During a recent Primary Assembly, consent was discussed with students. Below is some of the information that was shared with our students and we would encourage all parents to review this with their children so that our students understand that they are valuable and have the right to speak up when they feel uncomfortable.
What is consent?
Consent is permission to touch someone else. It could be a tap on the arm, a stroke of their hair or a hug - any time someone touches someone else then they need to gain consent.
Consent is also understanding that different people have different likes and dislikes. Some people might not like their hair to be played with, but others might!
Children who practice getting consent are also more confident about expressing their own likes and dislikes.
Why do we need it?
Everyone needs to get consent before touching someone because it shows respect for their body. We taught the children that this is called ‘bodily autonomy’. Some people don’t like to be touched by other people, so it is very important that we gain consent.
As well as gaining consent from others, it is important for our children to understand that others must always get consent before touching them. At different stages of development, this can mean very different things. It could involve playing tag, it could involve having a hug from a friend or holding hands or different forms of physical contact.