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Encouraging open and honest talk about periods

betty for schools launches at the Education Show!

Launching at the Education Show at the NEC Birmingham this week, betty for schools is a new curriculum-linked period education programme to support teachers of pupils aged 8-12. It has been designed together with education experts and young people, to create a generation of girls and boys who are truly at ease talking about periods.

The resources are film-led, with a mix of animations, quizzes and interactive activities, and include real young people answering period-related questions openly and honestly. Along with teaching resources that are accredited by the PSHE Association, betty for schools will be taking the betty bus on a tour of schools from next week, providing a way to enhance the lesson learnings with interactive sessions for boys and girls. 

The PSHE Association said: “It is essential that children and young people be prepared for the physical and emotional changes they undergo during puberty. Puberty is one of the most central changes that occurs in human development, and children and young people have a right to be taught about the changes they will experience before they happen to them. NHS advice suggests children are experiencing puberty earlier, so therefore teachers need appropriate guidance, support and materials to deliver lessons on this topic effectively.”

“The PSHE Association Quality Mark for resources is awarded to resources that have passed an assessment by us and have been found to be compatible with our 10 principles of PSHE education. Resources are rigorously assessed by one of our subject specialists and if successful recommended to our community of PSHE education professionals. Our remit is to support teachers in delivering the highest quality PSHE education to their pupils, which is why we only recommend resources that have gained the Quality Mark.”

With only 42% of teachers surveyed saying they felt very comfortable teaching about periods in a non-science based class, and 72% of women agreeing that lessons about periods were really awkward and embarrassing for them and their peers, it’s clear that additional support is needed to ensure an open and honest dialogue around periods can happen in the classroom.*

Jade Dalrymple, head of RE, PSHE and British Values at The Pines School in Berkshire says, “I was really pleased to be part of a panel of teachers asked to consult on the new betty for schools resources as I’ve always struggled to find free teaching resources about periods that I think my pupils will really engage with. I’m looking forward to trying the resources with my class and I’m confident that it will help us all feel a bit less awkward talking about periods.”

TV presenters Kaye Adams and Nadia Sawalha are supporting the launch of the betty for schools programme and feel it's important to start to normalise conversations about periods, both in the classroom and in the home.

They said: “We've both got young daughters so we totally appreciate how awkward it can be trying to start a conversation about something like periods – for us as much as them! It's great that so many schools are now providing lessons about periods and puberty, but as parents we need to make sure that we're doing our bit to make sure young girls and boys feel confident and able to ask questions without fear or embarrassment. We're not known for being shy in talking about difficult issues – so we're both looking forward to getting the debate started."

Come and say hello to the betty bus at Stand E21-E39 between Thursday 16th-Saturday 18th March 2017 and find out how you can help kickstart the conversation!

*The research was conducted by Censuswide between 1st and 6th March 2017. There were 2,000 female respondents from across the UK. Additional research carried out by EdComs in February 2017 with KS2 primary and KS3 secondary teachers.