the real period project
Recent UK research by Plan International (1) found that 1 in 4 girls they spoke to felt unprepared for their first period, and 1 in 7 didn’t know what was happening when they started. The average age of menarche (first period) in the UK is just under 13 years old (2), which means primary school teachers are in an important position of helping prepare girls (and kids of other genders with female organs) for this major transition.
There are lots of excellent resources already available to schools, including PSHE programs like Jigsaw, but we believe that more can be taught in primary school about the menstrual cycle and managing periods, so no one has to feel unprepared or confused when they start their periods.
Real Period Project
primary school lesson plans
Supported by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in 2018 we trialled our primary school sessions in Bristol with some wonderful year 5 (aged 9/10) children. These sessions work well as standalone sessions to introduce periods and the menstrual cycle in years 5 or 6, or alongside existing Jigsaw puberty sessions if you’d like to go into more detail with your class.
educational resources for primary schools
In 2018 we also worked with Hey Girls CIC to develop their My Period cards and educational resources including lesson plans and a spiral curriculum of recommended study from Primary through to Secondary. You can purchase the cards from Hey Girls here and download the resources here
We are really proud of this work, and excited to see how it is used around the country.
Emily is a Celebration Day for Girls facilitator and these workshops can be held in your school, as a full or half day session. This programme was created by Jane Bennett in Australia over 15 years ago and now has many facilitators worldwide, offering fun sessions that prepare young people for puberty and periods in an empowering and positive way. The sessions adapt well for the school setting and work well both in girls’ schools, or alongside a session run for the boys in mixed gender classes. We recommend JourneyManUK for this.
Contact us for more information.
Please note that although the name implies this workshop is only open to young people who identify as girls, we welcome all genders and will always endeavour to work with all participants to ensure their particular needs are met.
Period Friendly Schools
Interested in making your school more period-friendly but not sure where to start?
Our comprehensive Period Friendly Schools training was developed following a large consultation of schools, youth workers and young people in 2019 commissioned by Bristol City Council. In the training we discuss how to promote a period-friendly school culture, how to provide menstrual products and education on menstrual wellbeing and ensure inclusivity for all.
We offer this training online or in person to all school staff and school nurses, and also offer training for youth workers and others working with young people outside of school.
If you would like to enquire about organising a training session in your area please contact us.