Sex and gender are delicate and nuanced issues for all of us and can be intimidating topics to teach. This practical, empathetic book aims to dispel some of the uncertainties that many teachers have and empower them to lead inclusive, age-appropriate lessons in primary and secondary schools. Taking an approach that celebrates the individual identity of all learners, and underpinned by an awareness of the complexity of language around these topics, this book offers a careful evaluation of the 2020 Relationship and Sex Education policy for schools in England, and how schools can offer intelligent, socially responsible, sex education that goes beyond simply meeting statutory requirements.

Understanding the Self

Understanding the Self


  • Why this chapter?
  • The self
  • Self-concept
  • The importance of nurturing the self
  • Perspective
  • What do we really know?
  • Conclusion

Chapter objectives

  • To understand the importance of an individual’s self.
  • To appreciate that there are a range of competing perspectives that attempt to explain the self.
  • To explain how self-esteem is affected by the interplay of the self-image and the ideal self.
  • To consider approaches to nurturing a student’s sense of self.
  • To understand how perspectives are unique and how they can be challenged.

Why this chapter?

The purpose of this book, and indeed the current focus on relationships and sex education, is that of the individual: how can a child or young person form and develop meaningful and rewarding relationships through their life and perhaps from this, develop a sexual relationship when ...

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