Teaching Consent to Children
Consent is integral to human relationships throughout our whole lives. It is complex and also surprisingly simple.
The basic principles of consent must always apply to all of our connections, including with family, friends, work and play.
However, people are complex. In different situations, we can experience a range of different feelings, thoughts and emotions. In order to be sure that someone wants to share an experience with us equally, and that they are giving affirmative permission;
We need to make important choices and decisions to ensure we always have and give consent.
Follow Kit, Arlo and their friends through the ups and downs of life, as they discover the true meaning of consent.
About Kit and Arlo Find A Way
Kit goes to school with her friends Harley and Vanya, and always tries her best at everything she does. Arlo is too loud, too close, just too... much. But when a moving van pulls up next to Kit’s house one weekend, Kit and Arlo find out they have a lot more in common than they thought. Join Kit, Arlo and their friends as they navigate school, home life and friendships, and learn more than a few things about how to get along.
Kit and Arlo Find a Way: Teaching consent to 8–12 year olds is a much needed consent teaching resource for Grades 3 to 6. An action-packed and relatable fictional chapter book, Kit and Arlo is a page-turning journey of upper primary school kids – Kit, Arlo, Harley and Vanya – developing and exploring friendships with plenty of ups and downs. Entertaining and compelling as a standalone narrative, Kit and Arlo’s secret weapon is that it contains all of the complex components of consent and includes respectful relationships education in an age-appropriate format.
Teachers can read the story, chapter by chapter, in class, and then use the discussion points and ‘read and respond’ notes to facilitate conversations around consent in child-friendly ways with their students. For schools needing a more in-depth consent and respectful relationships curriculum, a dedicated Kit and Arlo teaching resources platform houses evidence-based teaching activities, videos, webinars, podcasts, resource links and lesson plans designed to tie in with the story.
Key topics include:
- body boundaries and safety
- verbal and non-verbal cues
- developing a sense of self, personal strength and self-determination
- understanding that the responsibly of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ should be shared
- understanding that shared activities should have enthusiastic, affirmative and ongoing consent
- having the courage to withdraw consent
- understanding gendered stereotypes, coercion and power imbalances
- learning to have empathy for others
- managing disappointment when someone changes their mind
- how to be an upstander when someone is being harmed
- the keys to respectful relationships and better friendships.
Kit and Arlo Find a Way is a vital resource for schools doing the essential work of empowering kids with decision-making skills that will carry through to their interactions and relationships later on in life.
How to use the book & lessons
Parents and Teachers:
- We recommend that adults learn about the principals of consent via this learning platform, before initiating the guided learning in the back of the book The resources here aim to enhance rich and essential conversations with children about consent and respectful relationship.
- Parents and teachers are encouraged to adapt and amend the guided learning content to suit the age range and learning level of the children, as required.
- This book has an overall story arc; the intention is for teachers to regularly read as a class, one chapter at a time and, as each chapter is completed, to use the corresponding guided learning material at the back of the book.
- Ideally, teachers should aim to read the text and finish the relevant guided learning sections at rate of two chapters per week, to complete the unit within a term.
- In addition, 13 optional consent lessons are available for use in the class room. Teachers are encouraged to pick and choose the lessons that are most relevant to their student's year level and extended learning needs related to any of the 13 topics in the book. Please note not all 13 lesson are suitable for Years 3-4, see teacher notes of each lesson. A dot point "For Years 5-6 only" will be listed
9 support videos touching on just some of the many complexities when considering delivering Human Sexuality, Respectful Relationships and Consent education topics to students.
Support Materials for Teachers and Parents
Chapter 1: Body Boundaries & Safety
Chapter 2: Sense of self and Personal Strength or self-determination
Chapter 3: Responsibility of yes or no should be shared
Chapter 4: Courage to withdraw consent
Chapter 5: Verbal and Non-verbal Cues
Chapter 6: Empathy
Chapter 7: Enthusiastic & ongoing consent
Chapter 8: ‘Swap’ instead of ‘stop’
Chapter 9: Managing disappointment
Chapter 10: Listen to your own truth
Chapter 11: Consent and Ethics (Being and upstander)
Chapter 12: Consent has laws
Chapter 13: Respectful Relationships & Better Friendships
Respectful Relationships Education Resources
Curriculum and Education Resources
National Consent Laws
Preventing, Reporting child abuse and neglect:
Kit and Arlo Find A Way
Kit goes to school with her friends Harley and Vanya, and always tries her best at everything she does. Arlo is too loud, too close, just too... much. But when a moving van pulls up next to Kit’s house one weekend, Kit and Arlo find out they have a lot more in common than they thought.
Join Kit, Arlo and their friends as they navigate school, home life and friendships, and learn more than a few things about how to get along.BUY THE BOOK
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Meet The Creators
Ingrid Laguna (she/her), Author
Ingrid Laguna is the author of numerous books, including a memoir and three novels for young readers. Further to a Varuna fellowship, Serenade for a Small Family was awarded The Age non-fiction Book of the Week. Songbird was given Notable recognition by the CBCA and shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year Award and has been published internationally. Sunflower was shortlisted for the Children’s Peace Literature award. Bailey Finch Takes a Stand is her latest release. Ingrid has been published in numerous publications including The Monthly, The Age and The AEU Magazine. She regularly visits schools, libraries and festivals to carry out interactive and engaging author sessions.More About Ingrid
Vanessa Hamilton (she/her), Educator
Vanessa Hamilton (she/her) is a Sexuality Educator and Mum to three wonderful kids. She is the founder of Talking The Talk Healthy Sexuality Education, working as a highly respected and sought after speaker, writer and educator. Vanessa has spoken to literally tens of thousands of people about sex and sexuality during her <25 years experience as a Sexual Health Nurse and in that time has spent <18 years educating children and adults. She has immersed herself in helping parents, teachers and health professionals understand human sexuality, specifically how it relates to children. Her tag line: "Let's get started it's easier than you think" is about ensuring positive conversations about consent, sexuality and respectful relationships happen with children at home and in the classroom.More About Vanessa