Safer sex - condoms

Time to complete Safer sex - condoms: 60 min

Year level: 9 or 10


Students use the Laugh and learn video to initiate discussions around safer sex. They develop an understanding of the term 'safer sex' and the importance of using condoms to prevent STIs and pregnancies by brainstorming the reasons why people choose or choose not to use condoms and listing life skills and strategies needed for condom negotiation and use. 

Learning focus

Year 9

  • Skills to deal with challenging or unsafe situations: refusal skills; initiating contingency plans; expressing thoughts, opinions, beliefs; acting assertively (ACPPS090).
  • Characteristics of respectful relationships: respecting the rights and responsibilities of individuals in the relationship; respect for personal differences and opinions; empathy (ACCPS093).

Year 10

  • Skills and strategies to manage situations where risk is encourged by others (ACPPS091).
  • External influences on sexuality and sexual health behaviours, including the impact decisions and actions have on their own and others' health and wellbeing (ACPPS092).
  • Skills and strategies to promote respectful relationships, such as: appropriate emotional responses in a variety of situations; taking action if a relationship is not respectful (ACCPS093)

Key understandings

enlightened 'Safer sex' means using a condom to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies.

enlightened Being able communicate with your partner about using condoms is part of a respectful sexual relationship.


  • Access to internet
  • Laugh and learn video - condoms (2min 23sec)
  • Life skills_student activity sheet (1 per pair) - electronic or hard copy
  • Life skills_teacher answer sheet (1 for teacher)

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Relationships and sexuality

Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Before you get started

  • Protective interrupting - Teachers need to know and understand how to use this technique to prevent students form potentially disclosing sensitive information or abuse in front of other students.

  • Dealing with disclosures - Teachers must be aware of the school and legal procedures if a student discloses personal issues, particularly disclosures of sexual abuse.

  • Question box - Have a question box available in every lesson to allow students the opportunity to ask questions that may be too embarassing or unsafe for them to ask openly in class. See Setting up the question box and Types of questions for further information. For ways to answer some of the curly questions, see Student FAQs.

  • Preview the Laugh and learn - condoms (2min 23sec) video to determine suitabilty for your students.

  • Before facilitating this lesson ensure you are familiar with the laws about consent to sexual activity in WA. For essential information about consent, safer sex and taking selfies go to:

Learning activities

Group agreement

Time to complete Group agreement: 5 min

yes Teaching tip: A group agreement must be established before any RSE program begins to ensure a safe learning environment. Read Essential information: Establishing a group agreement for tips on how to create one and what to include.

  1. Revise the class group agreement.

  1. ⚠️Trigger warning Say:

“This lesson covers topics that some students may find distressing. Please let me know if you feel you need to take a break.”


Time to complete Introduction: 5 min

  1. Using the One minute challenge teaching strategy students complete this sentence, “To me, safe sex is……..”.
  1. Share in small groups.
  1. Ask for volunteers to share with the class. (Some of the answers may be humorous and that’s ok!)
  1. laugh Say:

“What we will be covering in this session may not be new to many of you. But I am sure that you will all find at least one new and different piece of information – if not more! Everyone needs reminders at different times about keeping ourselves and others safer.”

  1. laugh Explain:

"The terms ‘safe’ and ‘safer’ are often used interchangeably. In this video the term ‘safe’ is used however the more accurate term is ‘safer’ as no sexual activity is 100% safe."

For more detailed explanation see What is safer sex? (external link) and Get the Facts - Safer sex

Laugh and learn video - condoms

Time to complete Laugh and learn video - condoms: 5 min

  1. Watch Laugh and learn video - condoms (2min 23sec).

  1. laugh Ask the following questions:

 Why do you think humour is used in this video?

(e.g. negotiating condom use can be difficult and embarrassing; lots of people have negative thoughts and myths about condoms; sex can be embarrassing and people use humour to cope with their embarrassment and/or lack of knowledge)

❓ Does it help get information across? How?

❓ What is the main message/information you got from this video?

❓ Seriously, what is 'safer sex'?

(Using a condom (male or female condom) to reduce the risk of STIs and pregnancy.)

Remember the safest sex is no sex at all!

Survey stastics

Time to complete Survey stastics: 5 min

  1. laugh Say:

“Some of you may have already had some sessions in the past about condoms. Today we are going to revise that and also look at some other issues associated with condom use and safer sex.”

  1. laugh Ask:

“Who thinks that 100% of young people know that using condoms reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies and STIs?

In 2018, what percentage of Western Australian Year 10 – 12 students do you think say they always use condoms? Take some answers. (37%)

And what % said they often used them? Take some answers. (22%)

If most people know that it is important to use condoms, why do you think that 63% of those students surveyed said they didn’t always use them?

(e.g. Too embarrassed; condom not readily available when required; partner didn’t want to use; didn’t think about it; didn’t think they would have sex at that moment; not prepared; I don’t like them; my partner doesn’t like them; I trust my partner; we’ve both been tested; I know my partner’s sexual history; it’s not my responsibility; we both haven't had any sexual activity with anyone else before.)"

(Reference: WA Survey of Secondary Students and Sexual Health)

Attitudes and values

Time to complete Attitudes and values: 15 min

  1. laugh Say:

"It’s important to understand that knowledge alone isn’t always enough for people to make the safest or healthiest choices. They need to believe that the behaviour is really important and they need to value the outcome – whether that is not getting an STI or having an unplanned pregnancy.

And then people need specific skills to be able to put into practice their knowledge and attitudes and values.

So, Knowledge + Attitudes/Values + Skills (might) = Healthier/safer behaviour."

  1. laugh Say:

"Let’s think about using a condom.

We already know that you have lots of knowledge about how to use condoms and why they should be used.

Let’s look at attitudes and values.

Working in pairs make a list of attitudes and values, beliefs, feelings and opinions that might underlie why some people (especially young people) may choose to use or not use condoms."

People value__________ so might use condoms

People value __________ so might NOT use condoms

not getting an STI their reputation ('slut' vs 'stud') (they worry about being judged for having condoms)
not getting pregnant

their relationship (partner does not want to use a condom)

not getting someone pregnant pleasure (Some people think that sex with a condom is less pleasurable however there are many ways to have pleasurable sex with condoms. Protecting your sexual health and the health of your partner by using condoms helps you to relax and have safe and pleasurable sex)
their lifestyle (i.e. raising a child has financial and time commitments for 18+ years) what other people think of them (e.g. embarrassment buying condoms)
their reputation religion/culture (e.g. using condoms is against their religion; having sex before marriage is against their culture but they want to have sex and take the risk rather than being caught buying/carrying condoms
their relationship monogamy - having one sexual partner (Things to consider: How can I be sure I am in a monogamous relationship? How can I be sure my partner doesn't have an STI? How can I be sure I don't have an STI? How do we prevent unwanted pregnancies?)
their health family (e.g. they may want to have a baby)
keeping themselves safe that there is no/low risk of pregnancy (e.g. they may be in a same-sex relationship or using other contraceptives. Things to consider: how do I protect myself and my partner against STIs?)
keeping their partner safe  
convenience (i.e. people don't need to go to the doctor to get condoms, unlike other contraception)  
peace of mind  
pleasure (i.e. they are not able to enjoy sex if they don't feel safe/protected from risk)  


yes Teaching tips: It is important to consider diversity of sexual identity and sexual behaviours when discussing things such as condom use. Some people may have sexual experiences with people of the same sex and not identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Some STIs can be passed on through oral sex. External condoms (sometimes referred to as male condoms) can reduce the risk of STI transmission during oral sex. Dental dams (external link) can also be used. This is a piece of latex (or polyurethane) that can used between the mouth and vagina or mouth and anus during oral sex.

Internal condoms (sometimes referred to as female condoms) are another contraceptive that prevents both STIs and unintended pregnancy.

  1. Discuss as a whole group. (Note that valuing their reputation and their relationship can be reasons to choose to use or not use condoms.) Point out that different people have different values and individuals have values that may change depending on their stage of life.

Life skills

Time to complete Life skills: 15 min

  1. laugh Say:

“Just because people have knowledge about the correct way to use a condom, and they think that it is important to use condoms, people still need a variety of skills in order to use condoms properly, consistently and respectfully.”

  1. Display Life skills_Student activity sheet or provide as a handout for students to complete (1 per pair).

  1. Working in pairs, ask students to suggest examples of the life skills being practised when negotiating condom use and using condoms. See Life skills - answers sheet for possible answers.

  1. Ask for volunteers to give their examples.


Time to complete Reflection: 5 min

  1. laugh Ask for volunteers to respond to the question:

 What skill is the most important to you and why?

  1. Remind students that Get the Facts has a completely confidential ‘ask a question’ service that they may wish to use. All questions are answered by a qualified health professional within a week.

Take home message

Time to complete Take home message: 5 min

  1. Remind students of the take home message:

enlightened To encourage better (and more) use of condoms we need:

  • knowledge about how and why to use condoms

  • positive attitudes and values towards using condoms

  • life skills, including being able to communicate with a partner about having safer sex.


Assessment task

An assessment task is linked to this lesson and video - Safer sex quiz questions.

External links

Health promoting schools framework

Backgroud teacher note: Health promoting schools framework.

Partnerships with parents

  • Talk soon. Talk often: a guide for parents talking to their kids about sex is a free resource that can be bulk ordered by schools.  Send a copy home to parents prior to starting your RSE program. The booklet offers age and stage appropriate information so that parents can reinforce the topics covered in class. (How to order hardcopies.)

  • Run a parent workshop prior to delivering RSE lessons so that parents can see the resources used, ask questions and find out how to support the school program by continuing conversations at home.

  • Add the Get the Facts and SECCA app links to your website/e-news for parents.

Partnerships with school staff

  • Invite the school health professionals and pastoral care staff (school nurse, school pyschologist, chaplain, boarding house master, etc) to a class or an assembly to introduce them to the students and let them know what their roles are and how they can help the students. For example:

    • If you have concerns about relationships, you can go to...

    • If you have more questions about sexual health, you can go to...