Teaching puberty and the changing adolescent body.John Doe
It is now statutory for schools to teach children and young people about what to expect when they reach adolescence.
What key stages? Key Stage 1 (KS1), Lower Key Stage 2 (LKS2) and Upper Key Stage 2 (UKS2).
Teachers should expect to cover the various effects of puberty on a child; including the social and emotional changes puberty brings, as well as the physical changes. This will help to equip children for what’s to come; it’s an important milestone in a child’s life.
Puberty lesson plans for Key Stage 1 (KS1), those aged 5-7 and LKS2 prepares children for change psychologically and physically.
As early as Key Stage 1 teachers should start to prepare the foundations for teaching puberty, considering topics such as naming body parts and keeping clean and in LKS2 teaching about personal and private body parts. These all help pupils to familiarise themselves with their bodies and build a solid foundation for what’s to come in later years.
The onset of puberty; including topics such as periods (menstruation), wet dreams and other physiological developments should prepare pupils for the in-depth lessons, which will be taught at secondary school.
What to teach children about puberty in UKS2?
In order to meet the statutory guidance, the following must be covered:
- Key facts about puberty and the changing adolescent body, particularly from age 9 through to age 11, including physical and emotional changes.
- About menstrual wellbeing including the key facts about the menstrual cycle.
We know it can be challenging to find age appropriate ways to address the subject and embed learning in a wider context, which is why we developed Growing up with Yasmine and Tom (you can learn more about this here).
When teaching pupils about puberty, consider how bodies will change, ensure that information is clinically correct and age appropriate. Lessons must cover the menstrual cycle, how to manage this, when to expect it and what to do when it arrives.
Establishing awareness about the emotional and physical changes they might experience and ways to manage them healthily, will provide pupils with the correct information to transition through these phases with good mental health.
In order to make lessons inclusive, it is pertinent to remember that children develop at different stages with their periods (menstruation), starting as early as nine for some young people.
High quality, evidence-based and age-appropriate teaching of these subjects can help prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
When should you teach about puberty?
In order to keep children safe, it’s essential that they learn about puberty before it happens to them. Ideally, children should be taught about puberty in UKS2, (years 5-6). This is usually just before children start to go through puberty, and it helps them prepare and informs them of the changes their body will experience.
Teaching puberty with the support of Yasmine and Tom.
Growing up with Yasmine and Tom is an innovative animated online resource that makes teaching about the changing adolescent body simple. Yasmine and Tom help teachers put the principles of the changing adolescent body into context via engaging animation, worksheets and presentations.
Growing up with Yasmine and Tom delivers age appropriate content through the characters Yasmine and Tom who progress through the key stages with pupils, making them highly relatable and provides familiarity throughout mandatory topics.
With little to no planning you can competently meet DfE guidelines, we’ve even penned a teaching RSE checklist to make the lesson prep even easier!
It’s worth noting that Growing up with Yasmine and Tom tackles challenging topics such as wet dreams, masturbation, becoming pregnant, giving birth and assisted fertility.
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