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National Exposure for School’s Pastoral Curriculum

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Pupils and teachers from Bolton School Boys’ Division have been talking about elements of their pastoral curriculum on BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme and on ITV’s Tonight programme. 

Deputy Headteacher Mrs Brandon and 8 Year 12 students took part in the award winning current affairs programme File on 4, talking about the issue of pornography within a programme focusing on sexual abuse in schools. The programme featured a Bolton School Sixth Form lesson on Relationships and Sex Education and told how the School regularly brings in experts to talk about the issue to pupils, staff and parents. The boys spoke articulately and openly about their experiences. 

‘Pornography definitely has an effect on behaviour and relationships and can be extremely damaging, giving children unrealistic expectations and influencing how teenagers behave with one another,’ Mrs Brandon said. ‘It is vital that we address the subject head on and are proactive in helping our students to understand how harmful these materials can be ’ 

You can listen to the radio programme here (from 23 minutes, 17 seconds): https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000w9vn

Sixth Form students also recently appeared on ITV’s Tonight programme. Senior teacher, Heather Tunstall said: ‘We have been working with Allison and Deana from the Rap Project for a number of years, in fact since I began designing the Pastoral Curriculum. Their work aims to raise awareness about personal safety and prevention in areas of rape and sexual assault, while openly discussing how pornography and social media influence attitudes and expectations. Many parents will be familiar with their work from the Teenage Journey lecture series and their book ‘Sex, Likes and Social Media – talking to our teens in the digital age.’ 

‘When they suggested us to the ITV Tonight programme for comment about the work they do in schools and its impact we were only too happy to be involved. Finlay and Anuj in Year 12 kindly agreed to comment having recently been inspired to write about a range of issues in the school publication Creatives Now, including an in-depth interview with poet Andrew McMillan about concepts of modern masculinity. Although the segment was short, their answers during the interview were articulate, considered and reflected the impact of our approach to pastoral learning throughout the school. It was a pleasure to hear them speak, I felt proud to know them.’ 

Headmaster Mr Britton commented: ‘As ever, the boys spoke thoughtfully, honestly and eloquently on topics where I am sure many adults would be lost for words.’

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