Big Talk Education

BigTalk Wins the 2017 Pamela Sheridan Award

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Primary School children need high-quality relationships and sex education, say winners of FPA’s sex ed ‘Oscars’

The sexual health charity FPA has announced the winner of the prestigious 2017 Pamela Sheridan Award for innovation and good practice in relationships and sex education.

BigTalk Education’s Growing Up Safe Programme has been awarded the top prize in what’s been called the ‘Oscars’ of relationships and sex education. BigTalk’s whole school programme of relationships and sex education (RSE) is delivered to primary school children aged from 4-11 in collaboration with teachers and parents.

Ahead of relationships education for primary schools in England being made statutory in 2019, the award emphasises how important it is that the government doesn’t leave children without the vital information they need when official guidance for the subject is announced.

Natika Halil, Chief Executive of the sexual health charity FPA, which has presented the highly-sought after annual award for more than 20 years, in memory of sex education innovator Pamela Sheridan, said:

“It’s so important that when the government writes their guidance for relationships education in primary schools, they don’t forget to include the important information that children need to know about their bodies. Research by the Sex Education Forum found that a quarter of girls start their periods before they’ve been taught what they are, which simply isn’t good enough. Young people are being left in the dark, when there’s no reason or justification for this to happen.

“The success of BigTalk Education, and other resources for primary schools such as FPA’s Growing Up with Yasmine and Tom, shows that children can be taught vital information such as naming body parts, and being prepared for puberty, in a way that’s appropriate for their age. This doesn’t just lay strong foundations for more complex issues to be introduced later, but is also essential for keeping young people safe, especially for more vulnerable young people or young people with a disability.”

Lynnette Smith, Founder and Lead of BigTalk Education said:

“Adults tend to think about sex in an adult way, but relationships and sex education (RSE) for primary school is done in an age-appropriate way, and this needs to be reflected in the government’s guidance. BigTalk Education now delivers education in 133 schools across the country, and our Growing Up Safe Programme for primary schools delivers age-appropriate RSE to children from the age of four, with the backing of parents and school staff.

“We’re thrilled to receive the Pamela Sheridan Award, which for us is the Oscars of sex education! It highlights the fact that high quality RSE can become a normal part of growing up and help to keep children safe, healthy and happy”

The judging panel for the Pamela Sheridan Award commented that:
“BigTalk Education demonstrates that it is possible to start the conversation about sex and relationships with children right at the beginning of primary school. Crucially the project models a building blocks approach to teaching which is age-appropriate and builds year on year, on strong foundations of accurate information; with a focus on knowing how to get help to stay safe.

“The BigTalk programme shows that having the ‘big talk’ does not have to be a ‘big deal’.”



Lynnette has a background in Youth & Community Work; she is also a qualified Teacher, Trainer and has worked in the field of SRE since the early '90's. She has worked for several Authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber Region before setting up her own business BigTalk Education in 2005.