Habs were delighted to welcome Catherine Carr – an award-winning documentary maker, presenter, podcast producer and reporter with over 20 years’ experience– to School to support her latest show ‘About The Boys’. 

As part of our specially curated PSHE programme, two forms of students participated in discussions and workshops on relationships, sex and health education to compliment the students learning on consent and healthy versus unhealthy relationships. The opportunity was kindly offered to Habs by Brook, a national charity specialising in relationships, health and sex education (RSHE) curriculums whom Habs have a strong connection with. Brook have previously been impressed by our students in the sessions they have run so it was an honour to be selected to participate.  

Throughout the series, you can listen to teenage boys across the UK recounting potentially startling experiences, such as contemplating the appeal of joining a gang amongst other sensitive topics. Successes were shared across age groups, varying from older boys establishing businesses, while younger ones boasted of consuming 20 fish fingers in one sitting. Moreover, the voices of influential adults who provide critical support to students were interwoven throughout. Teachers, coaches, youth workers, and faith leaders spoke about how boys navigate the complexities of the world. Experts also shared their contributions, however, the spotlight in ‘About The Boys’ as titled, remained about the boys as they got the chance to explain what life in 2024 looks and feels like for teens trying to find healthy and happy ways to grow into men. 

One of the participating Year 11 Habs students shared their feelings towards the workshop “The BBC Radio 4 workshop offered us an opportunity to partake in an insightful discussion which allowed the students to express their opinions on critical topics that may not be spoken about enough in a comfortable, controlled environment. The workshop focused on consent/sexual relationships. It enabled all of us to think in a more mature manner, challenging us to give responses that highlighted our emotional maturity. We were all happy to be involved as we all believe conversations like these need to happen more often in the environment where everyone can speak freely, as it is crucial later in life to learn these lessons. Personally, I enjoyed hearing what everyone else had to say as I used other people’s ideas to build on my own thoughts, further developing my understanding of the topic. It has opened another potential career path as well, journalism, which is something I could consider pursuing in the future. Many thanks for the opportunity to partake in this!” 

Catherine kindly reported on her time spent with the students “I so enjoyed coming to Habs… they were some of the most candid and thoughtful teens I have met on my way. The welcome at the school was so warm and your support was priceless. Thank you.” 

We are thrilled that Habs students featured in all episode’s bar one of About The Boys. We are extremely proud of the students for their thoughtful, open and honest contributions to the workshop. The series aired on 29 April and all episodes of About The Boys are available to listen to on catch-up via the BBC Radio 4 website, and even more coverage from both The Guardian and The Times.