The Ridge Primary School Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Policy
PSHE Lead: Mrs Lara Melia
Date: January 2020
Approved by Governing Body:
Review Date: January 2022
- Statutory Requirements
- RSE and Health Curriculum
- Delivery of RSE and Health Education
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Managing Difficult Questions
- Parents’ Right to Withdraw
- Training and Support
- Useful Documents
Appendix 1: What Children Should Know by the End of Primary School
Appendix 2: Whole school overview – PSHE, including RSE and Health Education
Appendix 3: Relationship and Sex Education - Individual Year Group Overviews
This policy sets out our school’s approach to statutory Relationships and Health Education and non-statutory Sex Education.
The aims of Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSE and Health Education) at The Ridge Primary School is to meet children and young people’s need for accurate, reliable information to support them in growing up and for their future.
We do this by:
- Providing a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place in a safe environment
- Preparing pupils for puberty and give them a basic understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
- Helping pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
- Creating a positive culture around issues of building positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults
- Teaching pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
- Meeting the diversity of pupil needs, experiences and beliefs including those with special educational needs and disabilities
- Helping pupils to acquire knowledge and skills to put into practice to make sound decisions when facing risks, challenges and complex contexts.
RSE and Health Education can support young people to develop resilience, to know how and when to ask for help, and to know where to access support. As a school, we remind children that we are there to help and support them with any questions, worries and concerns that they may have.
This programme of learning represents a huge opportunity to help our children and young people develop. The knowledge and attributes gained will support their own, and others’, wellbeing and attainment and help young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.
2. Statutory Requirements
The Department for Education guidance states that from September 2020, all primary schools must teach Relationships and Health Education. The teaching of Sex Education in primary schools remains non statutory, with the exception of the elements of sex education contained in the Science National Curriculum. This includes the main external body parts, the human life cycle (including puberty) and reproduction in some plants and animals. Other related topics that fall within the statutory requirements for Health Education, such as puberty and menstrual wellbeing, will be included within PSHE education lessons.
Within the statutory guidance document for RSE and Health Education, the DfE also encourages schools to deliver age-appropriate sex education.
RSE and Health Education is learning accurate and age-appropriate skills, attitudes and knowledge about the body, reproduction, sex and sexual health. RSE and Health Education also gives children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and staying safe both on and offline. Relationships Education is designed to help children to have positive and safe relationships with family, friends and online. Health Education will help children to make good decisions about their health and wellbeing and enable them to know how to seek support if any health issues arise for themselves or others.
Further information for parents about statutory Relationships and Health Education, is available by following the following link - “Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school: a guide for parents”.
Pupils may be affected by issues discussed in lessons. To ensure that we keep all children safe, we follow our school safeguarding procedures, including:
- Setting ground rules for lessons, where needed, particularly around not sharing personal information
- Stopping discussions if personal information is shared in lessons and following up with pupils later where needed
- Not promising confidentiality if a pupil confides something concerning
- Telling pupils they can ask for help and they will be taken seriously
Where concerns arise, the school will follow the appropriate procedures as set out in the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
5. Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Curriculum
Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSE and Health Education) forms part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) curriculum here at The Ridge Primary School. Sex education is not compulsory in primary schools, however we believe that it is important to equip our pupils with the knowledge and skills that they need to as they approach puberty and prepare for their next steps in life. Therefore, we offer an introductory session, led by our school nurse to help prepare children and answer any questions they may have. This includes:
- Preparing both boys and girls for the changes that adolescence brings.
- How a baby is conceived and born.
3D PSHE Programme
At The Ridge we use a published scheme of learning, 3D PSHE, to support teaching and learning in the areas of puberty, relationships and sex education. This programme reflects the 2020 guidance and covers all aspects of Relationships Education and Health Education in an age-appropriate way.
There are three underlying core themes taught throughout Dimensions 3D PSHE, within which there is broad overlap and flexibility :-
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
Pupils are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of learning activities, enabling them to make significant contributions to both life in school and within the wider community. This allows them to become aware of their skills and talents, develop their self-worth, learn to work as part of a team and take greater responsibility for their own learning. In doing so, they are able to reflect and evaluate on how they are making progress.
The programme of learning provides pupils with the means to handle many of the social, cultural, spiritual, physical and moral issues that occur throughout life. It helps pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully, and contribute positively, to life in modern Britain. Pupils learn to respect similarities and differences between our diverse cultures in order to build successful and meaningful friendships and relationships that are vital to the world we live in.
The curriculum supports the development of the attitudes, values, skills and behaviour which enable pupils to:-
- Live healthy lifestyles
- Address personal hygiene
- Develop an awareness of changing and growing
- Deal with different emotions in an appropriate way
- Keep safe
- Communicate well with others and work as a team
- Define, identify and know how to respond to bullying
- Know where and how to seek help when needed
- Treat everybody with respect
- Form and build positive relationships
- Understand the reasons for rules, and their responsibility to keep them
- Learn about their responsibility in caring for others
- Be active in their own learning
- Be active within their community
- Manage money well
- Keep safe online
- Self-assess and identify their strengths and weaknesses
- Know how to make emergency calls
- Know basic First Aid
- Work collaboratively and respectfully
- Appreciate diversity
- Empathise with other points of view
- Express opinions clearly
- Understand the changes that occur in puberty
- Develop strategies for managing changing emotions
6. Delivery of Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education
Relationships Education (Statutory)
The focus of our teaching is on securing the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships and relationships with other children and adults. We teach pupils, in an age-appropriate way, what a healthy relationship is, enabling them to form a clear understanding of the features of positive relationships that are likely to lead to fulfilment, happiness and security. Pupils learn what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them.
Our school’s careful use of appropriate resources to teach about families in a well-judged and sensitive way, is based on a clear knowledge of the pupils and their circumstances, reflecting that some children have different family structures and supportive relationships. Pupils learn how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy. Establishing personal space and boundaries, showing respect and understanding, including the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical and other contact are the forerunners of teaching about consent, which takes place in Key Stage 3 or 4.
Our programme of learning teaches pupils about online safety and appropriate behaviour online, including sharing data and ways in which information provided by users may be used negatively. Relationship Education encourages the development and practice of resilience and perseverance, self-respect and self-worth. Pupils are also helped to develop personal attributes including honesty, integrity, courage, humility, kindness, generosity, trustworthiness and a sense of justice.
Pupils are taught about positive emotional and mental wellbeing, including how friendships can support mental wellbeing. They also learn about safe relationships, focusing on boundaries and privacy and ensuring that they understand that they have rights over their own bodies. This also covers understanding boundaries in friendships with peers, in families and with others, in all contexts, including online. In 3D PSHE, pupils are clearly taught how to report concerns and seek advice when they suspect or know that something is wrong. Of paramount importance is ensuring the balance between informing children about making sensible decisions to stay safe (including online) without frightening them unnecessarily, whilst also making it clear that it is never the fault of a child who is exploited or abused, and why victim blaming is always wrong.
Additional Units covered at The Ridge
Sex Education - Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)
As well as working alongside our school nurse, we use the 3D Sex Education Unit. This is tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of our pupils and supports pupils’ ongoing emotional and physical development effectively. We ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings and, drawing on knowledge of the human life cycle set out in the National Curriculum for Science, understand how a baby is conceived and born.
Sex Education teaching and materials are appropriate, having regard to the age and religious backgrounds, and any special educational needs or disabilities of our pupils. The Sex Education Unit covers
- close relationships, including friendships, that often form during puberty,
- physical, mental and emotional changes that take place during puberty
- sexual relationships including myths about sex
- the features of healthy and unhealthy relationships
- gender identities, an awareness of transgender issues and the difference between transgender and cross-dressing.
Extremism and Radicalisation
We teach pupils about Extremism and Radicalisation.
In Key Stage 1 we cover
- understanding the differences between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’,
- recognising and respecting similarities and differences between people
- how to deal with confrontation
- understanding that difference is a positive feature.
In Key Stage 2 we look at
- how to deal with peer pressure
- how extremism manifests itself
- homophobia and racism as extremist behaviours
Substance Related Abuse - Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)
We teach pupils about substance related abuse. This covers
- keeping safe
- understanding some of the consequences of risk-taking
- knowing some of the different forms addiction can take
- the names of the most common drugs
- how advertising influences our choices.
7. Roles and Responsibilities
The RSE and Health Education programme is led by the PSHE Co-ordinator with the support of Governors and the Senior Leadership Team. PSHE and RSE and Health Education lessons are taught by class teachers, supported by expert visitors as appropriate. Teaching staff receive training in the delivery of the RSE and Health Education curriculum through dedicated staff meetings, led by the PSHE/RSE and Health Co-ordinator with the support of external experts as required.
The Governing Body
The Governing Body will approve the Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education Policy and hold the Headteacher to account for its implementation.
The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education is taught consistently across school and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from the Sex Education components of RSE.
PSHE/RSE and Health Education Subject Leader
The PSHE/RSE and Health Education Subject Leader ensures that RSE and Health Education is taught consistently across school and the teaching of it is monitored using a variety of strategies including discussions with staff, monitoring planning, work scrutiny, observing lessons and pupil interviews.
Staff are responsible for:
- Delivering RSE and Health Education in a sensitive way
- Modelling positive attitudes to RSE and Health Education
- Monitoring progress of pupil understanding
- Responding to the needs of individual pupils
Pupils are expected to engage fully in RSE and Health Education and when discussing issues related to RSE and Health Education, treat others with respect and sensitivity.
8. Managing Difficult Questions
During both formal and informal PSHE/RSE and Health Education sessions, pupils are encouraged to ask questions. Any questions from pupils are answered according to the age and maturity of the pupil concerned, and if the teacher delivering the session deems it appropriate to answer.
- Set specific ground rules, which will clarify boundaries for pupils, and mitigate disclosures in class
- Clarify that personal questions should not be asked
- Clarify that pupils should not give out personal information in class but speak to someone they trust after the lesson, e.g. school nurse, teacher, parent.
In some lessons, an anonymous question box may be used to allow children to ask questions about potentially sensitive areas or topics they may find embarrassing. Teaching staff will endeavour to answer questions as openly as possible but if faced with a question they do not feel comfortable answering within the classroom, or that is not age-appropriate (or within the school’s RSE and Health Education policy), provision may be made to address the individual child/young person’s requirements. If a teacher does not know the answer to a question or if a question is felt to be inappropriate, this should be acknowledged and, if considered necessary, this may be followed up outside of the classroom environment with individual pupils (being mindful of Guidance for Safer Working Practice).
The Ridge Primary School believes that individual teachers must use their professional skill and discretion in this area and refer to the Designated Safeguarding Lead if they are concerned about any question from a safeguarding perspective.
9. Parents Right to Withdraw
Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from relationships or health education.
Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from the non-statutory/ non- science components of sex education within RSE.
Prior to teaching Parents/Carers are sent information about the non-statutory components of sex education and informed that they have the right to withdraw their child if they wish to. We offer parents support in talking to their children about sex education and how to link this with what is being taught in school. The Headteacher will be available to discuss the request with parents to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum, and a record will be kept of this process. The Headteacher will discuss with parents the benefits of receiving this education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child, for example the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in the classes, rather than what was directly said by the teacher. These detrimental effects may, of course, be mitigated if the parents propose to deliver sex education to their child at home instead. If a pupil is excluded from sex education at their parents’ request, the school will ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.
10. Training and Support
Training will be delivered to all new staff by PSHE and RSE and Health Education Subject Lead, Mrs Lara Melia.
We will also invite health professionals such as the school nurse to help with the delivery and provide support for staff when delivering this.
If staff want support or feel uncomfortable delivering any aspect of Relationship and Sex Education due to their own beliefs or concerns, then they will discuss this with a member of SLT.
11. Useful Documents
For further guidance on Relationship and Sex Education and Health please visit the following:
Relationships and Health Education - A guide for parents
Appendix 1: What Children should know by the End of Primary School
Appendix 2: Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education Whole school overview
Appendix 3: Relationships and Sex Education Individual Year Group Overviews