Just a quick post from me as it was something I was musing on this morning. There is an absolute plethora of leaflets on sex and relationships out there. I mean seriously LOADS. Some are really fab, and some are complete shite (if you read this blog regularly you will know which I think is which 😉 !).
Now I know not all leaflets are actually really designed for the classroom but more designed for young people to read when they are given them by their parent/youth worker/teacher/guest speaker/sexual health nurse etc but I have to say that I’m not sure that the kids get the most out of them that they could. I mean I know they may have been written with kids in mind with bright colours, easy words and helplines on the back. But I also know that unless you allow space for kids to digest a leaflet they will just shove it in their bag and forget about it (unless of course its a leaflet on an issue they need and have sought it out themselves- self directed learning at its finest ;))
I know when I was Head of PSHE in a school I would have boxes and boxes and boxes of free leaflets sent to me (not just about sex, but drugs, citizenship, human rights etc.). Often they would send 100- hmmm thats great- enough for 3 classes but not a year group, or a whole school- so who do I decide gets them!? I guess maybe they wanted me to order more? But I don’t have the budget for such disposable items and to be honest just handing out leaflets isn’t in my job description. It’s a passive process- what do I want my kids to get out of it? So then I need to plan a lesson around a particularly good leaflet (craps ones went straight in recycling am afraid) but then there is still the budget issue- can I afford to pay for an entire year group to have a copy of this leaflet to take home after my single lesson? Answer was probably no as possibly not worth it for a single lesson and seriously who plans a sequence of lessons around a leaflet!? To be quite honest when we were very skint I have been known to hand out leaflets- do the lesson on it, and collect them back in for use with next lesson! Sigh!
So really what I am trying to say is, before you send a free leaflet into schools please think carefully about it. How many are you going to send? Are you giving any help to the school in getting your leaflet “out there”. Maybe write a supportive lesson plan, maybe go in an deliver a lesson around it? Also think how many pages does it need to be and would there be a better way to get the information across than in a leaflet? Maybe there doesn’t need to be a leaflet at all?
Don’t get me wrong am not anti leaflet at all, I just think currently they are often a wasted resource and am just trying to do my bit for a) the environment (many WILL end up in the bin/recycling and b) point out to people writing the leaflets designed for schools (who may not be educationalists) that there maybe alternatives to get your message across in schools other than a leaflet!
Maybe actually this is a bit of a whinge about the lack of decent sex and relationships education resources so that teachers are having to rely on leaflets as resources but not getting much help into how to do that effectively.
Maybe I just like whinging like a teacher. It is Monday morning after all.