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- Sex & Relationships policy
Updated Autumn 2020
Approved by governors Autumn 2020
Date to be reviewed Spring 2021
Our school’s policy on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is based on the new government guidance for RSE:
Purpose of the policy
The purpose of the policy is to:
- Give information to staff, parents and carers, governors, pupils and outside visitors about the content, organisation and approach to teaching RSE.
- Enable parents and carers to support their children in learning about RSE.
Links to other policies and curriculum areas
This policy links to the Science curriculum, PSHCE curriculum and the Safeguarding and Child Protection policy. We aim to teach as much of the content as is possible through the Science and PSHCE curriculums whilst teaching aspects discreetly through other means, e.g. circle time.
Definition of RSE
Relationship and Sex Education is not just about learning about growing up, changes and reproduction. It is also about enabling children to make and maintain trusting relationships with others and to feel good about themselves and the choices they make. This involves helping children to gain knowledge, develop skills and form positive beliefs and attitudes.
Why RSE is relevant in primary education:
- It prepares children for the physical and emotional changes that will take place, especially at puberty.
- It helps develop positive attitudes, values and self-esteem and challenges negative attitudes and prejudices.
- It helps make sense of misinformation in the media and from peers.
- It provides an opportunity to talk about feelings and relationships in a safe environment.
- It promotes the skills necessary for effective communication and loving, caring, respectful and happy trusting relationships.
- It protects children from sexual exploitation and inappropriate online content.
- It provides an age appropriate response to children’s needs in an ever-changing society.
Content and Organisation of the Programme
From September 2020, RSE will be taught through a planned programme in PSHCE as well as in Science. This will ensure that it covers the statutory biological aspects, but also the social and emotional aspects. It is taught throughout the years, either as discrete topics or integrated into other topics such as Health and Well being or Living in the wider world. (Please see the PSHCE progression of skills which outlines the content covered across the school and within each year group.)
In Science lessons, in both Key Stages, teachers inform children about puberty and how a baby is born. For this aspect of our teaching we follow the guidance material found in the national scheme of work for Science. In Key Stage 1, we teach children about how animals, including humans, move, feed, grow and reproduce, and we also teach them about the main parts of the body. Children learn to appreciate the fact that people are not all the same, and that we need to respect each other. In Key Stage 2, we teach about life processes, and the main stages of the human life cycle, in greater depth.
Right to withdraw
Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from RSE, apart from the statutory aspects of the national curriculum. This means that parents and carers cannot withdraw their children from RSE aspects of the science national curriculum. From September 2020, health and relationship elements within the PSHCE curriculum will also be statutory. RSE elements taught through the PSHCE curriculum however, which are not within the Science curriculum, remain non-statutory with the right to withdraw a child. This is in line with DfE statutory guidance ‘Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education. Prior to the teaching of the non-statutory RSE curriculum, the content will be shared with parents so that they may make an informed choice and decide whether they wish to withdraw their child.
Teachers conduct RSE lessons in a sensitive manner and in confidence. However, if a child makes a reference to being involved (or likely to be involved) in sexual activity, then the teacher will take the reference seriously, and deal with it as a matter of child protection. Teachers will respond in a similar way if a child indicates that they have been a victim of abuse.
They will not try to investigate, but will immediately inform the designated safe-guarding lead.
The role of the parents and carers
The school is well aware that parents/carers have a primary role in child sex education. We therefore wish to build a positive and supporting relationship with the parents and carers of the children at our school through mutual understanding, trust and cooperation.
We ask that any issue that parents or carers have about this policy or about arrangements for RSE in the school be flagged up to relevant staff.
The role of the staff
It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that the RSE policy is implemented effectively.
Class teachers are responsible for teaching RSE and HE (Health Education) in line with the policy and government guidance.
Monitoring and review
The school gives serious consideration to any comments from parents and carers about the RSE policy or programme of study and will maintain a record of all such comments. The school will also monitor and review teaching and learning. This will be done through pupil voice and the marking of children’s work by each class teacher. The curriculum and policies will be tracked by the PSHCE coordinator.