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Openess and Contribution by Students to Conference Praised

posted 25 Mar 2015, 10:10 by Web Admin   [ updated 27 Mar 2015, 09:12 ]

First ‘Drop Down Day’ hailed a success by delegates and Workshop Leaders...

Just two days before Valentine’s Day, the Academy held it’s first ever ‘Sex and Relationships’ Conference for Year 10 students. This was a day of interactive workshops led by a number of different external agencies as well as some of our own staff.

This event covered a range of topics, including contraception, pregnancy, HIV and even attempting to answer the question ‘What is Love?’  Our Year 10 e-Safety ambassadors led a workshop on how to stay safe online, including appropriate use of social media within teenage relationships - an increasingly important topic for many young people.

One student said, ‘my highlight of the day was finding out new information that I didn’t know such as, what you need to have to have a good relationship, what it means to be a parent and what kids expect of their parents.’  Other students enjoyed ‘meeting people and sharing new experiences’ and ‘finding out some of the ages required to use some social media - some were quite surprising’.

Mr Stares, Leader of Learning for Religious Education who jointly organised the event, was delighted by the willingness of students to contribute to each workshop.  Mr Stares thought the students tackled the different subject areas with maturity, saying ‘I taught the LGBT session and the response from the students was fantastic. They were open minded and thoughtful. They need more of this education relevant to their lives.”

A huge thanks must go to all those who contributed to this day. One of our visitors commented, ‘on the whole the atmosphere within the Academy was buzzing - a very enjoyable day!’ with another saying ‘the behaviour of the students was fantastic’.  

The success of this conference was also down to the students who engaged with the range of activities, group discussions and sessions that were on offer. We hope to have more of these days, covering a range of RE, PHSE and SRE topics and look forward to what is to come!

Josh Hunt - Academy Chaplain

Getting us out of our ‘Comfort Zone’!

Report by Student Media Team member Alex Golden

The ‘Sex and Relationships’ conference was a day for Year 10 to discuss issues relating to sexual health, relationships and how to stay safe in them and many other aspects about relationships.  The conference put some of us out of our comfort zones - as it’s not an everyday subject we openly talk to each other about! 

The conference allowed students to attend many different workshops to explore individual subject areas in closer detail.  The conference really opened my eyes, and other students eyes, to some shocking facts that we weren’t aware of in the subject of sexual health. From a student’s point of view, I can say that the workshops managed to teach us some important facts, in an environment that didn’t make it feel too awkward.

I think that having a whole day for this conference is good, as we were really able to concentrate on the workshops and the information being given. The workshop leaders were really open about the subjects they were talking about, and they made it very clear that no questions were bad questions - which meant that we could find out anything we wanted to about the subject.

The subjects were also challenging, as it made us rethink the facts that we thought we already new.  For example, did you know that HIV takes 3 months to become discoverable by clinical tests? I was told this by Hannah Musa who, unfortunately, has HIV.  Hannah really enlightened me on HIV and it’s implications, but she also taught me (and others) that you can live a long and happy life with HIV.

In the contraception workshop, it was a little awkward to start off with.  We went from walking around a corridor and into a room, being confronted with all of the contraceptive methods. 

However, due to the workshop leaders Shez Southernwood and Kirsty Coldwell from Level Two, we were soon put at ease and were able to get involved in the discussions.

I think that days like this have a high importance in our lives, as it took on a tough subject area that helps to educate us on how to stay safe, and how to uphold a healthy relationship.

At the end of the conference, it was nice to get everyone gathered back together in the main hall to share all of the photos from the conference. Speaking from a student’s point of view, I can say that I really appreciate that not only staff members, but volunteers take time out of their lives to help us. Without them, students wouldn’t be able to find out what they need to know, or they could risk finding out the wrong facts.  Looking forward to the next conference!

Alex Golden (Year 10)

Student Media Team