CHESTER and London-based charity, acet UK has been awarded £120,000 over the next 3 years to develop a new ‘Esteem’ project for primary school children – helping them build healthy self-esteem and increase their knowledge and confidence so they can understand their own worth, build positive friendships and know how to stay safe and healthy.
Many children experience puberty whilst they are still in primary school, with some girls starting their periods as young as 8. Esteem will not only offer quality lessons and resources to help build their understanding and give them confidence whilst their bodies change but also crucially offer training to teachers, many of whom say they don’t feel equipped to deliver statutory relationship education and have not received enough training in this area.
Over the next 3 years, Esteem schools’ workers will develop a new relationships curriculum to complement their acclaimed secondary school Esteem program and will research, pilot and deliver relationships education training to over 300 educators who, in turn, will reach 23,000 children. The course will be accredited by the Open College Network.
As a result of Esteem sessions, acet UK expects the children to have increased confidence to build positive friendships, set and respect boundaries, and recognise what an unhealthy friendship or relationship looks like and what to do in that situation. The sessions will also give them a better understanding of body changes during puberty, the differences between appropriate and inappropriate, or unsafe, contact, and how to stay safe online and recognise bullying and abuse and how to seek help.
acet UK CEO Catherine Healey said:
“This grant will enable us to develop and deliver a much-needed primary school relationships curriculum which will have a significant impact on children across the UK – increasing their self-esteem, knowledge and confidence so they can understand their worth.”
Patrick Haverty, Head of Year 9 and Head of Citizenship at Compass School in Bermondsey, where Esteem have been teaching secondary students for many years, said:
“Their knowledge and skills in this area have been nothing short of vital for all students.”
Usman Saeed, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said:
“We’re delighted to support acet with the development of the new relationship curriculum for primary schools. We realise the importance of setting foundations for healthy self-esteem and relationships at an early age, as children are becoming more exposed to a variety of influences. It’s also vital that teachers feel they have the training and resources they need to discuss sensitive and complex topics.”
Benefact Trust who awarded the grant is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and awarded more than £23 million to churches, charities and communities in 2020. Its funds come from its ownership of the Benefact Group.
If you would like your primary school to be involved, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.