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The New Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) Curriculum for Primary School Teachers

Here's everything a Primary School Teacher needs to know about the new RE Curriculum (that's Relationship Education).

Table of Contents

While it's officially called "RE", it's NOT "RE", but "RSE".

The first thing to note is that this blog is about the new “RSE” Curriculum. 

It’s not about Religious Education, it’s all about Relationship Education. 

In secondary schools, it’s called RSE – Relationship and Sex Education. But in primary schools, there’s no “Sex” so it’s just Relationship Education. However to avoid confusion teachers are calling it “RSE”. 

Confused? 

Let’s just agree to call it RSE.

 

When do we start?

Like everything in life at the moment, the plans have changed and seem to be influx.

It’s still listed as “compulsory” from September 20201 and “Schools should start teaching from that date”, BUT “If [schools] are not ready,…,they should begin teaching by at least the start of the summer term 2021.” 

So it should be happening this school year, but if your preparations have been disrupted for some reason, then the summer term is okay. 

 

 

School Requirements

Schools are required to publish an RSE policy setting out how they intend to approach the subject on their website. (There’s a model policy below)

Schools must engage with parents to provide a channel through which parents can express their views on their policy (or any updates to their policy). Parents should be given reasonable time to consider any information and feed their views back to the school. The school should give consideration to views received.

Notably,

“Schools ultimately make the final decisions and engagement does not amount to a parental veto. The Department for Education will back schools that, having engaged with parents and carefully considered their views, take reasonable decisions about their Relationships Education policy.”

Parents' Objections.

The new Relationship and Sex Education curriculum is compulsory

Schools should be clear with parents from the outset and throughout, that while their views are welcome and will be genuinely reflected on to reach their final decisions, they do not amount to a veto over curriculum content

relationship education parents

Example Letter for Parents

This is a suggested letter and should be amended by teachers to reflect their school, pupils and any statutory changes. August 2020

 

Dear Parent

As a part of your child’s education, we have actively promoted and taught wellbeing and social development in school through our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme.

As you may already be aware, Relationships Education (RE), along with Health Education, will form part of the National Curriculum in the current school year.

Schools are required to engage with parents when developing their policies for Relationships Education, which will inform schools’ decisions on when and how certain content is covered.

Our Relationship Education policy is designed to help children from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships in order to thrive in modern Britain and covers the following topics:

  • Healthy relationships, including friendships; families;
  • Growing and changing, including puberty;
  • Personal hygiene;
  • Changing feelings;
  • Becoming more independent;
  • Keeping safe;
  • Developing self-esteem and confidence

We have designed our policy to fit in with our school ethos and all learning will take place in a safe environment.

A copy of our Relationship Education policy and samples of our lesson plans can be found on our website here:     XXXXXXXXXXX.

As a school community, we are committed to working in partnership with parents; recent parental feedback has indicated that the overwhelming majority of parents to be highly supportive of the relationships education policy and we welcome all your views on the matter.

Please note that there is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education and we believe the content of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – is important for the wellbeing and development of children.

I would be delighted to hear your views on our policy and welcome any comments you may have on the policy.

Yours sincerely,

 

Does RE replace PSHE?

PSHE

PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education.

PSHE hasn’t ever been a statutory subject in primary schools. This means that there are no set programmes of study or learning objectives for schools and pupils.

However, the Department for Education (DfE) does make it clear that PSHE is an ‘important and necessary’ part of children’s education and provides funding to the PSHE Association

It should be noted that economic wellbeing and careers are not included in RE where they are included in PSHE. 

 

PSHE Programme of Study

Sex Education in Primary Schools?

Sex education is not being made compulsory at primary school. This is made clear by the use of Relationship Education at primary school and Relationship and Sex Education at secondary schools. 

Relationships Education has been introduced at primary schools:

to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds. This will start with family and friends, how to treat each other with kindness, and recognising the difference between online and offline friendships.”

However, the DfE recommends that primary schools choose to teach sex education, tailoring it to the age, physical and emotional maturity of their pupils. If parents feel uncomfortable, they should discuss the issues with the school in order to understand what they propose to teach and how. 

But it should be remembered that primary schools have been teaching sex education for years and that sex education covers telling young children about privacy, asking permission before touching another person, and the names of body parts so that they are able to correctly identify if someone is being inappropriate. 

Developing an RSE policy for a Primary School.

What is Required?

A primary school’s Relationship Education policy must: 

  • Include a definition of Relationship Education
  • Include a definition of any sex education they choose to teacher beyond that in the science curriculum
  • Set out the subject content
  • Explain how the content is taught 
  • Be clear as to who is responsible for teaching the content
  • Be clear as to how the subject is monitored and evaluated
  • Include how teachers are to respond to questions beyond the subject content
  • Confirm that parents do NOT have the right to withdraw their child
  • Have a review before date

The Statutory Subject Content:

1. Families & People who care for me.

Pupils should know:

• that families are important for children  growing up because they can give love,  security and stability.

• the characteristics of healthy family life,  commitment to each other, including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives.

• that others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.

• that stable, caring relationships, which may be of different types, are at the heart of happy families, and are important for children’s security as they grow up.

• that marriage represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of two people to each other which is intended to be lifelong.

• how to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed.

2. Caring
friendships

Pupils should know:

• how important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends.

• the characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties.

• that healthy friendships are positive and welcoming towards others, and do not make others feel lonely or excluded.

• that most friendships have ups and downs, and that these can often be worked through so that the friendship is repaired or even strengthened, and that resorting to violence is never right.

• how to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed.

3. Respectful relationships

Pupils should know:

• the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs.

• practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships. 

• the conventions of courtesy and manners.

• the importance of self-respect and how this links to their own happiness.

• that in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority.

• about different types of bullying  (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help. 

• what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative
or destructive. 

• the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults

4. Online relationships

Pupils should know:

• that people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not.

• that the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-toface relationships, including the importance of respect for others online including when we are anonymous.

• the rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them.

• how to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information including awareness of the risks associated with people they have never met.

• how information and data is shared and used online 

5. Being safe

Pupils should know:

• what sorts of boundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others (including in a digital context).

• about the concept of privacy and the implications of it for both children and adults; including that it is not always right to keep secrets if they relate to being safe.

• that each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and
other, contact.

• how to respond safely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts, including online) whom they do not know.

• how to recognise and report feelings of being unsafe or feeling bad about any adult.

• how to ask for advice or help for themselves or others, and to keep trying until they are heard.

• how to report concerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and
confidence needed to do so.

• where to get advice e.g. family, school and/or other sources.

A Model RSE Policy

This is a suggested policy and should be amended by teachers to reflect their school, pupils and any statutory changes. It has been put together based on a number of policies that we have reviewed. August 2020

RSE Policy 

August 2020
Review by August 2022
 

This policy covers our school’s approach to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). It was produced in consultation with all teaching staff, parents and governors. The policy will be available to parents on the school website and paper copies are available on request.

This policy deals with any sex and relationship education (RSE) over and above that offered in Science and should be read in conjunction with the following policies:

  • PSHE,
  • Child Protection,
  • Bullying,
  • Confidentiality,
  • Equality and
  • Health and Safety.

Vision

Please state something about your school community.

Background

The department for Education (2019) stated that:

To embrace the challenges of creating a happy and successful adult life, pupils need knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy’.

The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, made under sections 34 and 35 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, make Relationships Education compulsory for all pupils receiving primary education.’

Relationships Education teaches about the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships.

Statutory Guidance

As a school, we recognise that under the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, the government has made Relationships Education part of the basic curriculum for primary pupils and therefore compulsory at primary schools.

The statutory guidance makes clear that in primary schools the focus should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships and relationships with other children and with adults.

As a school we have a legal responsibility under The Relationships Education, Relationship & Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, made under sections 34 & 35 of the Children

  • Social Work Act 2017, to provide comprehensive Relationship Education and Health Education for all pupils receiving primary education.

We also understand that as part of the Education Act 2002/Academies Act 2010 all schools must provide a balanced and broad-based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, whilst also preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life…

We recognise that we have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure the best for all pupils irrespective of disability, educational needs, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, maternity, religion, sexual orientation or whether they are looked after children. As a result, Relationship Education needs to be sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils and may need to adapt and change as the pupils of the school change. Not only does the teaching need to be sensitive of these needs, but also to help the pupils realise the nature and consequences of discrimination, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours or prejudice-based language.

Whilst as a school we are aware we need to be mindful of and respectful to a wide variety of faith and cultural beliefs, and we will make every attempt to be appropriately sensitive; equally it is essential that young people still have access to the learning they need to stay safe, healthy and understand their rights as individuals. This must include clear, impartial scientific and factual information on matters such as; naming their body parts, puberty, menstruation, the variety of family structures, gay marriage, gender identity, gender equality, sexuality and forced-marriage. Furthermore, all teaching should reflect the law as it applies to relationships, marriage, adoption and care.

This includes teaching that the legal view of marriage is that it represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of two people to each other which is intended to be life-long. Marriage in England and Wales is available to both opposite sex and same sex couples. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 extended marriage to same sex couples in England and Wales. The ceremony through which a couple get married may be civil or religious.

Aims

The aims of relationship and sex education are:

To ensure Relationships and Sex Education is part of a child’s broad, balanced curriculum, integral to the basic curriculum of the school and part of the child’s all-round development.

To prepare children for healthy relationships in an online world.

To understand how to stay safe, know the importance of boundaries and how to report abuse or feelings of being unsafe.

Help pupils develop a positive and secure personal identity, a sense of their own value and feelings of confidence and empathy.

Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationship.

To ensure that all understand the importance of respecting others and accepting those who differ, yet challenging those behaviours and attitudes which exploit others.

Relationship Education

The focus in primary school should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.

By the end of Primary School:

Families and people who care for me

Pupils should know:

• that families are important for children growing up because they can give
love, security and stability.

• the characteristics of healthy family life, commitment to each other,
including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other
family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each
other’s lives.

• that others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look
different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and
know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.
that stable, caring relationships, which may be of different types, are at the
heart of happy families, and are important for children’s security as they
grow up.

• that marriage represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of
two people to each other which is intended to be lifelong.

• how to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or
unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed.

Caring Friendships

Pupils should know

• how important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends.

• the characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties.

• that healthy friendships are positive and welcoming towards others, and do not make others feel lonely or excluded.

• that most friendships have ups and downs, and that these can often be worked through so that the friendship is repaired or even strengthened, and that resorting to violence is never right.

• how to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed.

 

 Respectful Relationships

Pupils should know:

  • the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs.
  • practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships
  • the conventions of courtesy and manners.
  • the importance of self-respect and how this links to their own happiness.
  • that in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with
  • respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority.
  • about different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help
  • what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive.
  • the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults.

Online Relationships

Pupils should know:

  • that people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not 
  • that the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others online including when we are anonymous
  • the rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them
  • how to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information including awareness of the risks associated with people they have never met
  • how information and data is shared and used online

Being Safe 

Pupils should know:

  • what sorts of boundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others (including in a digital context)
  • about the concept of privacy and the implications of it for both children and adults; including that it is not always right to keep secrets if they relate to being safe
  • that each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact
  • how to respond safely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts, including online) whom they do not know
  • how to recognise and report feelings of being unsafe or feeling bad about any adult
  • how to ask for advice or help for themselves or others, and to keep trying until they are heard,
  • how to report concerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and confidence needed to do so
  • where to get advice, for example family, school or other sources

Defining Sex Education

 

Although The Relationships Education, Relationship & Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, made Relationship Education compulsory in all primary schools, Sex education is currently not compulsory. However, the Department for Education continues to recommend that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and maturity of the pupils. It is because of this that we will continue to deliver some aspects of sex education.

 

We recognise it is completely natural for children to have questions about sex, their bodies and to be curious about where they came from. In the age of information where children in primary school have access to the internet through mobile technology, we believe it is better that children receive age appropriate answers from us than it being left to their peers or the internet.

 

In our school, RSE is an opportunity to answer children’s questions about where they came from, an opportunity to explore their own stories and to be clear about how a baby is conceived and formed as set out in human life cycle, set out in the national curriculum for science. Furthermore, it should ensure that all children are prepared for both the physical and emotional changes of puberty including menstruation. Children need to understand how both girls and boys’ bodies function and change as they grow into adults.

 

We do not separate our classes into girls and boys for any part of the programme, including lessons around puberty. We believe it is important for both girls and boys to learn about each other’s bodies, changes and experiences. By keeping children together in mixed groups, children will learn to talk openly without embarrassment in front of each other and we can foster better understanding, break down gender stereotypes and build positive relationships and respect for each other, regardless of gender. This ensures that all children are included without feeling vulnerable.

 

There is however one exception and that is the year 5 and 6 girls are brought together for a detailed talk on menstruation. The reason we do this is to allow them to ask any personal questions about periods that they may have. Whilst the boys do need to know about menstruation (and they do learn about it), we feel that it is delicate topic for girls and needs to be delivered to them separately, to allow for sensitive questions to be answered.

 

Delivery

 

In our school, it is important that this material is delivered by our staff, as it highlights to the children that relationship and sex education is something we can all talk about.

 

Our staff cover all other aspects of the curriculum and know our children well. This means they are more likely to be aware of any additional needs, support or particularly sensitive topics that may make a child in their class vulnerable. We believe this makes them ideally placed to deliver the material sensitively to all children in their class.

 

Our teaching gradually expands and enriches key concepts, increases knowledge, deepens understanding, and rehearses and develops key skills that the children will need. The RSE elements lay the foundations of understanding about growth and change and respect for one another; later in upper key stage 2, it will promote the preparation for the changes of puberty. We believe it is important to address relationships and sex education in this age group because it will promote the values ‘the importance of stable relationships’, ‘marriage’ and ‘family life’.

 

Answering Children’s Questions

 

We are aware that children are likely to have many questions that may occur at any time. Children tend to ask whatever is on their mind. We see this as a positive point and a sign that we have created a safe environment where children feel empowered to feed their natural curiosity and learn about themselves, their bodies and the world around them. However, we acknowledge that some parents may feel uncomfortable about how particular questions may be dealt with in class. With this in mind, be assured that we will only ever answer questions in line with our policy. We do however believe children are better off receiving honest, open answers from safe adults in their lives, rather than it being left to the internet or older children with a smart phone. In the age of information, where children in primary have access to tablets, smart phones and the internet (often unsupervised) it is essential that we help children to recognise they are able to ask questions without judgement rather than searching for answers on the internet.

 

Staff will respond to questions in the following ways:

 

  • Children will be praised for asking questions. We wish to encourage children to seek answers from safe adults.
  • If a question is relevant to the whole class, we will answer it to the whole group.
  • However, as with any other subject, there may occasionally be the need to differentiate depending on children’s knowledge and experience. Some children may need additional information or support compared to others.
  • If a child asks a question that is not necessarily suitable for the entire class, we will respond, by saying: “that is fantastic question, hold that thought, I am going to set everyone some work and I will come and talk to you and answer your question in a minute when everyone else is working.”
  • If the member of staff doesn’t have an answer or doesn’t know, they will say so. There is no shame in not knowing the answer but the member of staff should make an effort to help the child to find the answer later.
  • If the member of staff is not sure how best to answer a particularly tricky question, our suggested response is: “That is a brilliant question, I would like to give you an equally brilliant answer, so let me have a think about it and once I know the best way to explain it clearly I will come back to you” This will allow teaching staff time to think, seek help, advice or support from colleagues, or to speak to senior management.
  • If a child asks a question we know parents may be uncomfortable with, staff may choose to delay answering the question (as above) until they have spoken to the parent/carer if possible and talk through their response.
  • Teachers will answer questions, openly, honestly, scientifically and factually without relying on their own personal beliefs. Teachers will not be expected to answer personal questions about themselves or to ask direct personal questions of their students that could make either parties vulnerable.

Our school has decided not to teach about or answer questions on: rape, oral sex, exploitative or violent sexual practices, incest, abortion, prostitution, contraception, masturbation or about forms of sexual intercourse including homosexual practices or foreplay. AIDS/HIV/sexually transmitted diseases will be discussed in an age-appropriate and sensitive manner as and when they are encountered.

 

If a child asks a question on any topic listed above, teachers will explain that this is a matter not dealt with in school, that the child should consult his/her parent/carer for an answer. The staff member will normally seek to inform parents when such a question is asked.

 

Policy on Menstruation

 

We recognise that the onset of menstruation can be a confusing or distressing time for children if they are not prepared. As a school, we acknowledge we have a responsibility to prepare children for menstruation and make adequate and sensitive arrangements to help children manage their period. Especially children whose family may not be able to afford or will not provide sanitary products. We recognise that period poverty exists in the UK and that some children are forced to avoid attending school if they are on their period, when they are unable to manage it sensitively. We do not want that to be the case in our school and will make every reasonable effort to support children to access their education and enjoy school.

 

Year 5 and 6 girls will have a separate lesson on menstruation. As part of this lesson, the girls will be told about menstruation and there will be discussion of what periods are, explanation of other symptoms associated with periods, how they can be managed hygienically, and sensitively. We will also take the opportunity to highlight the location of sanitary bins available in school, and how these are to be used. Sanitary products are always available in school, and the girls will be made aware of this, as well as being safe in the knowledge that they can approach any member of staff to seek advice and support.

 

When school trips or residential visits are arranged for years 4, 5 & 6, provisions to deal with a child’s period needs to be considered and planned for

Equal Opportunities

 

Please note that we comply with the requirements of the Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty in addition to complying with the statutory guidance on Relationships Education, Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education.

 

All teaching and non-teaching staff at our school are responsible for ensuring that all pupils irrespective of gender, ability, ethnicity and social circumstances, have access to the whole curriculum and opportunities to make the greatest progress possible in all areas of the curriculum whilst in our school.

 

Care is particularly taken to ensure that we promote positive gender stereotypes and we also recognise the importance of respecting the diverse family circumstances that exist within our school community and seek out resources to reflect these.

 

This is also true of children who may have a Special Educational need or Disability (SEND). It is important that RSE and Health Education is accessible for all pupils. High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will be the starting point to ensure accessibility. Teachers will also be mindful of the preparing for adulthood outcomes, as set out in the SEND code of practice, when teaching these subjects to those with SEND.

 

Parent and Carer Involvement

 

The role of parents/ carers in the development of their children’s understanding about relationships is vital. Parents/carers are the first teachers of their children. They have the most significant influence in enabling their children to grow and mature and to form healthy relationships.

 

Details of the areas of study of PSHE and RSE and Health Education can be found on the Curriculum Maps on the school website. In addition to this, a letter will be sent home prior to the RSE unit being taught in Class 3, which will detail areas to be taught, giving parents and opportunity to discuss concerns with the class teacher.

 

Teaching and Learning: creating a safe and supportive learning environment

 

The school seeks to provide a safe, secure learning environment for PSHE education that enables children and young people to gain accurate knowledge, develop their own values and attitudes, and develop skills to grow into happy confident successful adults.

 

Good practice in sex and relationships education:

 

The planned programme meets the needs of each child in the class Pupils are involved in the planning of the programme

 

Children have the opportunity to ask anonymous questions Be clear about the purpose of the session

 

Establish ground rules for working better together. Establish the language for the classroom

 

Use distancing techniques – photographs, articles from magazines, pieces of literature Offer time for reflection on their learning.

 

It is recognised in this school that a great emphasis has to be put on pupils being able to speak and be honest, in a caring, safe environment, therefore a circle time approach might be used where ever possible – it is acknowledged that this is not always possible at the upper end of Key Stage 2 – a similar approach may be used without physically sitting in a circle.

 

We will ensure that where pupils indicate that they may be vulnerable and at risk, they will get appropriate support from their class teacher, who will, if deemed necessary, follow the Child Protection Policy.

 

We recognise the importance for children, families and the workforce having access to confidential services, including health services to support their physical and emotional needs. Ground rules, regarding the sharing of information will be discussed and set at the start of every lesson.

 

Use of outside visitors

 

Any visitors to the Relationships and Sex Education programme will be approved by the governing body. Visitors and agency professionals are to be used when appropriate, but care will be taken that this is integrated into a teacher led programme.

 

Visitors will be made aware of the policy and issues of confidentiality (see below). Teachers should be present during any additional input.

 

Safeguarding Children

 

When teaching any sensitive topic, such as RSE, which deals with family life, safe and appropriate touching, personal body parts and healthy relationships, we recognise the potential to uncover incidents of abuse through children’s disclosures. All members of staff who deliver any of our Relationship or Sex Education Programme, have statutory training around safeguarding children and are all aware of our school’s safeguarding policy and procedures in the case of a disclosure or suspicion of a safeguarding concern.

 

We will always be mindful around protecting and supporting children for whom some of this work may make them vulnerable due to previous safeguarding concerns, past child protection investigations, ongoing concerns or changes in family or living situations. Teachers will always seek specialist support if they have any concerns around delivering the content of these lessons to vulnerable children. Children with SEND could also be more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues, so again staff are aware of such matters and are sensitive to such issues when delivering the RSE lessons.

 

Teachers and school staff cannot promise children confidentiality when discussing sensitive issues because of their responsibility under the Child Protection Act. Children should be made aware of this prior to any discussions. Visitors contributing to the curriculum work (including the School Nurse) are also bound to this policy. Sensitive information is only disclosed internally or externally with careful attention to the pupil’s rights and needs. All situations should be accurately recorded, including the school responses and the monitoring of pupil progress; records are to be stored in a secure place in the Child Protection File.

 

Parent and Parental rights to withdraw

 

We believe that successful teaching around Relationship Education can only take place when parents and school work together, especially considering we both want children to grow up safe and happy in healthy relationships, with the ability to manage their emotions and speak up when they feel unsafe. Therefore, we are committed to working together with parents.

 

We recognise under the new guidance for Relationship Education, Relationship & Sex education and Health Education (DfE 2018), parents retain the right to request their child is removed from some or all of the elements of sex education which go beyond the national curriculum for science. Maintained schools are required to teach about the main external body parts and changes to the human body as it grows from birth to old age, including puberty. There is no right to withdraw from the national curriculum. There is also no right to withdraw from Relationships Education at primary school or secondary school as we believe the contents of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught.

 

Should a parent decide that they do not wish their child to take part in some or all of the elements of sex education, which go beyond the national curriculum for science, we would ask that they first speak to their classroom teacher to discuss their concerns. Our teachers will happily show parents all the teaching material and context of any of our lessons and explain the reasons why any material is included in the programme. We will also highlight that whilst parents have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons, they do not have the right to withdraw other children from receiving these lessons. We believe it is better for children to hear from safe adults than to hear second hand from their peers at break-time. If at this stage the parent still wishes to withdraw their child, they will be asked to speak to the headteacher. If parents do decide to withdraw their child, they should inform the headteacher, in writing, who will find other provision for the child to engage in during the lesson.

 

Assessment

 

Assessment should:

Be planned for from the beginning as an integral part of teaching and learning

 

Provide regular opportunities for pupils to receive feedback on their progress and achievements Involve pupils in discussion about learning objectives and desired outcomes

 

Include pupils in self-assessment and peer-assessment

 

A range of assessment methods may be used: brainstorming, pupil discussion, portfolios of work.

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

The governing body

The governing body will approve this policy and hold the headteacher to account for its implementation.

 

The headteacher

 

The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that Relationship Education is taught in a carefully sequenced way within a planned programme, and for, ultimately, managing requests to withdraw pupils from sex education.

 

Staff

Staff are responsible for:

 

  • Delivering Relationship Education with sensitivity.
  • Modelling positive attitudes to Relationship Education.
  • Responding to the needs of individual pupils.
  • Responding appropriately to pupils whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from sex education.

Subject Leader

 

The subject leader will ensure that both staff and parents are informed about our sex education policy, and that the policy is implemented effectively. The subject leader will also ensure that members of staff are given sufficient training, so that they can teach effectively and handle any difficult issues with sensitivity.

 

The subject leader will liaise with external agencies regarding the school sex education programme, and ensures that all adults who work with children on these issues are aware of the school policy, and that they work within this framework. The subject leader monitors this policy on a regular basis and reports to the head teacher and governors, when requested, on the effectiveness of the policy.

 

An online consultation with school stakeholders, including all parents, took place in August 2020 . Shareholder views supported the policy. Therefore, this policy has been agreed by staff, governors and parents and will be reviewed every 2 years, or to meet new legislation.

Why Not Take a Look at the Guide ?

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