Mates & Dates Programme – Year 12 & Year 13 Students (read more…)

Dear Parent/Caregiver – Information re Upcoming Programme for Students

Our school is participating in the ACC school-based healthy relationships programme called Mates & Dates. (For more information from ACC – Mates and Dates Families Brochure_ACC7164)

This letter is to provide you with information about the programme and the evaluation planned. Attendance in the programme and taking part in the evaluation are not compulsory, and any student can attend the programme lessons without having to take part in the evaluation.

If you do not want your son or daughter to attend the programme lessons, they will be placed in other classes for those lessons and you must advise the school in writing.

About the programme – ACC has developed Mates & Dates to help to prevent dating and sexual violence. This is important given 20% of female and 9% of male secondary school students in New Zealand report unwanted sexual contact or being made to do unwanted sexual things.

Research shows that working with young people is one of the most effective ways of preventing sexual violence. It equips them with relationship skills and behaviours they can carry with them throughout their lives.

ACC has worked with the Ministry of Education to ensure the programme aligns with the curriculum, and has worked with an expert advisory group to develop the content that fits within Sexuality Education according to the Education Act (1989; updated in 2001, section 25AA). The programme has been fully evaluated by an independent research company.

The programme taught in each year will be appropriate for that age group and will be taught by specialist sexual violence prevention programme facilitators over five one hour sessions. Mates & Dates will teach students how to have healthy relationships built on respect, negotiation and consent. It will teach them how to identify inappropriate behaviour and how to get help if they, or someone they know, are in an unhealthy relationship including how to safely intervene in situations that could lead to harm.

The programme is not a sex education programme but will include materials and discussions about sexual and relationship violence, consent, dating, relationships, pornography and other related subject matter.

About the evaluation – In order to provide continuous improvement to the delivery of the programme, your son or daughter will be asked to provide feedback on the delivery of the programme and what they thought about the course. At the end of the last session your son or daughter will be given a short survey to complete taking approximately ten minutes. The information they supply in the survey will not identify your child and it will only be used to improve the facilitation and delivery of the programme.

What do I need to do? – Parents/Caregivers may write to the school requesting to have their child excluded from any particular element of sexuality education in a health education programme. If this is the case, please email Associate Deputy Principal, Faye Wilkinson – faye.wilkinson@waimea.school.nz. An alternative Health programme will be put in place for these students.

If you have any questions about the programme, please don’t hesitate to contact svprevention@acc.co.nz

Thank you for your assistance.

Scott Haines

Principal

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