Sexuality Education

Vision

The goal of sexuality education at Friends School is to promote sexual health. FSM is guided by the goals of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) to provide a comprehensive sexuality education that has four primary goals:

  1. to provide an opportunity for young people to question, explore, and assess their sexual attitudes;
  2. to provide young people with accurate information about human sexuality;
  3. to help young people develop interpersonal skills including communication, decision making, assertiveness, and peer refusal skills, as well as the ability to create satisfying relationships; and
  4. to help young people exercise responsibility regarding sexual relationships by addressing abstinence and how to resist pressures to become prematurely involved in sexual behaviors, as well as encouraging the use of contraception and other measures that affect sexual health.

 

Linkages

The Quaker belief that "there is that of God in every person" is the foundation of our sexuality education curriculum. Sexuality education, which focuses on family, relationships, and respect for diversity, is integral to the overall curriculum. It takes place as part of formal studies including units on families, health, and the human body, and through informal discussions. It includes examination of social issues such as gender roles and stereotypes, the many forms families take, personal boundaries and safety, peer influence, the human life cycle, changes during puberty, and reproduction. Information given to children is honest, accurate, and age-appropriate, and occurs in the context of values, particularly the Quaker testimonies of integrity, equality, and community. Emphasis is placed on building and maintaining a positive self-image and on activities and discussions that help students clarify their own values and learn to make decisions. We believe that young adolescents can learn to make good choices. They need guidance, support,  clear non-judgmental information, and values which they can make their own. FSM strives to ensure that the classroom atmosphere feels safe so that children can discuss their questions openly, knowing that they will be respected. Keeping families informed and involved is a priority. 


 

Strategies

In kindergarten through second grade, sexuality education is embedded in the overall curriculum. Through the school’s conflict resolution program students learn to respect their own space, privacy, and bodies. Teachable moments occur regularly and are responded to through individual conferences or class discussions.

Third and fourth grades use the All About Life curriculum developed by the Seattle King County Department of Public Health in Washington state, and the Families All Matter curriculum. They also view the PBS video, What Kids Want to Know About Sex. Discussions and role-playing are used as well.

Fifth and six grade groups and seventh and eighth grade groups use an emergent sex education curriculum led by a sexuality consultant, who teaches lessons on topics determined jointly by staff and students. There is an emphasis on student questions and discussions to further explore those topics.


 

Scope and Sequence

Kindergarten

Family

• understand that the structure of families differs 

Social

  • be able to make friends
  • show respect for others
  • operate in non-stereotyped gender roles
  • demonstrate self-control
  • develop a sense of privacy
  • practice healthy self-care
  • deal constructively with conflict
  • use sexual language respectfully 

Reproductive System

• know and use correct terms for sexual anatomy

First and Second Grade

Family

  • show respect for lifestyles represented by families in the school

Social

  • be able to discuss feelings.
  • be able to discuss ways of making and keeping friends
  • express opinions about right and wrong
  • respect people who are gay or lesbian
  • do not exclude children from activities on the basis of gender
  • identify people to turn to for help when uncomfortable with a situation
  • take responsibility for living things (plants and animals)

Reproductive System

  • know life cycles of plants and animals
  • know that all creatures reproduce themselves
  • know the human life cycle

Third and Fourth Grade

 Curriculum: All About Life and Families All Matter

Family

  • place value on the family in society

Social

  • know what abuse is
  • understand that touch can be pleasurable but is uncomfortable when forced
  • understand what peer pressure is and learn strategies to deal with it

Reproductive System

  • know how bodies grow and change
  • know that sex is pleasurable
  • know about puberty and use appropriate vocabulary to describe it

Fifth and Sixth Grade

 Curriculum: emergent curriculum led by sex education consultant

Family 

  • define family
  • discuss differences and similarities among families
  • discuss communication in families and the importance of family diagrams

Self Esteem, Self Respect, Decision Making, and Friendship

  • understand the keys to feeling good about themselves
  • understand how to help others feel good about themselves

Gender Roles

  • define sex roles
  • discuss development of sex roles

Puberty

  • define puberty
  • discuss changes and timing of puberty
  • discuss feelings, fears, and myths about puberty
  • divide into gender groups
  • question box

Reproductive System

  • learn correct medical terms for location and function of each part of reproductive system
  • understand ovulation
  • understand sperm production and fertilization diagrams

Pregnancy

  • understand what is a typical pregnancy
  • understand basic genetics
  • understand fetal development and formation of twins
  • understand the importance of prenatal care, good nutrition, and avoiding alcoholduring pregnancy

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • understand what sexually transmitted diseases are
  • discuss HIV and AIDS
  • discuss attitudes and decision-making surrounding AIDS
  • discuss the transmission of AIDS and other STDs

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

  • understand kinds of touch
  • define exploitation
  • discuss children's rights
  • understand how to recognize, prevent, and report exploitation
  • understand how to help a friend

Seventh and Eighth Grade

 Curriculum: emergent curriculum led by sex education consultant                                       

Self Esteem

  • understand that each person is good and important
  • learn to understand themselves

Puberty

  • understand the differences between males and females
  • understand the ways that we are alike

Emotional Changes

  • discuss feelings and feelings of attraction
  • discuss sexual orientation

Gender Roles 

  • discuss sex roles
  • understand what stereotyping is
  • analyze positive and negative images of men and women in the media
  • understand human potential—ways in which men and women have been limited because of stereotyping and ways in which they can expand their potential when not limited by traditional sex roles 

Decision Making

  • understand the importance of good decision making
  • learn, model, and practice good decision-making

Dating

  • discuss issues around dating
  • learn how to recognize pressure and sexual pressures
  • teach and practice skill of saying no

Pregnancy and Birth

  • understand the birth process
  • understand issues involved in teenage pregnancy
  • discuss parenting
  • discuss choices faced by pregnant mothers

Planning for the Future

  • learn how to plan their lives
  • learn how to set goals
  • understand individual potential
  • understand abstinence
  • discuss information on birth control methods

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • understand how to take responsibility for relationships
  • understand how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases

Sexual Abuse

  • discuss positive touching and closeness in human relationships
  • discuss sexually abusive touch

 

Benchmarks

By the end of fourth grade students should

  • understand how bodies grow and change
  • understand that there is sexuality at all ages
  • understand that sex is pleasurable
  • demonstrate willingness to do jobs and play a wide variety of games not limited by gender
  • place value on diverse family structures in society
  • understand what peer pressure is and learn strategies to deal with it
  • be able to discuss human sexuality with comfort and understanding

By the end of eighth grade students should

  • understand that human sexuality is a part of life
  • understand that healthy sexuality is more than sexual behavior but is also an emotional expression of caring and love in a relationship
  • understand that a positive body image is part of healthy sexuality
  • understand that showing affection in a relationship can happen through non-sexual ways as well as sexual ways
  • know that there are sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS
  • have knowledge of human body systems, especially the reproductive system
  • understand and be aware of sexual feelings
  • be able to define exploitive relationships
  • know that contraception is possible and available
  • be able to define their own values regarding own sexuality
  • know the similarities and differences between male and female sexuality
  • understand the processes of conception, prenatal development, and birth
  • know strategies for coping with concerns and stress related to the changes that occur during adolescence
  • know about puberty and use appropriate vocabulary to describe it