Different families and lesbian and gay issues can be addressed in circle time, as part of literacy. Questions might come up during class as well as playtime.
- A child asked what lesbianism was, thinking it was a religion – like Sikhism. I explained that it was when a woman loved another woman and that this was natural.
Faye, teacher, primary school (London)
- Bearing in mind these children are six, one child was talking about his mum’s new girlfriend and another child attempted to correct him (saying “you mean boyfriend”). We had a very brief discussion about how families could consist of different make-ups – e.g. mum / dad, mum / partner of either sex, grandparents etc. This was appropriate for the children’s level of understanding and satisfied the child’s interest.
Kiera, teacher, faith primary school (South East)
- When asked about people being gay during a sex education lesson in circle-time, I explained homosexuality in terms of loving someone and wanting to be with them – as in, some people find they are attracted to and fall in love with people of the opposite sex; some people are attracted to and fall in love with people of the same-sex.
Madeleine, teacher, primary school (North West)
- I have had two different children whose parents are lesbian and one of the children chose to talk about his family background. I simply explained to the children that in this society families can be different in many ways and some children may have two mums / dads in the same way that some others have just a mum / dad or live with mum / dad.
Amina, teacher, primary school (London)
- I teach Reception children (four and five year olds), so it only comes up when they talk about which of their friends they are going to marry when they grow up. Sometimes children say that boys can’t marry boys, and girls can’t marry girls (this comes up when a boy tells me he’ll marry one of his male friends, or girl says she wants to marry one of her female friends). I tell them that they can’t actually marry, but they can have something called a Civil Partnership which is just like being married.
Lee, teacher, primary school (South East)
- A child in my class has same-sex parents. I talked about it during circle-time with the class.
Jaime, teacher, faith independent primary school (North East)
- We now address such issues as a matter of course. The use of picture books has been especially useful with younger children.
Valerie, teacher, primary school (North East)
- A child said that women and men had to be married to make babies. I commented that women and men don’t need to be married, and that ladies can live with ladies and men with men and still have children.
Alisha, teacher, primary school (South East)
- We talked about how all families are different and some have two mums / dads.
Pele, teacher, primary school (London)
Read more in The Teachers’ Report