betty for schools is dedicated to creating a generation of girls AND boys who are truly at ease talking about periods, which is why our educational resources have been created to kickstart the conversation for both girls and boys. The betty bus might be a girls only zone, but we’ve carefully crafted a workshop for boys that is so good they forget that they are learning about a topic they are not usually comfortable with!
The purpose of the boys’ session is to facilitate an open discussion about what they can do to help a friend or family member who might be having their period. By the end of the one hour session, the boys leave with knowledge of periods, and the emotions girls may be feeling whilst on their periods, along with the key skill of empathy to help support their peers.
During the sessions, the boys study four different images all designed to encourage out of the box thinking. The images portray different scenarios which reflect the boys’ journey in the lesson, from analysing a fictional event like a superhero in action, to empathising with a real photo which depicts how a girl may be feeling on her period.
“Through carefully chosen games and discussion points, we take the boys on an experience that covers both complex and subtle learnings. Through the different images and resources provided, we teach boys how to read a situation and help them to realise that there are lots of things they can say or do to help girls feel a little bit better. The great thing about the session is that we don’t tell the boys what to say or do, they come up with it themselves” – Jamie McDonald, betty facilitator.
Feedback from teachers about their students’ experience of the bus has been very positive so far. Kara McWilliam, a P7 Teacher at Prestonfield Primary School in Edinburgh said: “The betty bus was an absolutely fantastic experience! The girls loved the bus and the boys had a very enjoyable and informative session. The betty team were fantastic in creating a safe and welcoming environment which allowed the children to talk about a topic which often causes them embarrassment. The resources provided for use before the bus were also excellent.”
Research conducted by EdComs showed how betty has made a positive impact on boys attitudes towards periods. The betty facilitated session has been successful in increasing boys’ empathy towards their female peers, with around:
- 81% of boys felt better prepared to comfort a friend or sister who were suffering because of their period.
- 54% of boys felt more comfortable talking about periods
- 81% of boys felt they know more about periods
These stats are brought to life when speaking to students:
“If we have lessons about periods then it makes it more common and makes it easier for girls to speak about it…it’s good for boys to learn about it, as it helps me to have more knowledge too” – Caleb, aged 12 – Chobham Academy
If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our free online resources designed to get girls AND boys talking about periods or request a visit from the betty bus here.