Many of our fabulous couples have lived very interesting lives – so it’s up to the students to be investigative and to ask them interesting questions and then listen to the answers….which can reveal other great questions to ask!
Our couples are volunteers. They give their time and travel sometimes quite extensively to help deliver Explore sessions. They are not ‘model marriages’ or in anyway ‘smug’ or perfect. They are real people, with real lives, real issues and real problems that they have found a way to over-come. They are often recruited through church communities and want to genuinely ‘give something back’ to their community. They are briefed by our team carefully, so that they only answer questions based on their own relationship. They will answer anything at all that a student asks. We simply ask students to be respectful – which means not laughing at other student’s questions – and by listening to the answer given. Students are introduced to the couple/s following a routine ‘Hopes & Fears’ discussion. This helps students frame their questions around topics that they have themselves identified as important to themselves.
Our volunteers tell us that they enjoy interacting with students and that as a result of participating with Explore, their own relationship is enriched and energised. Many couples take part several times each year and thanks to the questions students ask, we keep finding out new things about them too!
Naturally all our volunteers are DBS checked.
Couples are not allowed to ask students questions or to ask why a particular question has been asked. They will only answer questions asked by the students themselves, not by the teachers – who are respectfully asked to observe in silence.
You will know your students best of all. We find that most Y11 students have the maturity and interest to really benefit from the group discussion style environment. Many schools ask us to run sessions for Y9 students – which also work well. Most of the sessions we run are for Y10-12.
If you would like to talk to us about the particular needs you have in your PHSE curriculum, do please contact us.
The cost of running an Explore session should not prohibit your school from inviting us in.
We are a registered charity and so we do rely on voluntary donations and we need to make a charge that is reasonable to cover staff time preparing and delivering the session. We need to recruit volunteer couples and volunteer facilitators and this all takes time, as you can imagine! Then we also need to reimburse volunteer travelling expenses.
The best way for your students to explore relationships with us, is when they feel empowered to ask the questions that matter most to them. This is best achieved in groups of a dozen to a maximum of twenty-five students. They also benefit from meeting at least two different couples, who will have had different life-experiences to share.
We are always happy to discuss budgets and to offer a one-class/one-couple session initially at no cost. This helps a school decide whether Explore is right for their students. Thereafter, we would expect your school to pay a minimum of £150 per class per couple attending. We adjust our recommended charge according to the needs of the school. Independent schools will be expected to pay a higher charge, since we rarely receive donations from Foundations or other funders willing to contribute towards private schools. Independent schools can expect to pay a charge similar to that of a cinema or theatre ticket – after all, we are bringing real life drama into the classroom.
Sex and Relationships Education is becoming increasingly important in the lives of our students, in our curriculum and within society. Helping your students to develop a sense of responsibility and care for themselves and others is fundamental to them becoming a young adult who fully contributes to society and is ready to find their place in an ever-changing global community.
No! Explore engages heterosexual married couples as volunteers who talk about their own relationship, but this does not mean that Explore is only suitable for faith-based schools. Explore allows young people to think about different scenarios for their own futures and allows them to see that it is possible to have a positive, fun and loving family relationship…..that lasts.
It’s simple. Send Explore a message via the Contact Us page giving details of the year group and number of students plus the approximate date period you are interested in. We’ll respond and arrange a call or a meeting with your local development officer as soon as possible to discuss your session options and costs.
We do need to make a charge as we receive no statutory income yet, but we are sometimes able to offer a free trial initially subject to local funding grants. The charges we do make are modest, yet the level of student positive feedback suggests we make a huge impact on their hopes and aspirations.
Bear in mind that we use volunteer couples, who commit their time but do also have jobs and families to fit in, so the more notice you are able to give the better, to ensure that your students have a rich and diverse experience.
Explore meets a great variety of PSHE and SRE objectives that will help you deliver an outstanding and exciting curriculum. Our mission focusses on developing positive and stable relationships so our sessions help young people consider the roles and responsibilities of parenthood. We portray long term relationships in a ‘real life’ context that can be examined and compared to those portrayed through the media. Explore can help your students ask questions about relationships & marriage that they do feel they can ask their parents or carers and often gives them an insight into a positive relationship that they have no personal experience of.
Inviting Explore into to run a workshop or conference in your school will also help the school fulfil its requirements for teachings and promoting:
- British Values
- Spiritual, moral, social and cultural education SMSC
- Personal social health education PSHE
- Sex and relationships education SRE