The development of the department's Respectful relationships education program is a direct response to recommendations 24 to 28 and part of the broad multi-departmental Queensland Government approach to ending domestic and family violence.
The Respectful relationships education program is a primary prevention program focused on influencing behaviour change to prevent undesirable social consequences such as domestic and family violence. This is done through challenging attitudes about violence and gender construction known to lead to violence while also supporting students to develop pro-social behaviours that lead to equitable and respectful relationships. A strengths-based approach underpins the development of respectful relationships knowledge and skills.
The content and approaches in the Respectful relationships education program are based on domestic and family violence research and best-practice educational approaches. The program has been developed in consultation with teachers, school communities, domestic and family violence organisations and external experts.
By implementing the Respectful relationships education program, schools will give students opportunities for social and emotional learning in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, ethics, values, social norms, stereotypes, human rights, risk and responsible decision-making. A growing body of evidence shows that social and emotional learning of this nature leads to:
- improved social and emotional skills, self-concept, bonding to school and classroom behaviour
- less disruptive classroom behaviour, aggression, bullying and delinquent acts
- reduced emotional distress such as depression, stress or social withdrawal.
The Respectful relationships education program has been developed for Prep to Year 12 students. The Prep to Year 10 programs are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education and can be delivered through this learning area or as part of the school's pastoral care program. The Years 11 and 12 programs are designed to be delivered through pastoral care programs.
Five hours of instruction have been developed for each year level. Specialised resources for schools and teachers include program guidelines, teaching overviews and resources for each year level.
All resources are practical and easy to use and encourage the use of social and emotional learning pedagogy including group work, discussion, role plays, scenario work and empathy-based inquiry. They provide opportunities for teachers to guide discussions, address concerns, and help students work through sensitive and complex issues. The teaching resources are available online to state schools via the Learning Place and for non-state schools via Scootle (the National Digital Learning Resources Network managed by Education Services Australia).
Resources for parents are also available. These resources inform parents of the respectful relationships education their child is undertaking in Years Prep to 2, Years 3 to 6, Years 7 to 10 and Years 11 to 12 and support parents to reinforce learning at home.