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We all want our children to grow up healthy, happy, safe, and able to manage the challenges and opportunities of adult life in modern Britain. The government have recognised this and as a result all primary school aged children must be taught Relationships Education and Health Education, as part of PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education) from September 2020.
These subjects are designed to equip your child with knowledge, skills and attitudes to help them make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships, as well as preparing them for a fulfilling adult life. The world for all young people looks very different from the way it did 20 years ago when the national guidance was last updated – these new national requirements bring the content into the 21st century, so that it is relevant for your child. In our school, we have been delivering a PSHE curriculum which covers most of the national expectations for Relationships Sex Education for some years, so there will be very little change for your children. However, we are due to begin our first units of learning for Sex Education in June 2021.
Please use this webpage to explore our aims and objectives for Relationships Education, Health Education and Sex Education and consider completing the parent/carer questionnaire that can be found below. We very much value and respect your role in teaching your child about healthy relationships, looking after themselves and staying safe. Teaching in school will complement and reinforce the lessons you teach your child as they grow up. As a school, we have flexibility to deliver the content in a way that is age and developmentally appropriate and sensitive to the needs and religious background of its pupils. We would like to hear your views about this through the questionnaire found at the bottom of this page. The deadline to submit your views for initial consultation is Monday 12th April 2021. We will of course continue to listen to your views after this date but please be aware that we are due to begin teaching Sex Education in June 2021.
Relationships Education in our School
We believe Relationships Education is learning about emotional, social and physical aspects of our lives, about ourselves and our relationships. It enables pupils to develop essential life skills for building and maintaining positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships. It equips pupils with information and skills they need to understand about themselves, their peers and people they meet in the wider community. It explores risks, choices, rights, responsibilities and attitudes. It will help pupils to develop skills to keep themselves and others safer, physically and emotionally, both on and off line. Relationships Education enables pupils to explore their own attitudes and those of others respectfully.
Relationships Education makes a major contribution to fulfilling our school’s aims of ensuring our pupils are tolerant and relate positively with those who share different views; develop happy and secure children who feel confident in school; build resilience by becoming self-disciplined and well-motivated; feel valued as an individual and able to show appreciation for what we have; are inspired to develop inquiring minds and be creative; are empowered to cope with our changing world, developing skills and knowledge relevant to prepare them for the next stages in their lives. By achieving these outcomes, we hope that children THRIVE whilst at Brickhill Primary School and Relationships Education has a fundamental role to play in this.
Context of Wider PSHCE
We deliver Relationships Education as part of our wider provision of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE), which also includes statutory Health Education.
The aims of Relationships Education are further supported by interventions, extracurricular and enrichment activities we provide. For example, developing as a Healthy School, social skills interventions, Anti-bullying week, Making Me resilience and emotional literacy programme and pastoral support.
Intent of our Relationships Education Curriculum
Through the delivery of Relationships Education we intend to further our school’s aims of providing a curriculum which is relevant to the needs of pupils, both now and in the future. It will enable pupils to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes which enhance their personal development and wellbeing. This will have a direct, positive effect on their progress and achievement in school.
All adults in school will work towards achieving these aims for Relationships Education. We seek to enable our children to:
The Equality Act 2010 has special resonance in Relationships Education. Through this area of learning we seek to develop key interpersonal skills such as respect and empathy which enable pupils to understand the rights and responsibilities we all have towards one another.
The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
We will ensure that our provision of Relationships Education is not only equally accessible and inclusive for all pupils with protected characteristics, or who have family members with protected characteristics, but also that it reduces discrimination, advances equality of opportunity and encourages good relations between different groups.
In order to ensure that Relationships Education meets the needs of all:
We support children in developing their knowledge about and attitudes towards diversity throughout units of work including:
We understand the importance of high quality Relationships Education as we fulfil our statutory safeguarding duties. Relationship Education enables pupils to understand about mutual, consensual and reciprocated relationships in all their forms. Whether the children are learning about friendships, families, relationships in school or the wider community, they will be developing essential skills which underpin their ability to recognise abusive relationships. Teaching about ‘Family and Friends’ and ‘Anti-bullying’ enables us to fulfil our statutory duty to prevent ‘peer-on-peer’ abuse.
In the case of RSE and Personal Safety, we recognise that effective teaching may alert children to what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour (including inappropriate sexual behaviour) and that there is an increased possibility that a disclosure relating to abuse may be made.
This webpage provides parents/carers, pupils and other stakeholders with information about Relationships Education and associated duties in a way which is accessible to them. We are in the process of asking for their views about appropriate ages for particular topics, to share relevant views and beliefs and to consider the suitability of the school’s aims for Relationships Education.
A questionnaire is available to consult with as many parents/carers as possible and some parents/carers will be consulted further through a focus group planned for after Easter. We will also be carrying out pupil voice focus groups to gather the views of our pupils. Below, you will find information, supporting documents and an outline of the RSE framework with curriculum references.
All views expressed by pupils, staff, governors and parents/carers will be considered. The final decision on policy and delivery will be made by the school, after listening to the needs and views of the school community.
Our Relationships Education Curriculum (see Additional Resources) is wholly consistent with the DfE statutory requirements for Relationships Education and Health Education (2020), National Curriculum (2014), other DfE and OfSTED guidance. It also reflects best practice described by the Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association. We consider Relationships Education to be a continuous process of learning, which begins before the children enter our school and continues into adulthood. We have planned a curriculum appropriate to each age group with a spiral of progression. All adults working with children have a part to play in supporting the delivery of Relationships Education.
Relationships Education is learning about:
Our PSHCE topic structure does not separate delivery of Relationships Education from Health Education and wider PSHCE. We deliver topics which, taking the lead from children’s lived experiences, consider related themes including development of knowledge, skills and attitudes in an integrated way. The topics where Relationships Education is a significant driver are:
Relationships Education will be taught in:
Our aim is that teachers use a range of teaching methodologies where skills such as communication, compromise and negotiation are practised in classroom situations and where attitudes such as respect and empathy are modelled and discussed. We encourage teachers to ensure that group work, debate, taking other people’s view points and working together are practised in all PSHCE lessons and across the wider curriculum. Our Relationships Education lessons are not simple opportunities to give information, but to explore views and perspectives and develop possible solutions through discussion and interaction.
In keeping with this approach we base our curriculum on a series of questions children will have the opportunity to engage with, rather than banks of knowledge they will acquire.
Ground Rules: Relationships Education is taught in a safe, non-judgemental environment where all adults and children are confident that they will be respected. Specific ground rules will be established at the beginning of any Relationships Education work, in addition to those already used in the classroom. They will cover the following areas:
Distancing Techniques: In order to protect children’s privacy, we will employ teaching and learning strategies which enable them to discuss issues without disclosing personal experience. For example, we will use fiction, puppets, case studies, role-play, videos, to enable children to share ideas and opinions and to practise their decision-making skills in a safe learning environment.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
We recognise that children learn about relationships and their growing and changing bodies at home and at school. We believe that a partnership between home and school is the most supportive environment for learning in this area. At school children learn about RSE topics though planned lessons, but also through wider provision and our inclusive school environment.
In addition to our broad aims for Relationships Education, in our planned lessons on Relationships and Sex Education we aim to ensure that children:
Our topic, RSE, combines elements of Relationships Education (e.g. learning about families, personal safety and emotional wellbeing) with aspects of Health Education (e.g. learning about the spread of illnesses and the changing adolescent body). This combination offers the best location for our provision of non-statutory sex education. Although ‘RSE’ as a subject is not statutory at primary level, many aspects of our RSE topic are statutory parts of Relationships Education and Health Education. Some elements of our RSE topic are part of the statutory National Curriculum for Science (e.g. the biological aspects of puberty, reproduction and the spread of viruses).
We will ensure that children receive teaching about puberty at Y5 and Y6 in order to prepare them for the physical, emotional and social changes they are approaching or undergoing. We will review the age at which puberty is introduced depending on the needs of each cohort.
We understand that at times children will benefit from varying methods of delivering the RSE curriculum. For example, we may use single-sex groups or small group teaching where this will help us to meet the needs of particular children more effectively, we will use team teaching where this enables us to best use teacher expertise. We will ensure there are positive educational reasons for each method of delivery.
Curriculum Materials and Resources
We will primarily use the Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme and the resources recommended within it when planning and delivering Relationships Education. We will avoid a ‘resource-led’ approach, instead focussing on the needs of the children and our planned learning objectives. We will carefully select resources which meet these objectives. We will evaluate teaching resources thoroughly before using them. We will select resources which:
Definition of Sex Education
Following guidance from the DfE, we define Sex Education as learning about ‘how a (human) baby is conceived and born’.
This extends the learning about sexual reproduction in ‘some plants and animals’ required through the Science national curriculum. It also complements the statutory requirement to teach about puberty as part of Science and Health Education, as understanding sexual reproduction in humans enables children to understand the processes of puberty.
Consultation about Sex Education
We have a taken into account the DfE’s recommendation that all primary schools have a Sex Education programme and we understand that this is not statutory. We understand that our teaching in sex education must be tailored to the needs and physical and emotional maturity of the pupils.
Parents/carers, governors and pupils are currently being consulted about this and our school has decided that we will offer content in Sex Education in the context of Relationships Education and RSE, due to begin in June 2021
If you would like to see a sample lesson plan or any of our teaching resources, please email email@example.com.
Content of Sex Education
The content of our Sex Education programme will be gradually developed in an age appropriate way. The children will not learn about human sexual reproduction until Year 6.
Y1/2 will learn that human babies grow inside their mothers alongside learning in Science that adult animals produce offspring like themselves (Cats have kittens. Cows have calves etc.). The children will also learn names for their body parts.
Y4 will learn that every human began when a seed from a male and an egg from a female join together. They will not yet learn about the means by which egg and sperm join.
Y6 will learn about human sexual reproduction and other ways that eggs and sperm are joined (eg IVF) in age appropriate detail. They will learn about vaginal birth and caesarean section in age appropriate ways, reflecting the experiences of children and families they know.
Delivery of the Sex Education Curriculum
Sex Education will be delivered as part of our topic called Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) by a teacher, who knows the needs and natures of the children. The teacher is best placed to tailor the learning to the needs of the pupils.
Parents/carers will be informed by letter/email/via the school website about the content of the curriculum in advance of teaching and will be invited to talk to staff if they have questions.
Teachers will be offered support to develop their skills and to learn from others where needed.
Right to be excused from Sex Education
Parents/carers have the right to request that their child be excused from some or all of Sex Education delivered as part of statutory Relationships Education. Before granting any such request the Head Teacher/PSHCE Leader will discuss the request with parents/carers (and if appropriate with the child) to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. The educational, social and emotional benefits for the child of being part of the lessons will also be discussed.
We will consider compromise arrangements which will enable the child to receive Sex Education at school (e.g. same sex teacher, same sex teaching group).
We will offer support to parents/carers who wish to deliver Sex Education at home.
If a pupil is excused from Sex Education, we will ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.
The parents/carers will be asked to reconfirm their decision to withdraw their children from Sex Education each time a Sex Education element is planned for their child.
Here is a list of useful links and resources to help keep you informed about Relationships Education, Health Education and Sex Education.
Links to national documents: