Children are working on the topic of My body. They will be learning about having a healthy body and keeping clean. They will also learn the correct names for male and female genitals. The body-part names and descriptions that they will learn, are these:
Nipples: Both boys and girls have nipples. When a girl grows, she will develop breasts. If a woman has a baby, then she can breastfeed her baby; the baby would get milk from its mum’s nipples. Sometimes people ask, “so, why do boys have nipples?” All babies develop the same way until their mum is about 8 weeks pregnant, and that includes nipples. So, if the baby that is growing inside the mum develops to become a boy, he will still have nipples.
Penis: Boys have a penis. When a boy urinates/goes to the toilet, it comes out of his penis. When we learn more about how babies are made, we will learn more about the penis.
Scrotum and testicles: The scrotum is the sack of skin that hangs under the boy’s penis. Inside there are the testicles. Again, in another lesson, we will learn more about this.
Vulva: Girls have a vulva. When a girl urinates/goes to the toilet, it comes out of her vulva. (N.B. If a child uses the word vagina to describe this part, we respond with: Sometimes people use the word vagina, but the vagina is actually just the bit inside the girl. So, if you are a girl, the bit you see between your legs when you look at your body is your vulva.)
We use these terms because they help to remove any embarrassment or shame about these body parts. Also, knowing these words means that children can explain clearly if they are unwell or have a worry. Knowing these terms help to protect children because they also learn that these parts of the body are private – we will be doing more on this in class. We encourage parents and carers to use the same terms at home, we do understand that families often have informal body-part terms that they use, but we would ask that you take on board the need to use the same terms as in school.
Primary 3 Teacher
Creativity and STEM Leader
CEC STEM Development Officer