Church School Gives Pupils Aged 11 Lessons in Swearing

Daily Mail (London), April 4, 2009 | Go to article overview

Church School Gives Pupils Aged 11 Lessons in Swearing


Byline: Laura Clark Education Correspondent

A CHURCH school has angered parents after a teacher invited 11-year-olds to shout out rude words in a sex education lesson.

Pupils' four-letter obscenities were written on a board before a teacher explained their meaning.

Staff at St Laurence School in Bradfordon-Avon, Wiltshire, said the lesson was intended to 'dispel' the use of slang terms.

But parents branded it a 'disgrace' and said children were being forced to grow up before they were ready.

Year Seven pupils at the secondary school were asked to tell the teacher all the sexual slang they knew. The words, which included some of the most offensive words in the English language, covered crude terms for male and female genitalia as well as derogatory terms for women.

Some pupils claim they were told by the teacher not to tell their parents about the details of the lesson, although the Church of England school denies this.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: 'This is a total disgrace.

We send our children to school in good faith to gain an education - not qualifications in swear words.

'But what really angers me is that the parents were not asked for consent.

'This is an absolute outrage and I believe heads should roll for this.' In a statement, Richard Clutterbuck, the school's deputy head, said the aim of the lesson had been 'to ensure that the students use the correct terms when referring to the biological aspects of the programme and to dispel any use of slang terms'.

He added: 'With hindsight, the delivery of this particular lesson should not have focused upon the slang terms and I must apologise for any distress caused.

'We have taken the parental concerns very seriously and we have altered the delivery of the programme accordingly.' The row will heighten concern over the inappropriate treatment of sensitive content in Personal, Social and Health Education lessons following similar incidents at other schools in recent weeks.

At Great and Little Shelford CofE Primary near Cambridge, a class of ten-year-olds were asked to write down the rudest words they knew and rank them in order of offensiveness as part of an antibullying lesson.

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