Sexual health involves making wise and informed choices to avoid taking unnecessary chances. It means taking responsibility for reproductive health and feeling comfortable with one's sexual identity. Students need every opportunity to learn sexual health information that is accurate and inclusive to assist them in making informed decisions.
As an educator, you may feel uncomfortable talking about sexuality with students, since it is closely connected to personal values, cultural and spiritual beliefs and family background. The health unit has compiled the following information and resources to support educators in preparing to teach sexual health education, in order to meet Ontario curriculum expectations.
- Sexual Health Teach Manual - For Grade 7 and 8 (PDF) – This teacher manual was created in 2011 in partnership with the Simcoe County District School Board. The lesson plans were developed by Grade 7 and 8 teachers and secondary school department chairs and public health nurses from the health unit's Sexual Health Team. They incorporate sexual health education into the numeracy and literacy components of the curriculum and can be used throughout the school year; thus keeping sexual health as an integral part of the entire learning experience.
NOTE: The sexual health resources that are included in this teacher manual are identified as a reference for teachers ONLY. You will need to follow your Board/school policies related to sexual health curriculum. Based on these policies you can determine which, if any, of the materials are appropriate for student reference or handout.
- Peel Public Health – Talk to Me Manual and Lesson Plans - For Grades 7 and 8 is a teaching curriculum developed by Peel Public Health. It provides a “Teachers Guide” to assist in preparing to teach sexual health and eight detailed lesson plans that cover key components of sexual health. Additionally there are handouts, visual aids and activities tailored to students that are easily downloaded.
- Toronto Public Health – Sexual Health Resources for Teachers – Training videos and teaching manuals with lesson plans designed to support educators in teaching healthy sexuality.
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) – Offers extensive sexual health information and resources for teachers including lesson plans and presentations.
HIV/AIDS Online School Support Kit – Suggested
for Grades 1-12. This kit
supports teachers and school administrators to develop lessons and instructional strategies that will help students fulfill curriculum expectations related to HIV education. The kit brings together evidence-based information, best practice strategies, and a myriad of existing free HIV-related resources and tools to help schools deliver age-appropriate HIV education and create supportive environments for students who are living with, affected by, and vulnerable to HIV and AIDS (Ophea).
The health unit offers a variety of services to support student health and sexuality, including confidential sexual health clinics, counseling and phone support.
In addition to these sexual health services, the health unit also offers a variety of programs and services for elementary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.
Visit the sexual health section of the health unit’s website for more information and resources related to sexuality, birth control, sexually transmitted infections, health unit services, blood exposures and more.
If you are concerned about a student and/or would like additional information related to counselling or community supports please visit the where to get help section.
Staff at the health unit are currently reviewing recommended lesson plans and curriculum supports for educators to align with Ontario’s 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Please use your discretion in determining which lesson plans and curriculum supports to use in your classroom. Updated and new resources will be posted online as available.