the real period project
Plan International’s 2018 Break The Barriers report (1) looking into girls’ experiences of menstruation in the UK found that 48% of the girls they spoke to felt embarrassed by their period, with this figure rising to 56% of 14 year olds. Thorough menstrual education that really prepares girls and other young menstruators of other genders for managing their periods and the ups and downs of life with a menstrual cycle can be hard to fit in to a busy school curriculum.
It’s becoming increasingly accepted that boys really need to be included in the conversation and we could not agree more, it’s the only way we can build a world where everyone can talk about periods free from embarrassment. However many girls in the first few years of secondary still ask for time on their own so they can ask the questions they really want to ask about their experiences and concerns without fear of mocking and teasing. Other issues faced by young menstruators in school (and teaching staff alike) are fears of leaking in class or exams, period pain affecting their ability to function in school and a culture of menstrual shaming or silence.
We want to support schools to tackle all of these issues and create a positive and supportive culture in their school.
Hey Girls educational resources for secondary schools
In 2018 we 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.
We are really proud of this work, and excited to see how it is used around the country.
Starting in September 2019 we will be running a trial of menstrual cycle charting sessions for teen girls in four secondary schools in Bristol and Bath. This project has been funded by the Plan International and Brook collaboration Let’s Talk. Period.
We are really excited to explore how girls’ relationship with their menstrual cycle affects their overall wellbeing. Following completion of this trial in early 2020, we will develop training for staff in schools to offer this program, and we believe it has the potential to transform girls’ experience of their menstrual cycle, and help them build self trust and resilience.
Celebration Day for Girls School Sessions
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.
We can help you build a positive menstrual culture and build a curriculum that suits the needs of your school and teaches about periods and the menstrual cycle in an empowering and effective way. The Real Period Project is delivering Mense Ed sessions in the UK. Contact us to discuss holding sessions in your school.