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PSE (Personal, Social Education) - your thoughts

(25 Posts)
Amyna Tue 19-Jul-11 21:26:07

Hi all, At our school alot of parents have become annoyed and disgusted at the school for several reasons within the PSE. Firstly: all parents were invited to "a healthy lifestyle" meeting (which a lot of parents thought would be around food and exercise) but in actual fact was about the introduction of the PSE lessons from year 1 - year 6. Parents demanded to see the materials and requested segragation but this meeting took place on friday and the lessons were due the following weds with only a handful of parents knowing.
Word spread quickly and more and more parents were panicking and attended a second meeting.

What i fail to understand is the school are insisting that the "science" bit is compulsory however things around "differences in family, tackling bullying etc" is PSHE and is non-compulsory.
We all had issues with the "science" materials such as naked pictures of boy and a girl and labelling areas such as P***s and V****a and words like testicals. inappropriate for 6 year olds in my opinion and it goes further throughout the year.

staff have been rude and disrespectful of our views and so parents have rallied around to see what we can do.

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
we have spoken to the heads and staff but they insist it is compulsory and we would rather have them focus on the PSHE rather than the science of it all.

we felt we didn't have time to discuss this issue and most importantly we were never consulted. The school insist they consulted the parent governors who were positive and approved the materials but none of the parents knew or ever met the "parent governors" and so that infuriated us even more.

how has your school tackled this PSE issue?

feckwit Tue 19-Jul-11 21:30:47

What would you rather they called body parts? Those are the right names!

MindtheGappp Tue 19-Jul-11 21:31:09

I don't really think parents can approve the PSHEE curriculum as such, but can withdraw their children from specific lessons.

What is it that you want, OP?

cory Tue 19-Jul-11 21:31:41

Afraid I don't know of any parents who would consider it inappropriate to study the human body in science, so afraid I can't help you.

LawrieMarlow Tue 19-Jul-11 21:32:22

Why have you given asterixes to the letters in vagina and penis but not testicles?

I don't think all schools do go into as much detail about sex education as my DS in year 2 hasn't, but i really wouldn't have a problem with it if they did.

I would probably feel slightly uncomfortable about explanation of the clitoris and its function but I'm really not sure why. In fact DD has asked about it so really should have explained.

LawrieMarlow Tue 19-Jul-11 21:33:57

My DC are 7 and 5 by the way and do both know about how babies are made. DS knows that sex is a pleasurable thing to do although I'm not sure he believed me when I told him grin

franticallyjugglinglife Tue 19-Jul-11 21:34:00

How odd. Why do you have such an issue with it?

They are using proper names... It's just biology fgs!

NonnoMum Tue 19-Jul-11 21:34:25

Don't know what "segregation" you wanted in the meeting? All the mums separate from the dads?

NonnoMum Tue 19-Jul-11 21:36:34

BTW - the parent governors are voted onto the governing body every few (3?) years. They must come from the parent body, and are voted for by the parents. If the governor is a man, he will have a p***s, if the governor is a woman, she will have a v****a, but no testiclays.

pointythings Tue 19-Jul-11 21:36:50

Don't see the problem about giving body parts their proper scientific names at all, OP. I would much rather my DDs were taught by qualified professionals than frightened by playground gossip.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 19-Jul-11 21:37:34

Are you bonkers? You either have a vagina or a penis. Hopefully not both but hey if you can't point to it, how can you take it to the doctor when it needs attention? Six year olds know a heck of a lot about their bodies and have explored them at great depth. Surely knowing the word for them and their proper uses makes no difference.

That's like saying if I do not teach my child the word gun, s/he will never go to war hmm

londonmackem Tue 19-Jul-11 21:37:40

You cannot withdraw from the science bit as it is statutory. You can withdraw from the PSE side, end of really. Why did you not want them to draw accurately labelled pictures of the human body? Am actually interested

sundew Tue 19-Jul-11 21:38:52

I also wonder why you are shocked. dd1 learned this in year 3 - it didn't go much further than naming the body parts and more traditional 'sex' education is given them in year 6.

I would never demand the curiculum for any subject so am surprised that any parents would.

I think you are all being incredibly PFB.

mnistooaddictive Tue 19-Jul-11 21:42:14

Whereabouts are you? I want to point and laugh at all the people who think 6 years olds shouldn't learn the words penis and vagina. They had pictures of naked children as well, oh no they might all become paedophiles. Get a grip.

basingstoke Tue 19-Jul-11 21:42:19


ThingOne Tue 19-Jul-11 21:43:56

What else do you call testicles? Other than scrotum? You're just left with bollocks ...

ypf Tue 19-Jul-11 21:45:40

hmmm and to think you came here not to be judged or criticised but rather to seek advise.

pointythings Tue 19-Jul-11 21:50:39

Fair point, ypf but some of us have been reasonably measured. What advice should we give, beyond 'let it go, it's harmless common sense'? If parents are flocking to the school in a complete state worrying over a little correct terminology, what's going to happen in Yr 5/6 when the school will be talking about puberty and periods?

My DD1 had 'the talk' about puberty and periods a couple of weeks ago (she's Yr5) and came home with a leaflet that was actually really good. We'd talked about it before at home, but it was as if having the talk at school gave her 'permission' to ask me questions in her own mind - and she trusted me enough to ask what was on her mind.

Shrouding these things in secrecy in the name of 'preserving their innocence' is unhelpful - children will notice things (i.e. that their mum uses certain products at certain times of the month, that she may be complaining of cramps, that she may be touchier than usual) - we owe it to them to be honest about natural things that happen to our bodies.

Panzee Tue 19-Jul-11 21:52:40

If they called them pee pee and hoohah would you feel better?

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Jul-11 21:56:35

I have seen the PSHE work sheets where children label body parts, such as penis, testicles, vagina.(There are posters who will argue it's a vulva, but hey)...these work sheets were for Y2 children, and I found them wholly appropriate, although I know some schools don't introduce such vocab until KS2.

I have also seen Reception worksheets where children colour in a an outline of a child, shading the areas which are private, and should be covered by a swimming costume, and not be touched without their consent. The teacher will have talked to the class before they colour in the sheet, and will have introduced the words penis and vagina. These words will not be familiar to some of the children, who will be more used to words such as "winkle" and "fairy" to describe their genitals. the teacher will also have talked during the PSHE lesson about what the child should do if some one does try to touch them in a way they are not comfortable with (ie they should say; "STOP! I DON'T LIKE THAT!")Again, I found them totally appropriate.

I am glad my children are taught this, as it means they are less likely to be victims of abuse. Convicted pedophiles were asked what one thing would mean they were less able to abuse children, and apparently the majority believed that children knowing the correct terminology would be the one thing that would be most likely to prevent them being able to abuse.

Now, I am one of those over protective parents who's children will never be abused, because I never leave them with anyone I don't trust 100%, but I still make sure they know the correct terminology for their gentiles. A spade is a spade, a penis is a penis, and a vagina is a vagina. I presume the school staff thought parents would be pleased they were teaching their children the basics of personal, social and health education at an age appropriate level, but I guess they miss judged parents reactions. I really don't believe there is anything in the curriculum which demands segregation of the sexes. Boys should know about periods, just as girls should know about wet dreams.

I don't want my children to have to learn everything from the the problem pages of a friends magazine like I did (or worse, and more likely these days, the internet.)

ypf Tue 19-Jul-11 21:57:33

I agree we shouldn't 'hide' them from 'the truth', however after reading the post, i couldn't help but start thinking. My children are in nursery and reception, so i guess i'll face it next year but it has got me intrigued on exactly what the "materials" and resources they will be using in my DD's school.

may just ask the teacher about it tomorrow - particularly as it sounds like alot of parents at that school are against it.

finally, i can't but think this may be a RC/C of E or some other type of faith school for it to stir up such a fuss - but it has given me food for thought.

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Jul-11 22:02:02

I'm guessing the OP isn't British by birth.

No one blinked (except me!) when my DC was taught was about condoms in Y5 at his RC school.

And OP, make it your mission to meet the parent governors. wink

whomovedmychocolate Tue 19-Jul-11 22:28:45

Lynette - ah you did make me larf there with your typo. Correct name for gentiles : Is that Jewish sex ed class? grin

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Jul-11 22:32:18


LynetteScavo Tue 19-Jul-11 22:36:01

"Now, I am one of those over protective parents who's children will never be abused,"

That was said sort of tongue in cheek- as none of us can guarantee this, unless we have no life of our own.

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