How can we help students navigate relationships via #RSE and #PSHE?

posted in: Mindset | 0
We’re passionate believers in the power of relationships – friends, family, business, network, intimate – society is built on relationships and how we interact with one another.
No one is given a manual of relationships – not parents, not siblings, not romantic partners – so what we experience is what we know…regardkess of whether the rekationships we see and experience are healthy or not. (I’ve deliberately not said ‘normal’ there because no relationship is ‘normal’).
Life is not a spectator sport, neither are PSHE or RSE so they need to be handled carefully and appropriately if they are going to work properly and inform and educate young people about the future possibilities of their lives and relationships. What is positive and helpful? What is desirable behaviour? Which behaviour should we be conscious of and concerned about and what if we find ourselves in an unhealthy relationship – where should we turn for support and help, both in school and outside?
These are the driving forces behind our work in PSHE and RSE and the two main talks we give around this are featured below – one abut domestic violence and abuse and one abut empathy. Both crucial, both powerful, both suitable for KS3, KS4 and above.
Sarah’s Legacy: Domestic Violence is the talk I give most often as it frames what happened to my sister as the gradual slide into coercive control and violence through the actions of a controlling man she met on FB. As a family we knew nothing of her struggles after she left her family for Ian Hope because he followed the classic pattern of separating her from all those she knew…geographically and emotionally.
I also deliver Empathy Lightbulbs sessions which are more workshop-focused and focus on developing empathy for one another and what happens when empathy is missing. It starts with Sarah’s story and then we peel back what happens when people lose empathy and kindness, when language is used to define others and belittle actions and behaviours. We look at how language is turned into actions around issues such as migration, sexism and racism. Empathy Lightbulbs came about c=because I used the phrase about men realising that they need to “protect their daughters from men and boys – men and boys like them when they were younger”. I want to focus on MVAWG but do it in an inclusive way that allows us to speak openly about our behaviour as men without feeling threatened or blamed – an acknowledgement of unhealthy behaviours needs to start with seeing that it’s not our fault often and that it comes from unquestioning approaches we’ve seen in the media / online / TV / home.
Here’s a blog abut the sessions:
If you would like a no-obligation chat about how we can help you talk about these really challenging topics, you want options or references for my work, please get in touch.