The aims of these programmes are:
- To reach a fuller understanding of all aspects of relationships
- To learn to deal with conflict more effectively
- To understand the impact of family of origin on relationships and to increase self-awareness
- To facilitate discussion on the impact of children, responsibility, commitment and expectations
- To give practical information on sex, reproduction and related topics such as sexually transmitted infections.
- To assist the students in making informed choices.
The course content varies depending on the year group.
The students themselves decide the topics they would like to see discussed but these will always include modules on anatomy and sexual health. The topics most suggested by students are:
- How to recognise and deal with abusive relationships. In recent years, ACCORD Dublin facilitators have identified a worrying increase in the number of teenagers experiencing abuse in their peer-to-peer relationships. Often, the young person affected is sometimes involved in a relationship without fully realising that it is emotionally abusive. In some cases, physical abuse is also present in relationships between peers. ACCORD Dublin facilitators are trained to identify these problems for young people and in individual cases have equipped young men and women with the skills to recognise the problem and remove themselves from what can be a dangerous situation.
- Consent – Over the past 5 years ACCORD Dublin facilitators have identified the vital importance of clarity around the issue of consent in relationships. It is now a major part of class discussions for all ages in secondary school. We use a variety of external resources and questionnaires that help both young men and women to understand more clearly what can often be a confusing subject for them.
- Expectations of relationships, including sexual relationships.
- Effect of alcohol/drugs on relationships
- Pornography – effects on individuals and relationships
- Dealing with the end of a relationship “being dumped”
- Friendship issues – unhealthy or “toxic” relationships
- Family issues
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, + relationships
- Emotional problems – caused by relationships, family and friends
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted infections.
The students are encouraged to enter into discussions and to listen and respect other people’s point of view.