Sexuality education

Sexuality education is taught in New Zealand schools as part of the Health and Physical Education and Hauora wāhanga ako learning areas.

Schools consult with their school community on health education every two years. This means every school will vary in the way it delivers sexuality education within the framework of the curriculum, and guided by the Sexuality Education Guide (external link) .

The guide spells out in detail what should be covered by sexuality education. It notes that all young people need access to information and opportunities to think about, question, and discuss issues related to relationships, gender, sexual identities, sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, and societal messages.

Sexuality education starts at Year 1 where students are likely to learn about friendships, families and respect, and in later years about puberty and body development. By Year 10 it is likely that most students will have been part of a teaching and learning programme that will have included aspects of sexual and reproductive health and may include topics such as contraception and abortion.

There are a wide range of supports available to teachers. The New Zealand Health Education Association is also funded to develop a range of resources for teachers. You can find them here (external link) .

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