Porirua College puts sex in spotlight
Sex was a hot topic at Porirua College last week.
More than 420 students from years 9 to 12 were treated to a ‘‘Sexwise’’ presentation, in which four performers sang, danced and acted in an hour-long show that explored themes of sex, sexuality, romance and friendship.
It also addressed issues such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Students responded positively to the actors, who elicited loud laughter throughout the show.
Afterwards, the actors held workshops with the students to discuss issues their characters had faced.
Sexwise, a Theatre in Health Education Trust production, was part of Porirua College’s annual health week.
It aimed to address specific issues identified by the college nurse, Bronwyn Boele Van Hensbroek, and to consolidate the national health curriculum.
Throughout the week, students participated in sports such as indoor bowls, ultimate frisbee and Pacific aerobics at lunchtime.
Physical education, sport and health head teacher Helen Hardwick said it was a great way for some students to get involved in sport when they otherwise might not, and to try new ones not normally on offer.
A health expo was held in the hall last Thursday. Health promoters from local healthcare providers engaged with students on issues such as rheumatic fever, diabetes, sexual health and giving up smoking.
Porirua has one of the highest prevalences of rheumatic fever in New Zealand. A rap competition on that theme was held to raise awareness of the condition.
Hardwick said messages about looking after yourself were especially important at Porirua College. ‘‘As well as being part of the curriculum, it’s a life skill,’’ she said.
‘‘As a teacher, you want to focus on teaching, but if the kids aren’t fit, healthy and well-fed, it’s hard to get them through a full day.’’
Sexwise theatre group performers, from left, Heidi Geissler, 23, Jasmine Leota, 24, Ngahiriwa Rauhina, 28, and Hadley Taylor, 22.