabdebate.


We've picked out some of the explanatory parts of the document and here's what the schools will be teaching:

Key Stage 1 (ages 5 and 6) : Naming body parts using correct terminology.

Year 3 (age 7) : Personal hygiene, physical contact, needs of babies, adults we can trust.

Year 4 (ages 8 and 9) : Belonging to a family, families are all different and they change, body changes, loving relationships, how babies are made.

Year 5 (ages 9 and 10) : Emotional changes during puberty, peer pressure, how boys and girls develop during puberty, how a baby is born, how HIV and other viruses are transmitted.

Year 6 (age 11) ; How stress is a part of life, relaxation techniques, the need for good hygiene, the stages of the human life cycle, how a baby is conceived, methods of contraception, risky/unsafe situations, how to recognise and resist unwanted physical contact.

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Reply Posted by WAB - Nicky on Sunday March 20 2011 at 11:40
I think it's incredibly sad that our schools have to teach children how to 'resist unwanted physical contact.' What has the world come to?!

Reply Posted by vixen on Sunday March 20 2011 at 11:49
ok as a mum of a 6 year old i guarantee i will pull her from all of these classes till she is 11... as the mother of a 10 year old (as well as a 11 year old) i have had the puberty discussion, we had a discussion of how babies are made using terminology that i know she understands..... the reaction was eughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh kinda makes me realise that at 10 she isnt ready for it. Parents teach children what is right and what is wrong and that includes I have taught my kids that people have no right to touch them and if they feel uncomfortable with anything to discuss it with me or there dad...... I have a question, is it the kids that need the lessons or maybe the parents?

Reply Posted by lisalilly on Sunday March 20 2011 at 11:56
The problem is that a lot of parents dont teach their kids. I for one would rather my kids be informed. I will discuss things with them at home but I dont have a problem with it being done at school as well.

Reply Posted by Kayleighkitching on Sunday March 20 2011 at 12:11
I don't think it's that bad after looking at the guidelines. The worst my child will be learning are the correct names for body parts. Penis, vagina, breasts, testicles... Thats not that bad. Better than widgey or woohoo or what ever parents come up with these days. I think it's good to learn the correct names. It might steer them away from Refering to them with the crude sware words and slang words that we hear kids calling them today.

Reply Posted by JB on Sunday March 20 2011 at 12:22
And who is going to teach the parents? They are out of the education system and can't be reached. Your daughter will now pick up the information in these classes from another 6 year old. Is that preferable?

Reply Posted by Lizzmobile on Sunday March 20 2011 at 13:19
Teaching them things like this doesn't HELP them, it just advertises it and makes it all sound ok to them. Teaching about relaxation and emotional wellbeing is crucial, should have been done ages ago. I'm by no means any kind of prude but I have to say I really don't like hearing children using the anatomical words for body parts, it disturbs me deeply. Let them find their own name, having cute names is fine as long as everyone knows what is being talked about! Agree with Vixen above that the "eugh" reaction is manifest of kids not being ready, but the world has managed without this sort of thing thus far so, why mend what's not broken?

Reply Posted by angel321 on Sunday March 20 2011 at 15:10
Personally I think this is a really good idea. Some parents can find this really difficult to deal with and talk about with their children and the earlier they learn about it, the more they can process the information. I also think that children having this knowledge at such an early age could help those children who're being abused, if they're thinking 'I shouldn't be doing this I'm not old enough' or 'its not someone who I love' then this could help them break the silence, as much as a touchy subject as this could be, if this system helps prevent one of these children having sex or a baby, or even stops their abuse, I think it has done its job.

Reply Posted by Suzy on Sunday March 20 2011 at 16:41
The UK has a high teenage pregnancy rate, even children as young as 11 are getting pregnant, and there are far too many between the ages of 14-16 with babies. This programme of sex and relationship education is part of a government strategy to reduce this teen pregnancy rate. While there isn't one simple intervention that can stop young girls getting pregnant as it is a multifaceted issue, but I think that basic sex education such as this programme might help.

Reply Posted by Lizzmobile on Sunday March 20 2011 at 19:42
I feel it's more about socio-demographics and the way children are brought up than what they know that affects teen pregnancy rate. Not always 100% true but I'd say mostly.