What we do

What we do

RSE explained

RSE explained

A whole-school approach

A whole-school approach

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What we do

The RSE Project, based at Curtin University, provides a range of professional development opportunities to Western Australian schools (K-12) in the area of relationships and sexuality education (RSE). Our training aligns with the Western Australian curriculum and is suitable for all school sectors.

Our focus is on supporting teachers (both pre-service and in-service) to deliver RSE in schools. As we strongly advocate that schools embrace a whole-school approach to RSE, we are keen to also support school administrators, support staff, community health nurses and others who work in schools.

The RSE Project offers high-quality professional learning events and presentations delivered by Curtin University academics, Western Australian school staff and a number of carefully chosen external providers. Click here to see what we can offer.

The RSE Project is funded by the WA Department of Health, Sexual Health & Blood-borne Virus Program. We encourage you to access their curriculum and teaching resource, which has been specifically developed to assist WA schools to deliver RSE: www.gdhr.wa.gov.au

Who are we?

The RSE Project is based at Curtin University and is a joint effort between the Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health, the School of Public Health, and the School of Education.

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RSE explained

Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) can be a challenging subject to deliver in schools and the scope of what we need to teach young people is always changing. In addition to the more traditional focus on issues such as puberty, reproduction and preventing sexually transmissible infections; RSE now recognises the importance of teaching young people about other topics such as respectful relationships, interacting online, sexually explicit images, diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and protective behaviours. Broader influences are also recognised with significant crossover between sexual health and other topics such as mental health, and alcohol and other drugs.

Schools are not alone in providing this vital education to young people. As part of a whole-school approach, it is important that schools engage collaboratively with parents, caregivers and their local community.

Regardless of our focus, all sexuality topics can and should be addressed in an age-appropriate way across every year of schooling (K-12). We also recognise that healthy relationships are the cornerstone of this education. For these reasons, we choose to use the expansive term relationships and sexuality education (RSE).

For more information on RSE please visit the GDHR website.

How does RSE apply in WA schools?

In Western Australia, schools from all sectors are required to deliver the Health and Physical Education Curriculum to their students, as outlined by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. RSE is explicitly named as an area of focus in this curriculum: relationships from years K-3, relationships and sexuality from years 4-10. There is also opportunity to teach RSE concepts in other health classes and in other subject areas.

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A whole-school approach

Whilst classroom instruction provides opportunity for relationships and sexuality education (RSE), a whole-school approach is a more comprehensive and sustainable approach that is endorsed by the World Health Organization. A whole-school focus considers three key domains:

  • curriculum, learning and teaching;
  • school organisation, ethos and environment; and
  • partnership and services.

This ensures that students are taught in the classroom, is reinforced in the wider school environment and connects with parents, caregivers and the local community.

A whole-school approach is also sometimes referred to as a Health Promoting Schools Framework. Such an approach has been utilised in schools to address various health topics such as healthy eating, physical education, mental health, injury prevention, drug education, asthma and sun safety.

For more information on a whole-school approach to RSE, please visit the GDHR website.

The RSE Project is currently supporting several school sites in WA to deliver a whole-school approach to their RSE delivery.

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