Unicef1 estimates that people who menstruate spend about 2,500 days bleeding throughout their lifetime. But there is still stigma and shame surrounding this ordinary event, with misinformation and lack of education about how understanding periods can help overall mental health – if you are a menstruator or not.
Our secondary school program is designed to tackle these important issues and will deliver an essential part of your school’s PSHE curriculum.
An Introduction to our program
Since September 2020 menstrual well-being has been a statutory requirement for the UK secondary school curriculum. However, lack of teacher training, lack of resources and lack of time has meant this opportunity to provide empowering life skills is often being missed.
Research into what young people think PHSE should be like, suggests that young people appreciate being taught by external specialists, like The Nest, because they can find it less ‘awkward’. They felt that specialists could potentially meet young people in a more open-minded, relatable, confident, and knowledgeable way.2
Our Period Empowerment Education Program delivers sessions in secondary schools that meet the statutory requirements. They give students in years 7 and 9 an opportunity to learn about menstrual well-being in a fun and informative way, increasing understanding and challenging misconceptions.
How do we know that menstrual well-being education is needed?
Research3 has found that 48% of girls in the UK feel embarrassed by their period. These feelings create a culture of silence, ignorance and shame impacting on mental health and wellbeing. This is one of the reasons why rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are alarmingly high (suicide rates of girls increased by 83% in the last 8 years4).
Periods are something that affect the whole population, whether a person is menstruating themselves or they live, work or are friends with people that menstruate. Being educated about periods can take away stigma and stop it being a taboo subject. By working with all genders we aim to demystify menstruation and build understanding.
There are two sessions on offer for Key stage 3: year 7 and year 9 as outlined below. The sessions are delivered by two of our specialist ‘Transitioneer’ facilitators, and are designed to fit within a single school period of 50 minutes – 1 hour long. Some schools choose to incorporate the sessions into their PSHE timetable, or as part of a deep learning day. Our team is ready to find a way that works best for you and your school!
Year 7 Menstrual Wellbeing: lesson plan includes a truth and myth activity, hands on exploration of period products, and discussion about how periods affect different people.
Year 9 Menstrual Wellbeing: lesson plan includes exploring menstrual cycle awareness as a tool for life, attitude continuum, and how to be a period ‘ally’ to support menstruators.
The experienced Nest team provides a spiral approach to the curriculum by revisiting themes with increasing complexity as students grow from year 7 to year 9 when many will be starting their periods. This approach offers developmentally appropriate learning by revisiting core themes and builds on previous learning.
Our staff are DBS checked and have updated safeguarding and inclusive language training. They focus on delivering factual information with no political or religious bias.
Who is running this project?
Hazel, is program lead for the Menstrual Wellbeing sessions in schools. She is director of The Nest.
The Nest Southwest CIC is a registered social enterprise in Exeter. Our company number is 12271789. You can read our vision and mission statement and find out more about us HERE.
What are Transitioneers?
Transitioneers are what we call our wonderful team of facilitators who are trained in-house by The Nest to deliver these sessions on menstrual well-being. They come from a variety of backgrounds and are all passionate about the importance of menstrual well-being and period empowerment for young people. They are DBS checked and insured.
Who are the Transitioneers?
Get in touch to improve menstrual wellbeing in your school