Power to manage relationships

Time to complete Power to manage relationships: 60 minutes

Year level: 10


Students explore skills needed when dealing with challenging relationships and unsafe situations.

Learning focus

When dealing with challenging or unsafe situations, students develop the knowledge and skills needed such as, refusal, communicating choices, acting assertively, expressing thoughts, opinions & beliefs and initiating contingency plans.

Key understandings

  • Adolescence is a period of dramatic physical, social and emotional change involving many new feelings and experiences.

  • Sexual feelings are a normal part of adolescent change.

  • Sexual activity has physical, social, emotional and legal implications.

  • Individuals are responsible for the decisions and choices they make regarding their sexual behaviour.

  • People have different attitudes, values and beliefs towards sex and sexuality.

Note: The small group Party Script activity should not be attempted before the Year 9 activity Sexual consent and the law has been completed.


  • Teaching Resource: Sexuality cards [one class set]
  • Teaching Resource: Respect and Consent Quiz [one quiz per student and one teacher answer sheet]

  • Teaching Resource: He said, she said party script [one 2-sided copy per group]

  • Internet access

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality


Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • Self-esteem and confidence of some students may be an issue during this activity. Be reassuring and support students as they develop the ability to practise assertive “no” statements. This will also help students with their development of resilience and emotional wellbeing. See the Guide: Resilience and life skills for more information.

  • It is possible that a student may have been involved in a traumatic experience relating to sexual abuse. Teachers should know and understand the protective interrupting technique and what, why, when and how it is needed and used before facilitating this activity. It is important that teachers are familiar with the Dealing with disclosures Guide and have a risk management strategy in place.

  • Refer to Guides: STIs/BBVs, Establishing ground rules and Healthy relationships - Gender, power and consent for further content information related to this activity.

Learning activities

Whole Class

The following activity is intended to be used as an ice-breaker exercise to provide an opportunity to introduce some sexuality and relationships terminology that may be used and/or referred to throughout the lesson. 

1. Before the lesson prepare a class set of the Teaching Resource: Sexuality cards.

  • Note: There is space provided to add in other words that are relevant to the class or words that have been brought up and discussed before.

  • Make sure the additional words are relevant to the activity and remove those that may not be appropriate for the group. 

2. Have the whole class sit in a large circle.

3. Outline the rules of the activity:

  • Review the class ground rules, or if there are none, propose the following as a discussion in establishing a set all students will agree to before proceeding:

    • no put downs - Everyone has the right to their beliefs, values and opinions

    • no personal questions

    • everyone has the right to pass (not to answer questions)

    • all questions are good questions (even if they are provocative!)

    • listen when other people are speaking

    • respect the opinions of others 

    • use correct terminology

    • use inclusive language

    • maintain confidentiality - What is said in the room stays in the room (apart from the exception of the teacher's duty of care regarding mandatory reporting).

    • no identifying information - If a student is telling a story about a friend they should not include their friend's name or any identifying information. Students should be encouraged to talk in the third person i.e. ‘a person I know'

    • Refer to Guide: Establishing Ground Rules

  • The first student selects the top card from the deck of sexuality cards. They say the first word that comes to mind relating to the word on the card, for example, naked = sex; tolerance = acceptance; flirting = fun etc.

  • Students place their card to the bottom of the ‘deck’.  This continues around the circle.

  • It’s important to remind students that they are allowed to 'pass' if they don’t feel comfortable speaking about their word (refer to class ground rules).   Discuss with students the importance of respecting and supporting the choices of others and their own values and beliefs. 

4. Sit in the circle with the class. Model the first selection.

  • Remind the class that although there are likely to be words mentioned that we may not say or talk about at school, we need to make sure that the words used are not offensive to other students.

  • Emphasise that some words can have different meanings for different people, so it is important to communicate more about these topics if needed, to create a shared understanding.

5. When everyone has had a turn with a card, ask students to reflect on the activity. Pose the questions:

  • Why is it important to know about words relating to sexuality and relationships?

  • What is the problem, if at all, if we all have different understandings of; and meanings about these words? 

Independent or Small Group

Note: The Year 9 activity Sexual consent and the law provides important background information for students to develop an understanding of consent, sexual consent and the importance of making informed decisions.  It is considered a pre-requisite for the 'He said, she said' party script activity.

Respect and Consent Quiz

The following activity will provide important information to remind students about respect, consent and consent and the law.

  1. Give each student a copy of the Teaching Resource: Respect and Consent Quiz (alternatively, display the Quiz electronically and ask students to note their own True/False responses in their notebooks).

  2. Have students complete the activity independently and then go through the correct answers with the whole class. (there is additional information for the teacher in the Teacher Guide).

  3. Determine if the class is ready and there is time to proceed with the 'He said, she said' Party Script Activity based on their level of understanding about consent. 

'He said, she said' Party Script Activity

The script will form the basis of discussion as students review and extend their existing knowledge of sexual consent. Students learn a range of skills and understand when to use and apply them if dealing with challenging or unsafe situations.

  1. Ask students to get into pairs or small groups of four. 

  2. Provide each group with a copy of the Teaching Resource: He said, she said party script and ask them to focus on Party Script A.

  3. Give groups an opportunity to read through Party Script A and briefly discuss.

  4. Show the following questions on a white/interactive board. Ask each group to respond to the question prompts as a whole class or discuss in small groups:

  • Did Emma give consent to have sex with Jacob? Where in the script does it support your answer?

  • What were some of the factors that influenced how both Emma and Jacob behaved? 

E.g. they were in an established relationship, alcohol, partying/celebration, location, trust, respect, body language, readiness, communication.

  • How could Jacob have responded differently?

E.g. Checked to see if Emma was giving clear consent and was ok to have sex before going ahead. 

  • At what point of the story could Jacob have done something differently?

E.g. At Scene 7, Jacob could have asked Emma’s friends to go and lie down with her/check on her instead and talk to her later about why he didn’t think it was a good idea OR provide a couple of other scenarios

  • Did Jacob and Emma have consensual sex? 

Teaching point: Giving consent means that everyone involved can clearly and freely agree to the sexual activities that will occur. If everyone is not willing or not able to give consent (such as if someone is asleep or under the influence of drugs or alcohol) then the sexual activity would be an assault and as such would be against the law. The law requires a person to be 16 years or older to provide consent to engage in any sexual activities.

  • Was it sexual assault?

Teaching point: Sexual assault can be a violent, unexpected, traumatic and sometimes life threatening event or series of events, even if the person has ‘passed out’. Sexual assault is ANY unwanted sexual act or behaviour which is threatening, violent, forced or coercive and to which a person has not given consent or was not able to give consent.

  1. Ask students to focus on Party Script B.  In their small groups discuss where in the script the characters acted differently. 

  2. Ask students to underline or highlight where in the script the characters demonstrated the following skills when they had to deal with an emotional, social and physically challenging situation (there may not be examples to find showing these skills):

  • Refusal skills

  • Communicating choices

  • Acting assertively

  • Expressing thoughts opinions & beliefs

  • Initiating contingency plans

A new script, a new ending

  1. Students apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of respect and consent to create a new script. It does not have to be a party script.

  2. If time is limited, students can edit the existing party script from Scenes 7 – 10 only. The following criteria must be met:

  • The script demonstrates respectful behaviour and consent between the two characters.

  • At least two of the following skills are included in the script (refusal, communicating choices, acting assertively, expressing thoughts opinions & beliefs and/or initiating contingency plans).

  • At least two of the following questions are included in the script.

    • What do you want to do?

    • Are you ready to do this?

    • Is there anything that you’re not comfortable doing?

    • Do you want to stop?

    • Are you happy to go further?

  1. Join pairs or small groups together. Each pair/small group reads through their new script. The other group members should be actively listening to ensure the set criteria have been met. 

Alternate activity: Students create their new script as a short play or electronic presentation. 


Students watch a YouTube clip: Partying and consent (https://youtu.be/YoUPqH_i_Qs) [6:29min]. The clip shows young people at a party drinking and dancing. Two of the characters go into the bedroom but the young male involved decides to walk away and not try and have sex with a very intoxicated young female.

Ask students to reflect on the storyline presented with the following question in mind:

  • How does this clip demonstrate respect and consent?



External related resources

The practical guide to love, sex and relationships 

A teaching resource from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University.

Topic 1 - Introducing Love, Sex and Relationships

  • Ethical framework for love, sex and relationships
  • Decision making
  • Sexuality timeline- what it the average of: first sexual feelings, falling in love, identifying as gay/straight/bisexual, drinking alcohol, learning about sex at school, etc.

Topic 2 -  Love, etc

  • Elements of healthy relationships