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Working out relationships? Free teaching materials for PSHE lessons

Working out Relationships? is a fun and interactive two-part lesson plan for use in PSHE classes for Key Stage 4 pupils devised by Prof. Anne Barlow and Dr Jan Ewing at Exeter Law School. It is based on an idea which came from the findings of an interdisciplinary research study on relationships where they worked with local schools. These lesson plans were then tested by schools in Devon in an ongoing project (HeaRE) funded by the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.

The lesson plans will help support teachers to bust common myths about the ‘perfect relationship’ to manage young people’s expectations. They use a gym theme to show that, like getting fit, relationships are fun but require work.

From September 2020, relationship education (rather than just sex education) will be compulsory in all schools. Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education classes will be updated to ensure that young people learn both how to build and maintain healthy relationships and how relationships can affect physical and mental health and well-being.

In response to these changes to the curriculum the new teaching resources, developed by the University of Exeter, were launched in July 2020 and have recently been awarded the prestigious PSHE Association’s quality mark, only given to selected resources which are at the leading edge of effective teaching practice in PSHE education. The resources are freely available to schools, and can be downloaded from the Working out Relationships webpage.

WCCEH is looking forward to seeing more of these resources as the team behind Working out relationships? continues their research in their WCCEH-funded project, HeaRE.

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