Spectrum Community Health has teamed up with Yew Tree Arts to deliver a special performance and workshop that will help educate year 7 students (aged 11 to 12 years old) about relationships and risky behaviour.
Yew Tree Arts has been visiting schools within the local area, delivering a performance called ‘Yearbook’ to more than 1400 students. The play follows a group of students who are in their last days at school, looking back at the things that they wish they had known in year 7. It explores the choices and decisions young people can be faced with about relationships and substance misuse. Yearbook is then followed by a workshop which examines the issues raised within the play including making healthy choices, risky behaviour and decision making.
The workshop is an introduction to Spectrum Community Health’s relationship and sexual health education programme. It provides students with an example of the topics that they will be discussing as they move into older year groups.
Andi Cope from Spectrum Community Health comments: “Our Relationship and Sexual Health Education programme has proven very effective for older students but we wanted to develop a project that would specifically target younger students.
“By focusing on the characters within the performance and the situations they were in, a distance is created between the students and the topics raised. This helps a younger audience to feel comfortable enough to join in the discussions without it feeling personal. Through our partnership with Yew Tree Arts we know that students will develop vital skills that will help them to deal with their own experiences of risk.”
Yearbook has been designed and written for year 7 students. It has been created in line with the Risk and Resilience Framework and recommended Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) Guidelines.
The RSE Team are based with CaSH, the Contraception and Sexual Health arm of Spectrum Community Health. Over 60 health professionals such as school nurses, outreach nurses and midwives contribute to the programme along with statutory and voluntary sector youth workers. The RSE Team aims to have a positive impact on a variety of national and local strategic targets and priorities. These include reducing the proportion of young people aged 15 – 25 with Chlamydia; reducing the underage conception rate; reducing substance misuse by young people and improving the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.