29 Jul Youth Voice in Relationships Education
Liz Chisnall, Head of Operations at Explore – July 2022
I have had the joy of working with two diverse groups of young people through our Explore Youth Panel. These young people have given us rich and thoughtful insights into how our relationship sessions can better reflect the needs of those on our panel and their peers, as well as their thoughts on relationships education more generally.
Student voice in all areas of school life has been shown to improve the relationship between educators and students. When seeking to develop relationship skills, it is absolutely fitting that we speak to young people and give them a voice both in what is taught but also how it is delivered.
In an Explore session we find out what relationships young people aspire to have and they are always overwhelmingly clear in the way they describe their hopes and fears for a future long-term relationship. We give young people space to develop a vision of a positive relationship future. Regardless of what type of relationships they personally want to have, which may look different to the preferences of another, the characteristics of great relationships are the same.
Communication is at the heart of Explore’s identify, whether in the classroom between young people and our volunteer couples, between the couples themselves as they share their lived experience with young people or with young people on our youth panel.
Encouraging this open dialogue with young people is one of Explore’s biggest strengths. Teachers tell us we enable conversations it might be inappropriate for them to instigate. We hope that, through kickstarting the conversation, communication both about relationships and in relationships becomes an automatic language for our next generation of young people.
We are recruiting for our next youth panel now, come and join the conversation: