PSHE KS2: Operation Ouch! How are babies made? Puberty

This clip looks at puberty and why it happens, defining it as changing from a child to a reproductive adult.

There is a description of the changes that happen in most bodies, what that may mean for female bodies and male bodies, when it might happen and that it is normal.

Changes shown are growth spurts, body hair, strength, sperm production, egg release and hormones.

The Let's Talk About Periods: Newsround Special explains menstruation.

This film is relevant to ‘Changing adolescent body’, in Health Education. Remember that schools need to be able to draw a line between their curricula for relationships education and sex education in order to implement the parental right to request their child is excused from sex education.

Please ensure you watch the film prior to using it in class, to ensure it is suitable for your pupils and in line with your school's policy for RSHE. Further guidance is given below.


What is a period? This clip from Newsround's 'Let's Talk About Periods' programme explains menstruation.

Before watching the clip

Use baseline assessment to establish current knowledge. Discuss with other teachers and link to their curriculum. Consider:

  • How your teaching can meet the needs of all pupils. Some will be more developed, and some will be less developed.
  • What learning has happened in previous puberty lessons?
  • Do pupils understand why puberty happens?
  • Do pupils understand the menstrual cycle?



Teaching about bodies requires sensitive and well-judged teaching based on knowledge of pupils and their circumstances.

Creating a safe space for RSHE lessons is important, including encouraging pupils to respect others through listening and being mindful of other’s feelings.

  • Give some thought to what is happening before and after the lesson for those pupils and how to provide opportunities for them to ask questions, anonymously or face-to-face.
  • Remind pupils where to go for good answers to their questions.
  • The whole school community needs to be aware of when these lessons are taking place, to enable all staff to respond to questions in a supportive and informative way.
  • With your RSHE lead, discuss ways of responding to common questions that reflect your school’s ethos and RSHE policy.
  • Be aware of your school safeguarding policy and procedures for safeguarding disclosures and concerns.



Refer to the ‘preparing for adulthood’ outcomes as set out in the SEND code of practice – schools should support children in developing friendships.


Topics that are addressed in other clips

  • Do babies happen as soon as you finish puberty or have a period?
  • What happens when an egg is not fertilised?
  • Can you choose when to have a baby?
  • Can everyone make a baby with their body?
  • What about adoption and fostering?


Further information for teachers

Hey Girls - This website may support learning around menstruation

NHS: Early or delayed puberty


Signposting for pupils

Childline: Puberty facts


Links to guidance

DfE RSHE statutory guidance

  • Para 67, the curriculum ‘should ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings, how a baby is conceived and born.’
  • Refer to paragraph 88 and 89 about menstrual wellbeing, including the key facts about the menstrual cycle.
  • Refer to paragraph 106 ‘changes to the human body as it grows from birth to old age’

Sex education is not compulsory in primary schools, but schools should determine their content based on the needs of their pupils and this may include additional sex education content.

DfE National Curriculum science main external body parts, puberty, and reproduction in plants and animals, how a baby is conceived and born.


Puberty, reproductive organs, hormone, breasts, facial hair, pubic hair, sperm, testosterone, testicles, egg cells, ovaries, oestrogen.



  • What other things happen during puberty? This may include discussion of the beginning of sexual feelings, changing emotions.
  • Everybody has different emotions. How are feelings affected by puberty?
  • How to look after your body during puberty: hygiene.
  • Periods are a key topic and pupils may have questions such as ‘what happens if I get my period at school’ and ‘how will I know it is coming.

Draw attention to the fact that there are many different elements to puberty. As well as the changing adolescent body, (particularly from age 9 through to age 11), it is important to include emotional changes.