We are currently supporting the NSPCC in sharing their Talk PANTS lesson in years 1 and 2 on Monday 22nd October, but the resources are always available for you to use from our website to talk to your children at any time.
We understand that some parents may feel this is a sensitive area to discuss with their children but we know that sharing such messages can be very beneficial in helping protect your child. Research from the NSPCC also suggests that the messages are most valuable when taught at a young age.
It is important you as parents/carers and school teach children where and when is appropriate for certain behaviours to occur.
We all know that children pass through different stages of development as they grow, and that their awareness and curiosity about sexual matters change as they pass from infancy into childhood and then through puberty to adolescence.
Each child is an individual and will develop in his or her own way. However, there is a generally accepted range of behaviours linked to a child's age and developmental stage. Sometimes these will involve some exploration with other children of similar age. It can be difficult to tell the difference between age appropriate sexual exploration and warning signs of harmful behaviour. Occasionally we may need to explain to children why we would prefer them not to continue with a particular behaviour. This is a chance to talk with them about keeping themselves and others safe and to let them know that you are someone who will listen.
Certain behaviours can cause concern but there are guidelines from Brook and the NSPCC which identify age appropriate sexual behaviours.
- kissing and hugging;
- showing curiosity about private body parts but respecting privacy;
- talking about private body parts and sometimes showing them off;
- trying to shock by using words like poo, willy and bum;
- using swear and sex words they've heard other people say;
- touching, rubbing or showing others their private parts.
As children get a little older it is important to make them more aware of the need for privacy:
- kissing, hugging and 'dating' other children;
- being interested in other people's body parts and the changes that happen in puberty;
- asking about relationships and sexual behaviour;
- looking for information about sex, this might lead to finding online material;
- masturbating in private.
As children get more curious about sexual behaviour it is important that they are able to talk openly to parents. School will always support parents with these often difficult conversations if asked.
Our focus in school is to teach about the development and fostering of positive relationships in life and in Year 6 we discuss puberty issues.