Our Adoles:sence program was an amazing success. Our teacher, Jane, was quick to outline guidelines for how to respond to the information and questions raised in the course and our students took them seriously, creating an atmosphere of trust where students felt confident to share questions and opinions.

We began by drawing outlines of a boy and girl and illustrating changes we could expect to happen to our students’ bodies – this created a lively discussion and the class quickly understood that they were free to say and ask anything they liked, as long as it didn’t put anyone else down. This led us to a website called “the hormone factory” which created a platform for the questions the students asked to be answered in a very honest and engaging way, with an emphasis on self-acceptance, tolerance and empathy.

The students were given an opportunity to ask any question they wanted anonymously and the answers were very frank and presented as opportunities for discussion, which there was plenty of. The class was completely engaged throughout the session and, although I anticipate and hope it generated further discussion at home, I am certain that the discussions at school cleared up many misconceptions and framed the students’ understandings within a larger picture.

Jane commented on how honest and trusting our class was and agreed with me that there was a very warm and safe and sensitive vibe in the classroom.

It was a fun couple of days with plenty of laughter to support the learning.

Well done Flame Trees!