As a teacher it is essential that good relations are maintained with your students' parents. Therefore it is important that parents are well informed on the subjects their children are learning about, and the ways in which parents can help them to further support their knowledge acquisition. The following is a sample letter written home to parents for a PDHPE assignment, informing them of a controversial unit of work that is it to be taught in the classroom. Such letters are an important communication device to be utilised.
Gumtree Public School
42 Coolabah Street
Matildaville, NSW, 8822
(02) 6000 8000
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As part of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) for Stage 3, it is mandated that within the Growth and Development strand, students be taught about human sexuality. As this can be a controversial topic, I write to advise you that a unit on this topic will begin in two weeks time. This allows ample opportunity for you to discuss with me any concerns you may have with the content to be taught, and prepare you for the types of questions and conversations your children might have with you.
The unit will be based on a fantastic book, Let’s Talk About Sex: Growing Up, Changing Bodies, Sex and Sexual Health written by Robie Haris. It comprehensively covers the topic including changes at puberty, the reproductive process and responsibility in sexual relationships. I have selected it to be used as its intended audience is that of children and their parents, using simple language, correct terminology and cartoonist diagrams to illustrate the content. These features combine to make sure a deep understanding is fostered, in a comfortable, light-hearted way that is not too confronting.
At Gumtree Public, as a health promoting school and in accordance with the Department of Education and Training, we see that the teaching about sexuality encourages students to develop a coherent set of personal values based upon respecting themselves and others. Students who understand and value themselves and others are better equipped to develop meaningful and positive relationships. They are able to take a positive approach to managing their lives and develop the necessary skills to prepare them for current and future life challenges. We see this unit as a way to prepare students for the changes they will experience during puberty, and by providing a consistent knowledge and information dispel any myths they may have heard. We also see it as an essential opportunity to generate discussion between parents and children, and to establish a platform for continued communication throughout adolescence.
When working on such an important topic, it is essential that parents can feel confident to discuss these matters with their children at home. If you get chance, please take a look at the following website which provides some important information for discussing sexuality with children.
The American Parent’s Sex Education Centre also provides link to a number of important resources that you may wish to look at and make use of.
I also ask that you to take the time to look through the resource I have included for you, Talking Sexual Health: A Parent’s Guide. While I realise that some of the document’s content towards the end may be better suited for young adults, it provides a strong foundation for working with primary school children, and offers you support as your children reach this important stage in their lives.
Please feel free to contact me at the school, or by phone with any queries.
Classroom Teacher 6P