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5 new things about Ontario's sex-ed curriculum

The last update to the province’s sexual education curriculum was drafted in 1998, leading to many additions of topics or a change in when they are taught.

Before Ontario schools begin teaching the new curriculum in September 2015, here are five notable changes you need to know about:

1. Technology

With the advent of the three S’s — smartphones, SnapChat and sexting — the role of new technology and how to protect yourself from the dangers associated with it have become a key theme in the updated curriculum.

2. Consent

The concept of consent, or “no means no,” will be taught to students starting in Grade 2. Education Minister Liz Sandals believes that having a “very explicit conversation about consent” and what it means, will make Ontario a leader in teaching that topic.

3. Same-sex relationships

Children in Grade 3 will begin learning about same-sex relationships and homosexuality — a marked change from the previous curriculum, which showed its age on this topic. Same-sex marriage was legalized over a decade ago, but the previous incarnation of the curriculum pre-dated this decision.

4. Terminology

The proper names for parts of the body will be taught to students in Grade 1, a topic long campaigned for by the investigators of child abuse.

5. Puberty

With public health officials advising the provincial government that children are reaching puberty at a younger age, Grade 4 students will learn about the changes a body goes through during puberty —  a year sooner than the previous curriculum.

See below for the the full sex-ed curriculum documents for both elementary and secondary school students.

Mobile users click here to see the updated elementary school curriculum.

Elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum

Mobile users click here to see the updated secondary school curriculum.

Secondary Health and Physical Education curriculum

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