Hi, I’m Kerry – head of sex and relationships here at Big Life Project. I’ve been working with young people for over twenty years now, helping to educate them about sex and relationship issues. I also create educational resources and write content for online educational programmes so when Big Life approached me to work with them I felt we were the perfect fit.
We share the same aim of arming young people with life skills that will allow them to live happy, successful, independent lives. Healthy relationships are part of what makes us happy, but keeping them healthy can sometimes be challenging. The Big Life Project sex and relationships module that I have written deals with the many issues around relationships and how to get the best from them.
Sex education is so important to me because as a woman, a parent, youth worker and educator of teens I have learnt that it is needed, now more than ever. Young people moving from school to higher education or employment face some of the biggest challenges in their lives – transitioning from a heavily dependent to an independent way of life and dealing with new feelings, relationships and situations.
Sex and relationship education (SRE) is a topic that has been debated for a long time and continues to be debated but I personally believe that it needs to cover more than the National Curriculum aspects of puberty and human reproduction. Young people need lessons that meet the demands of the digital world in which we live and it’s up to us as educators, teachers and parents to create a safe space for them to explore the real-life scenarios and situations that they and their peers may face.
For me, sex and relationship education is among some of the most important life lessons a young person should receive and it’s a privilege to teach. It is something that I think should be taken seriously but the lessons should also be fun and enjoyable, and that’s what I aim to create in my lesson plans for Big Life Project.
I believe that the most important aspect of SRE is to create dialogue and to let young people know that it’s OK to talk about sex and relationships. We need to reassure them that they can ask questions, speak to an adult and challenge situations. Developing the skills to do these things is crucial and that’s what we need to be teaching our young people.
I think it’s important that SRE is not just about condom demonstrations and sexually transmitted infections (STI) statistics. Instead it should be an ongoing process of learning which ideally begins with young children learning about friendship, diversity, respect, bodies and growing up in a digital age. In turn this will lead to confident, resilient and empowered young adults, who hopefully go on to lead safe and happy lives.
Big Life Project’s ethos of helping teachers to provide young people with the lessons they need to start living “bolder, brighter, bigger lives” is what attracted me to working with them. Between us I believe that we can give children and young people the knowledge and skills they need to be happy and safe in today’s ever-changing fast-paced world.
Our sex and relationships module covers everything from the basics of sexual health -contraception, STIs, unplanned pregnancy – to lessons on consent, body image, sexting, stereotypes, peer pressure, relationships and sexuality, feelings and emotions, and sexual harassment.
To find out more about the lesson plans and what Big Life Project offers contact us today. If you’re a teacher or educational establishment and don’t always have the resources to teach vital life skills such as SRE to your students we can help.
About Kerry Cabbin
Kerry is a qualified sex and relationships educator. She has 20 years of experience working with young people and has written online content and educational resources for a local authority, public health and third sector organisations. She is the founder of Tough Cookies Education, a company which provides training and workshops that educate teenagers, teachers and parents about sex and relationship issues. She has recently written a sex and relationship education resource for primary and secondary schools and delivered consent programmes in over 15 schools.