Soon after taking over the teaching of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Ed.) at the local grammar school I was having a new patient medical at the GP's. The nurse asked what I did for a living and I told her I was a teacher. But 'PSHE' always required a bit of explaining, so I went on to say that a significant part of the subject I taught was sex education.
'About time!' she said. 'The boys at that school know nothing. So make sure...' she went on, while holding a hypodermic rather threateningly, 'that you get it right.'
I've no idea if I did. There are no exams in that subject. And even if there were we all know exams aren't necessarily a guarantee of success.
Someone who undoubtedly has (got sex ed. right) and has also passed a lot of exams (but not, I assume, in sex) is Dr - nay, Professor - Robert Winston. And his new book Help Your Kids with Growing Up is the only guide to cover contemporary issues such as internet safety, whilst also tackling key topics such as sexuality and body image.
Professor Winston says: ‘Growing up, the transition from being a child to becoming a young adult, is one of the most amazing stages in a human’s whole life... By encouraging communication between parents and their children, we hope that many teenagers can approach this exciting stage in life with confidence and enjoyment, while feeling supported and understood.’
Winston's book offers a straight-forward, accessible approach with specialist chapters by Dr Radha Modgil as well as stunning graphics and illustrations. It really is an invaluable resource for tweens and teens alike, whether as a quick-reference guide or cover-to-cover read.
The nurse will be well pleased.