Over the past five years, the team at health and hygiene products company Kimberly-Clark New Zealand has worked with experienced teachers to create engaging, interactive teaching materials for health and physical education (HPE) teachers who are developing puberty education lesson content in New Zealand and Australian schools.
Called What’s Happening to U? and created for classes of girls and boys, this complimentary resource pack covers ‘Changes to your Body’, ‘Menstruation’ and ‘Social and Emotional Changes’. It is designed to allow teachers to choose or combine their own teaching with the loose-leaf sheets of suggested lesson outlines, class activities,
myths and quizzes, along with video files, ready made PowerPoint presentations and an offer of student education packs containing feminine hygiene product samples and a puberty guide packaged in a clutch purse for the girls in the class.
New developments This year, the U by Kotex® Products team at Kimberly-Clark, led by Julie McNae, have taken another step forward with the development of the materials.
They wanted to understand more about how New Zealand teachers see the kit, where it sits most appropriately inside The New Zealand Curriculum, and how it best supports classroom teaching, so they consulted with Toni Ferens, teacher in charge of health education at Takapuna Grammar School in Auckland and dean of year 10.
Always willing to help companies provide schools with relevant and useful materials, Ferens explained that the kit was best suited for year 7 and 8 teaching and learning, but could also be offeredto year 5 and 6 and year 9 HPE teachers.
Ferens rated the kit’s introductory video highly as it spoke about body changes for boys and girls “honestly and
in their language”. She suggested that New Zealand teachers would integrate the material with the Hauora or the Whare Tapa Whā model of wellbeing and integrate it into The New Zealand Curriculum with discussion in class around mental, emotional, social and spiritual, along with physical, changes experienced during puberty.
Julie McNae says Feren’s input has been invaluable. “Each year we receive positive feedback from teachers who use our resources and it’s great this year to have Toni’s input, giving us a clear understanding of how they will best dovetail with the New Zealand health curriculum in class.
New Zealand teachers do a great job helping students ease the transition into puberty and periods, and we value the opportunity to support them in this way.”
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