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Focus on Respectful Relationships

Respectful relationships education is a vital component of the Student Wellbeing program at Brisbane Grammar School. It is also a tangible example of our commitment to the School’s Respectful Relationships Cultural Project. This project, alongside the Bullying and Student Leadership Cultural Projects, will underpin student wellbeing, engagement and outcomes in the years to come.

It is essential young people are equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills through evidence-based education to develop respectful relationships with themselves and others. BGS is committed to educating students in this critical area and equipping parents and caregivers with the skills they need to support their children.

Students will discuss various aspects of respectful relationships education during Student Wellbeing lessons this semester. BGS boys will be challenged to consciously consider their relationship values, attitudes, and expectations, in a social climate that feeds misleading and often harmful messages about sex and relationships.

The intent of engaging boys in robust and pragmatic discussions is to empower them to make good choices about relationship expectations and enable them to establish safe personal boundaries for themselves and others.

Early to mid-adolescence is a critical life stage in the development of young people, including ideas about sexuality and corresponding attitudes and values. Research shows that school-based sexuality education improves the sexual health outcomes of young people.

The resources used to support our lessons have been developed in consultation with Dr Opie, founder of In Your Skin. Dr Opie has extensive expertise in discussing and exploring sensitive topics with young people in a range of settings.

In 2018, Dr Opie co-published a national position paper as lead author, detailing comprehensive, evidence-based sexuality and relationships education in Australian schools. She recently published a paper that considers the role of sex-positive education in preventing sexual assault among high school students.

In 2021, Tessa was involved in the National Health and Physical Education Curriculum Leaders Forum, presenting her work on sexual health and safety in the context of consent education.

To further support the curriculum delivery at BGS, Dr Opie spoke to Years 7, 8, 9 and 11 students about the world of relationships earlier this week. Each presentation was tailored to meet the needs of boys at different stages of their development.

Resources to help parents and caregivers initiate conversations with their children can be found in the For Parents section of GrammarWell.

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