Personal & Sexual Health






Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Healthy relationships can help us lead rewarding and fulfilling lives.

In the end, students will be able to:

  • Propose strategies for avoidance or assertiveness to use in unsafe abusive, or exploitative for responding to bullying, discrimination, and violence
  • Propose strategies for developing and maintaining positive relationships
  • Propose strategies managing changes during puberty (physical, social, emotional)
  • Explore the impact of transition and change on personal identity
  • Create and assess strategies for dealing with changes (social, emotional, physical)
  • Analyze how health related sexual health decisions support achievement of personal health goals
  • Note: ensure an adequate amount of time is dedicated to the ‘health’ component of Physical Health Education. Topics such as personal safety, sexual, mental, emotional health account for nearly half of PHE content. See the SCOPE AND SEQUENCE below.

Related Resources



It is recommended that all teachers deliver foundation lessons from the ‘Kids in the Know’ (or similar) resource. All schools K-10 have this resource as of  2018. Please contact District Coordinator for more information. To order more resouces click here.

Order Materials


Google Slides Presentations

Personal and Sexual Health Lessons


  • Northern Health: Printable Puberty Guide #1 -Grade 4-7 with assessment
  • Growing Up OK! Printable Puberty Guide #2 Gr 4-8 smaller guide with summaries
  • PHE Canada: Printable Puberty Guide #3  Gr 5,6,7
  • Power Point Gr 4-8 (see bottom of this tab)

Mental Health Resource Centre (Coping, Drugs, Substance Use, Lesson Plans)

Health Modules


Healthy Relationships Plus Videos:

  • Boys Don’t Cry (short video) redefining masculinity
  1. Part I focuses on demonstrating communication skills including assertive, passive and aggressive communication.
  2. Part II focuses on demonstrating skills that include delay, refusal and negotiation skills and Part III focuses on a combination of skills.

Gr 8 Effective Relationships: peer pressure, substance use, school stressors, interpersonal conflict, dating relationships, etc.

  1. Skills Vignettes 
  2. Skills Vignettes
  3. Skills Vignettes

Gr 9 Effective Relationships: peer pressure, substance use, school stressors, interpersonal conflict, dating relationships, etc.

  1. Skills Vignettes
  2. Skills Vignettes
  3. Skills Vignettes

Healthy Relationship: issues/concerns that might be relevant to LGBT2Q+ youth

  1. Skills Vignettes

Amaze: Health animations -Gr 4-12 (Use the ‘Educator’ section to see discussion questions and lesson plans)

  1. 86 short videos about mental health
  2. Consent (local context BC)
  3. Victim Blaming 
  4. Emotions

Online Certifications for Youth

Personal Safety Skills (Kids in the Know) Printable Posters

Related Resources


When teaching about BODY PARTS use phrases like:

  • “This body has a penis”…. “this body has a vulva” (not this is a girl’s body and this is a boy’s body)
  • “Some bodies” look like this (not, all girls look like this…)

When teaching about PUBERTY

Acknowledge that the reproductive system in a body that has a vulva is different than a body that has a penis. What body parts you have will determine the changes that happen to your body during puberty. We often describe these as puberty that happens to girls bodies and puberty that happens to boys bodies.

When teaching about FAMILIES

  • Some families (not assuming all families are the same…)
  • Caregivers (not assuming always Mom and Dad)
  • Your safe adult (not assuming always a Mom and Dad)

When teaching about sexual decision making

When teaching about ways to lower risks of STIs and pregnancy, do not only give examples of heterosexual (penis-vagina sex). All types of sex carry some risk, not everyone will have every type of sex in their lives. It’s important to know the risks of oral, vaginal, anal sex and know how to lower risk for each.


  • Being honest with children in public school from the start that we have all different kinds of people in our communities, including families with two moms, or two dads, and that’s just fine.
  • Also being honest with kids about the fact that gender isn’t determined by anyone or anything but ourselves. It’s a deep, internal sense of being male or female, or some some neither, or some identify as both!
  • Explaining that what body parts you have doesn’t dictate how you must act, what clothes you wear, colours you like, toys you play with, or even which bathroom you use. Sometimes this takes some extra reminding because of what children are told elsewhere, and because gender stereotypes and policing of gender are pervasive in our society.
  • Helping everyone to understand that what matters in the bathroom is safe, appropriate, and respectful behaviour, not what body parts you have.
  • Talking to children about the fact that some people know in their hearts and minds that they are a boy even though they have female body parts, or vice versa, and that’s just fine too.
  • Describing how what body parts we have does mean that our bodies may develop differently as we grow into adults, but what’s important is that this doesn’t determine our actions/choices, abilities, or rights.
  • Introducing the fact that some people are born with body parts that don’t look like typical male parts or typical female parts (intersex), but they’re just as healthy and human as everyone else. What someone has for private parts is private!
  • Ensuring that we all respect that, in general, what body parts someone has is none of anyone else’s business, and really shouldn’t matter anyway. Everyone is welcome in our public schools as long as they are respectful and accepting of all the diversity that exists there.
  • Making as much diversity visible as possible in lessons, materials, examples you give in lessons etc. including LGBTQ2SI+ people.
  • Respecting peoples’ pronouns.

12 Evidence Based Facts about LGBTQ+ Students In BC

Related Resources

Inclusion Policy, SOGI Procedure, Gender Support Plan, Resources for Trans People and their Families

Our District follows the direction of the Provincial Ministry of Education. We aim to ensure schools are safe, caring and inclusive of all its students, and are free from discrimination regardless of one’s orientation or gender identity (to meet BC Human Rights Code). See our district Inclusion Policy and SOGI Procedure which are posted on the District Site or here on this site
SOGI is supported by the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, and the Ministry of Education. This resource provides tools for educators and schools so they can ensure inclusive environments and help honour the diversity which exists in our communities and all of our schools. Here is the link to the:

Parent site for SOGI Education:

If you have further inquiries or concerns you can direct parents to:
Bob Esliger, Assistant Superintendent
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools

For resources, or support, contact our District Social Justice Advocate, Carlo Pavan

How to talk to trans youth and their families

Related Resources

Setting Up 'Alternative Delivery' with Parents

If parents prefer to address sensitive material related to sexuality and reproduction in the Physical and Health Education curriculum outside of the classroom they must follow the Administrative Procedure below. Students may not ‘opt out’ of this content. Alternative delivery does not apply to any other BC curriculum.

Link to Provincial wording on Alternative Delivery


Related Resources

Answering Students' Questions

Anonymous Question Time

Answering student questions can be a challenge. There are great tools and phrases to practice that will make this process easier for you.

Reminders when answering questions:

  • Set ground rules ahead of time,
  • Set up an anonymous question box and give yourself time to formulate answers for the next session,
  • Don’t judge questions,
  • Keep a neutral face,
  • Use reliable phrases,
  • Give unbiased answers based on facts,
  • Always end with a safety message or direction of a reliable resource for more information,
  • Tell students you may rephrase questions to protect confidentiality and safety of all students (no names, no questions that expose anyone)

Useful phrases when answering questions:

  • Some people may,
  • Although not everyone will…it’s important to understand the safety of…
  • Experts believe, doctors suggest, the safest way…(always end with safety as the message),
  • Ask your family what their rules are or values are about…,
  • That’s an interesting question: I bet they might have an answer on one of our trusted websites: let’s find out,
  • Sometimes people think of questions that will shock or gross us out but it doesn’t mean they are safe, true, likely or even possible, not everything you see or hear about is true (media literacy),
  • In this question I wonder if there is consent of each person and if anyone would be in harm (redirect difficult questions to safety)
  • This is good question to send to Mrs. Chelsom, let’s see what her answer is…
  • Let’s call the 1800sexsense line to ask an expert (M-F 9-9pm)”
  • Let’s take a look at teaching sexual health as the answer may already be there (use links below)

Model for Answering Student Questions

Teaching Sexual Health how to respond to Qs

Sample Student Questions & Answers

Submit a Challenging Question to Have Answered by a Professional

Other Sample Questions & Answers

Speaking of Sex by Author Meg Hickling Supplies Questions and Answers for all Ages


Ground Rules

Standard Ground Rules – Kindergarten to Grade 10 Language can adapted for older grades

This is ‘Body Science!’ Learning about the body is fun and it helps us:

  • Learn how to care for our own bodies
  • Understand our body belongs to us and our rights
  • Helps us get along with other people and not cause harm to anyone else
  • Teaches us how to get out of unsafe situations and who to go to for help

Be private: no using other people’s names, or personal stories. We only talk about our bodies with people we trust, and trusted adults. This information is only appropriate for your age group and older: do not share with younger kids at lunch who may not be ready for it.

Giggly wiggly’s: sometimes bodies are funny. If you have to laugh…follow the 3 second rule, take a deep breath and look at the ground until you can join the group again.

Use scientific terms and words: slang is ok, but always use scientific word as well. Teaching students proper terms is a sexual abuse prevention strategy and teaches a universal language of health.

“Interesting”: doctors never say things are gross, or say “ewww”. Instead they say “interesting…” it’s a good word to use when we don’t know what to say!

No personal questions. This rule saves a lot of embarrassing moments. It’s ok for students and teachers to not answer personal questions.

All other questions are ok: if a student is asking it, it means they have already been exposed to some sort of information. Take this opportunity to answer, in a timely fashion, in an age appropriate way, with the facts. Always come back to ‘safety’ in your answer to refocus the group.

Diverse Abilities/Skills for Life Lesson Plans

Online Lesson Plans:

LEEDS: Puberty and Sexuality Teaching Guide with Lessons

Beyond the Basics: Teaching sexual health to those with disabilities


Grade 4-8: Physical changes of puberty

Grade 8-12: Managing changes of puberty, sexual identity, coping, mental well being

Grade 7-12: Healthy relationships, harassment, consent,

Grade 8-12: Healthy relationships, bystander effect, consent, abuse, sexual violence

Grade 8-12: Sexual decision making, STIs, pregnancy

Mental and Emotional Health, Substances and Addictions

Students should be able to:

  • List the signs of stress, anxiety, depression
  • Understand difference between sadness and depression
  • Assess strategies for self-care, and list selection of positive coping skills (physical, nutritional, mindfulness, daily practices etc.)
  • Critically think and assess information about substances
  • Know what to do if someone is having suicidal thoughts
  • How to get help: make a list of services in our community, help lines, websites, your ‘go to’ people


Related Resources

Influences on individual identity, gender, beliefs, sexual identity
  • Lesson on ‘Sexual Identity and Diversity’ 
  • Factors which influence our identity (who we are by nature/biology, environmental factors, and who we learn to be based on culture/social constructs)
  • Understanding the various components of one’s identity: biological sex vs. assigned sex at birth vs gender identity, vs gender stereotypes vs. gender expression vs. sexual orientation
  • Critically analyze how ones ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are socially constructed
  • Challenge gender norms and stereotypes (including masculinity and femininity)
  • Acknowledge limitations of binary categories we have placed on human sexuality (which is much more complex than 2 categories)
  • How are people treated when they don’t fit into rigid categories created by society
  • Affirm and celebrate the diversity of identities, expressions, and orientations
  • Consequences of bullying, discrimination, stereotyping (focus on homophobia, transphobia)


Related Resources

Puberty changes (changes in body, feelings, emotions)
  • Anatomy of reproductive and excretory systems
  • Breasts and areolas, penis/clitoris, ovaries/testicles, labia/scotum, urethra, anus,

fallopian tubes/vas deferens, ova/sperm, semen/vaginal fluid

  • Including changes in: hair, sweat, body odor, voice, oil production, acne, mood swings, breast dev’t,

discharge, erections, wet dreams, menstruation, increased sex drive, masturbation, attraction,

  • How to do a testicular self-examination
  • Hygiene: Bathing, managing body odor, oral care, preventing bladder/fungal infections, safe hair removal



Related Resources

Healthy Relationships
  • Healthy standards (consent, communication, respect, trust, etc.)
  • How to have healthy friendships
  • Personal boundaries and how to assert them
  • Unhealthy relationships, reg flags: lie, cheat, pressure, guilt, control, isolate, etc.)
  • Dating violence
  • Lust vs love vs control
  • Anger as a secondary emotion
  • How to get out of an unhealthy relationship/break up


Related Resources

Media Influences on Youth: Exposure to Pornography (literacy)


Use Be Heroes (tons of free downloads to use in class)

  • Pornography affect on developing brains videos


  1. Teach this Lesson or Show lesson plan Video Clips:
  2. Lesson: I heard it on the Internet!? Reliable sources of health information


Sub category-EXPOSURE TO PORNOGRAPHY  (porn literacy)

What to say to kids about porn:


  • Healthy relationships are based on trust, respect, communication, and consent: all things that pornography lacks, and often involves the exploitation of someone (often females).
  • Not a good guide for what real life partners would really want/expect
  • Porn is like a sports highlight reel (only focussed on exciting moments (simulated)
  • Damage caused by pornography may include: peer to peer sexual abuse of children,  pornography contributes to rape and sexual violence, addiction (signs of addiction), children exposed to pornography may act out sexually with other children, pornography shapes attitudes and values, interferes with a child’s development and identity. It affects the reward centre in the brain: creating new pathways if exposed as brain is developing.

Related Resources

Strategies and skills to use in potentially hazardous, unsafe, or abusive situations
  • Communication skills: negotiating boundaries, being assertive vs. passive vs aggressive
  • Refusal skills
  • The cycle of abuse: reporting, getting help
  • Using instincts to sense danger
  • Using technology: lures/tricks of exploiters, sexting, privacy online, exploitation


Related Resources

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: The law, harassment, assault, rape
  • In Canada, and in BC schools it is you RIGHT to feel safe. The law is clear on what is legal or not.
  • Examples of: Harassment, stalking, exploitation, abuse, assault
  • Beliefs and misconceptions, victim blaming, factors why many assaults go unreported
  • Bystander effect, mob mentality, famous examples of them
  • How to respond and be assertive


Related Resources

  • An enthusiastic YES! What it is, looks like, sounds like, how to negotiate consent, can be retracted
  • What is isn’t: silence, no, body language, alcohols/drugs
  • Laws: alcohol: you can’t consent if drunk (slurring, stumbling), age of consent limits


Healthy sexual decision making

Making healthy and safe decisions in your life requires knowledge and understanding. You need to know yourself and what your standards are. You also need to know what the qualities are in a healthy relationship. Sexual decision making means you understand the pros and cons of your choices and are able to lower your risks with the information you have.

  1. Get to really know you family values
  2. Develop your own values and standards
  3. Practice asserting your boundaries
  4. Abstain as long as possible
  5. Be able to communicate worries, hopes, fear, risks with your partner
  6. Knowing when you are ready (mentally, emotionally, physically, relationship wise)
  7. Knowing if your partner is ready (asking for consent!!)
  8. Practice ways out of unhealthy or risky situations
  9. Prevent any potential harm (STIs or unplanned pregnancies)



Different types of touch and ways to lower risk (of STI’s, Pregnancy)

Safe, healthy touch is what all humans need to thrive. Things like hugs, cuddles, holding someone you love, a kiss of the forehead. The way safe touch makes us feel: safe, loved, cared for. All touch must be consentual: no one can touch your body without your permission (an enthusiastic Yes!)

There are many ways to show you care for someone without touch: Quality time together, write a note, text, go on a walk together, bring them flowers, eat together etc…

Sexual touch may feel good but has some serious risks including: unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pain and regret, to name a few. It is up to each person to make healthy decisions and choices that will reduce their risks.

What touch is unsafe touch
* Causes pain, has risk of virus/bacterial infections(STI), is non-consensual, damages body in any way

Levels of Risk for STIs With Each Type of Touch:

The only 100% way to not be at risk is to abstain (not to do it), or to touch in ways that don’t involve bodily fluids. The healthiest choice for young people is to abstain as long as possible. Most people don’t become sexually active until after high school (McCreary Survey 2013), and for many, they wait until they are in long term relationships and for some they wait until they are married. Some people are asexual, meaning they do not have sexual feelings for others and they may choose not to have sex. Some choose not to be sexually active for other reasons.


Body Fluids (semen, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid, blood, breast milk)


Dark, wet, warm body parts (mouth, eye, anus, vulva, penis)

No risk of STI touch: holding hands, hugging

Lower risk of STI touch: kiss, hands/fingers on genitals, body rubbing

  • Any touch beyond this is considered a type of sex. Sex  can mean all sorts of different intimate touch, for all types of bodies, and does not just mean penis and vagina. Not everyone will have sex in their lives, and not everyone will have all the types of sex that exist. There are serious risks for each type of sex.

Medium risk touch and ways to reduce risk: Oral sex (mouth in contact with genital area)

  • Reduce risk: abstain, limit # of partners, know partner, get STI tested, get vaccinated, use barrier (external condom or oral barrier)

High risk of STI touch and ways to reduce risk: vaginal sex (penis in contact with vulva), anal sex (penis in contact with anus)

  • Ways to lower risk of STIs: Abstain, limit number of partners, know partner, get vaccinated, get tested for an STI, always use condoms every time
Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are diseases and infections that are spread through sexual touch. They are only preventable by abstaining, but one can lower their risk of contracting one by: avoiding high risk touch, knowing signs and symptoms, getting tested regularly, ensuring partner is tested, limiting number of partners, and using condoms.

Statistics and prevalence: 5 in 6 people will get one, 8 in 10 will get HPV, 1 in 4 Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV2) for example. STIs are not linked to cleanliness, promiscuity, appearance, reputation (stigma). If you are sexually active, go get checked regularly (STI test for free at a Doctor or clinic)

Viral: (No cure but symptoms can be managed in some cases with medications) Hepatitis, HIV, Herpes (HSV), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Bacterial: (Curable) Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Trichomoniasis

  • Infestations: (Curable) Scabies, Pubic Lice

– Skin to fluid (mucus membranes: mouth, eye, vulva, anus, penis)
– Exchange of Fluids (semen, vaginal fluid, rectual fluid, blood, breast milk)
– Proximity (skin to skin rubbing: HSV, HPV)


  • Ranging from none (likely), to:
  • pain
  • lumps
  • sores
  • discharge
  • strong odor
  • warts
  • rash
  • itching

Short and Long Term Consequences of STIs

  • embarrassment
  • pain
  • cancer (throat, anal, penile, cervical)
  • infertility
  • death


  • PAP tests (females)
  • HPV and Gardasil vaccines
  • -free in school vaccinations for grade 6 (male and female), or grade 9 (female)
  • -free at Grant Avenue Health Clinic for females under 23 and those having high risk sex
  • -subsidized cost at Options for Sexual Health
  • -up to $500 at the Doctor (may be covered by some health plans)
  • STI testing (free at Options for Sexual Health, Doctor, Walk In Clinic)
  • Barrier methods (latex or polyurethane condoms)
  • Limiting number of sexual partners

Prevention (including PAP tests,  HPV and Gardasil info




Condom demonstration
  • Internal and external condoms
  • Reduces risk significantly during oral, vaginal or anal sex of most STIs and pregnancy
  • method, instruction, effectiveness, latex/polyurethane
  • Use of lubrication to increase effectiveness
  • Condoms DO break if not used properly
  • Must be used EVERY TIME unless:
    – Want to get pregnant
    – Have been tested for STIs and in a monogamous relationships and on birth control


Contraception and Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention


Preventing unplanned pregnancies: birth control is extremely effective if used as directed


Method, instruction,  actual use effectiveness, advantages/disadvantages


Show effectiveness chart and quote ‘actual use’ not ‘perfect use’ rates

  1. Start with most effective and work way down
  1. Hormonal (works by: prevent release of ovum, thicken cervical fluid, changing lining of uterus)
    1. IUD (progestin-Mirena 99.3%), Depo-shot (progestin 97%), Patch (estrogen/progestin 92%), Nuva Ring (progestin and estrogen 92%), Pill (estrogen/progestin or just progestin 91%) ,
  2. Copper IUD 99.3 %
  3. Barrier: Condoms keep sperm from entering vagina (internal 79%) and external (82%)
  4. Withdrawal method can help lower risk of pregnancy especially when used in addition to another method-should

                      not be relied on its own!!)

  1. Emergency contraception * (97.3%)
    1. ‘Contingency One’ or ‘Plan B’ :Lovonorgestrel (w/i 3 days but preferably w/i 12 hours after unprotected sex: most

effective the sooner it’s taken)

  1. Thickens cervical fluid/prevents release of ova (egg)
  2. Ex: Plan B effectiveness (up to 95%), accessibility (pharmacy), cost $30)
  1. Copper IUD inserted w/i 7 days: creating inhospitable environment for sperm preventing fertilization
  • People do not need parental consent to go to a clinic/doctor, and get medical treatment or prescriptions. It is confidential



Pregnancy and Reproduction


Lesson stages of development:


  1. How conception happens:

-semen makes contact with vaginal fluid: near vulva or in vagina-travels to fallopian tube and connects with ovum. Males can impregnate females the first and every time they have intercourse, and at any day of the month (as some females ovulate more than once in a month). Females are especially fertile around 2 weeks after their last period started/ or 2 weeks before their next period. 2.Signs of ovulation are an increase in vaginal fluid, slight cramp on one side of pelvis, breast tenderness)

  1. Signs of pregnancy: missed period, increased urination, fatigue, tender breasts
  2. Stages of pregnancy: 3 trimesters, up to 40 weeks
  3. Health of mother: Folic acid, avoid exposure to chemicals/drugs/alcohol/smoke, pain relievers like Aleve or aspirin, regular visits to Obstetrician or Midwife



Conception to birth in 4 minutes animation

Short animations

Pregnancy info

Unplanned Pregnancy Options


Nearly 1 in 2 pregnancies are unplanned.

Understanding Options:

  1. Parenting,
  2. Adoption,
  3. Medical and surgical abortion

Options: Brainstorm pros, cons of each, understand personal values related to each, understand laws/rights of each: Lesson:

Note: Abortions in B.C. are free, legal, and safe

Medical Abortion: There are a few options including Mifegymiso which means one can get medication to end pregnancy from pharmacy within the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, in pill form, can be taken in privacy of own home. Doctor must write a prescription. To find a local Dr who is trained in medical abortion please call 1-800-sex-sense (1-800-739-7367) or  the Pregnancy Option Line 1888-875-3163

Surgical Abortion: usually within 12-14 weeks but up to 20 weeks performed  in a medical clinic or hospital.

Rights and Laws The female can only make choice to have/not have abortion, cost (covered/free with care card number), accessibility in Canada (legal and safe), and confidential (information will not be shared with anyone else)


Responsibilities of Parenting

Lesson: Responsibilities of Parenting

Lesson: Pregnancy and Parenting


Sources of Health Info and Support for Students

Know your school counsellor, trusted websites, support phone numbers, medical services for youth, your rights as a youth to confidentiality etc.



Related Resources

Planning Your Sexual Health Unit

Checklist for Planning:  Sexual Health Unit in PHE

Sexual Health Lesson Plans

Quick Reference