INNOVATIVE teacher Adrienne Dewhirst is helping teenagers to tackle sensitive issues with a pioneering programme of lessons.
Adrienne, who teaches at Newsome High School and Sports College, has gained the respect and admiration of pupils and health professionals alike for her Relationships and Sexual Health (RASH) programme.
The 58-year-old has also made a big impact at the school with the introduction of the Child Development GCSE, which she teaches.
For the last three years she has organised an innovative crèche which has allowed mothers to use the Newsome High gym while child development students learn to look after their children under supervision. A keen runner herself, she has also set up a cross country enrichment club.
Her RASH classes tackle a range of tricky subjects such as breast and testicular cancer, teenage pregnancy, contraception, abortion and domestic violence.
Students feel they can discuss them in a safe, embarrassment-free environment and the course has won praise from visiting health professionals and Ofsted inspectors.
Adrienne, who has taught in Kirklees since 1981, said: “It is extremely important that students have the facts about these relationship and sexual issues so that they can make informed decisions.
“Students enjoy these lessons. Some are embarrassed to ask their parents and are more likely to ask questions in a formal setting.”
Adrienne was nominated by two of her Year 11 pupils, Chloe Armitage and Siobhan d’Arcy.
Chloe said: “Mrs Dewhirst is a kind and considerate teacher. Whenever I have a problem I feel like I can talk to her about anything and she is always there to help. She’s the sort of person who will get involved in almost anything if it benefits the students or charity.”
Siobhan added: “Mrs Dewhirst has helped me complete all my course work to meet the deadlines. She also brings positivity to the lessons and I feel like she is there for me if I want to speak to someone”.