Fulham teacher praised for work in relationship and sex education

A secondary school teacher described as having “bottomless reserves of energy and creativity,” has won an award for her work in relationship and sex education tuition.

Lottie Boumeester, of Fulham Cross Girls’ School, is among the first winners of a new standard for excellence in teaching: The Relationships and Sex Education Teaching Awards.

They were announced to mark the first national RSE Day last Thursday.

The awards celebrate the work that goes on in schools, helping children and young people learn about healthy relationships and positive sexual health.

They have been created by the Sex Education Forum – which is part of the youth safeguarding charity, the National Children’s Bureau – and Nottingham City Council.

Judges looked for whether teaching met the real-life needs of pupils in an age-appropriate way and assessed each contestant for ‘star quality’, that extra something that made their RSE stand out.

Ms Boumeester was nominated because: “She has overhauled the curriculum and lessons are so relevant to both our student context and modern Britain,” according to the panel assessing her nomination.

Laura Grainger, the work colleague who nominated her, highlighted the energy and creativity which prompted her to put her friend’s name forward.

Ms Boumeester said: “I am thrilled to receive this award because, together with recent Government guidance, it recognises the importance of schools supporting students, not only in their academic career, but in their personal development”.

“At Fulham Cross Girls’, I create a classroom environment full of reflective questions and lively discussion, where lessons are positive and inclusive.

“We want our students to grow as confident and communicative young people, empowered to stand up for their own worth, wants and needs.” Nominations came under the scrutiny of passionate campaigners for high-quality RSE.

Lucy Emmerson, director of the Sex Education Forum, said: “We’re celebrating these winning schools at an important time.

In a few months, RSE will be a statutory part of every child’s education, so it’s really encouraging to see how dedicated school staff are stepping up to the mark and going that extra mile to ensure children get the information they need to understand their bodies, enjoy respectful relationships and stay safe.”

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “Growing up and adolescence are hard enough, but the internet and social media add new pressures that weren’t there even one generation ago.

“So, many things about the way people interact have changed, and this new world can be difficult to navigate. It is almost 20 years since the last time guidance on sex education was updated.

“Good-quality relationships and sex education is vital to ensure children are equipped with the knowledge they need to grow up healthy, happy and safe in the modern world.

It’s also important that sex education at secondary school is grounded in a firm understanding and valuing of positive relationships, and respect for others, from primary school age.”

Mr Gibb added: “Positive relationships are connected with good mental health, which itself is linked with physical wellbeing.

This is why we are making health education universally compulsory alongside relationships and sex education from 2020.

These subjects will help young people to be resilient as they chart a course through an ever more complex world.”

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