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Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) Day is a time to highlight positive, good quality relationship and sex education and celebrate good practice across the sector.
This year’s theme is ‘let’s launch into kindness.’ On 29 June, schools across the country will encourage pupils to think about kindness in their relationships with others, as well as with themselves. This includes thinking about gratitude and self-love.
While this is a special celebration, it’s something that we do every single day at Glow through our specialist education programme, Relationships without Fear (RWF).
RWF aims to end domestic abuse at the source, stopping it in its tracks before it can even begin, by educating children and young people about healthy and unhealthy friendships, consent, emotions and where to find support if they ever need it.
While the programme focuses on relationships and domestic abuse, it also covers feelings and emotions, encouraging children and young people to show kindness towards themselves and other people. It also helps them realise that they are worthy of kindness too.
For this year’s RSE Day celebrations, our Education and Prevention Team Leader, Sarah Buckley, has explained why we should all be ‘launching into kindness’ when it comes to RSE.
Sarah has supported children and young people impacted by domestic abuse for the last decade and says that understanding kindness is ‘the foundation’ of powerful RSE.
According to her, it’s something that teachers and other education professionals should be incorporating into their learning every day.
She said: “This year’s RSE Day theme, ‘let’s launch into kindness’ is the perfect way to describe how we should all be educating our children and young people about healthy and positive relationships.
“Kindness is the foundation of good quality RSE and it’s something that absolutely needs to be rooted in any education about relationships and sex.
“At its core, the relationship education that my team provides is all about kindness, compassion and respect. That includes showing it to others, as well as realising that you are worthy of it yourself. Impactful relationship and sex education can’t take place without those values being firmly placed in its foundations.”
Sarah explained that addressing kindness before anything else also means that children and young people are prepared for whatever trends might appear on social media.
She explained: “One of the recent challenges that we faced was the rise of social media influencer Andrew Tate. In January we actually saw a significant increase in enquiries for Relationships without Fear because teachers were spotting their pupils starting to replicate Tate’s views. They had specifically named Tate as the reason for needing support.
“Tate, and people like him, are having a direct influence on impressionable young people. This is impacting not only how they see the world, but also how they view their romantic partners and the relationships that they will go on to have with them.
“At their core, Tate’s views are based on unkindness and hatred for others. We have taken this and flipped it, rooting kindness in our sessions and addressing that before anything else.
“Following this, we can move on to discuss healthy relationships and friendships, with the expectation of kindness already well and truly set.
“RSE is something that requires continual learning and development from us as professionals. However if you use ‘launch into kindness’ as your mantra, you can’t go far wrong when it comes to positive and impactful relationship education.”
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