Resource 4: Finding out what pupils already know about relationships

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

Gathura is a hardworking teacher at a well-organised community school in a village in central Kenya. In her characteristically thorough approach to teaching, she simplified some difficult words that her pupils are likely to come across in their study of ‘relationships’. This is to motivate them and help their understanding.

Gathura asks her pupils to discuss in groups:

  • who they spend time with every day at home, and why;
  • who they share ideas and experiences with at school, and for what reasons;
  • if they interact with their teachers, and why.

After they have discussed these ideas in groups and as a class, she takes it further by asking her pupils what connects them to the provision seller outside their school gate. She asks them to think about which other people from the community they see regularly, and why.

They discuss these ideas in groups and then share them with the class. From this, Gathura is able to help the pupils begin to identify the different kinds of relationships that they have with people, and the kinds of behaviour that are appropriate within each one.

She also used the following group activity to help her pupils explore ideas about relationships.

  • Divide your class into manageable groups across genders, personality types and abilities, to work on the relationship questions below.
  • Allow each group to choose a leader to organise the work, and a secretary to write down their ideas.
  • Make it clear that the task is to last only 15 minutes and each group is to report for only five minutes.
  • Move round the room to monitor each group’s progress and to ensure that individual members work actively together.
  • After 15 minutes, invite the groups to report in turns, with the other groups taking notes.
  • Together with the pupils, summarise the main points for everyone to note down. Draw their attention to the different types of relationships and why they exist.

Relationship questions

  • What is your feeling towards the home/family into which you were born?
  • What is your feeling towards your sister/brother at home in the family?
  • What does your sister/brother do for you that makes her/him close to you?
  • Who is your ‘best’ friend at school?
  • What makes her/him your best friend?
  • What connects you with your teacher?

Resource 3: The role of schoolteachers

Resource 5: Responses to the role play