All schools are required to teach Relationships Education at primary and RSE at secondary and to produce a Relationships Education policy. Our SEN school for children with SEMH has pupils of primary and secondary age so this policy covers the curriculum across the Key Stages.
The purpose of the policy is to:
- Give information to staff, parents and carers, governors, pupils and outside visitors about what is taught in Relationships Education and RSE, how it is taught and who teaches it
- Enable parents and carers to support their children in learning about RSE and Relationships Education
- Give a clear statement on what the school aims to achieve from Relationships Education and RSE, the values underpinning it and why Relationships education is compulsory for all primary school pupils and RSE is compulsory for all secondary aged pupils
- Set out how Relationships Education and RSE meets schools’ legal requirements (according to age and stage) to:
- Promote wellbeing (Children Act 2004)
- Prepare children for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult life (Education Act 2006)
- Meet the school’s safeguarding obligations
- Comply with the Equality Act 2010 to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups
- Protect pupils from unsuitable teaching and materials (Learning and
- Skills Act 2006)
- Teach statutory RSE elements in the Science National Curriculum
- Have an up to date policy developed in consultation with pupils and parents/carers (Education Act 1996)
- Make the policy available to pupils and parents (Education Act 1996)
- Right of parental withdrawal from all or part of RSE except those parts included in the national curriculum (Education Act 1996)
- Have taken account of the DfEE guidance on RSE (2000)
- DfE expects that all state schools “should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) and
- that “RSE is an important part of PSHEE” (DfE guidance on
- PSHEE 2013)
- Prevent discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups (Equality Act 2010)
- Provide RSE which includes (as a minimum, information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) (Education Act 2002)
The policy also includes information on Sex Education which covers a definition, what is taught, who teaches it and parents’ right to withdraw for primary aged children.
Our provision of RSE and Relationships Education is part of our approach to supporting the health and wellbeing of children and our commitment to being a healthy school.
Development of the policy
This policy was developed in consultation with representatives from Senior Leaders, staff, parents/carers and steering group and involved consultation with pupils and the wider staff group. We also consulted with Camden Learning.
We have taken account of the
- Statutory guidance on Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education (DfE Feb 2019)
- Camden’s example policy April 2021
- Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty
Additionally for secondary aged pupils we have also taken account of the
- RSE guidance (DfE 2000)
- Guidance on PSHEE (DfE 2013)
- Guidance produced by the PSHE Association “RSE for the 21st century”
Links to other policies
This policy links to our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy, Behaviour policy,
Anti-bullying policy, Equality policy, Online safety policy, Curriculum Policy and PSHCE Policy
Definition of relationships education
We use the definition suggested by the PSHE Association:
“RSE is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health”.
We renamed RSE as Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) to emphasise the relationships aspect of RSE. This was one of the recommendations from the Commons Education Committee Feb 2015.
The requirements for teaching Relationship Education in primary are described in the DfE statutory guidance and based on the guidance, we have defined Relationships Education as learning about:
- Different relationships (including online) and how to make and maintain healthy, caring and respectful relationships within families and friendships
- The importance of families for caring for children
- How to recognise when a relationship is unhealthy or unsafe and how to seek help and report concerns or abuse (including online)
- The importance of respecting others who are different from themselves whether physically, their family structure, their race, religion, belief, disability or sexual orientation
- Different types of bullying and discriminatory language, the impact it has and how to prevent it and get help
- Stereotypes and how they can lead to prejudice and discrimination e.g. based on sex, gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation
- How to recognise risk and be safe online
Why teach Relationships Education at primary school?
The government has made Relationships Education a statutory part of the curriculum and we agree that this is a crucial aspect of the primary curriculum.
There are four main aims for teaching RSE within the context of primary education:
- To enable young people to understand and respect their bodies, and be able to cope with the changes puberty brings, without fear or confusion
- To help young people develop positive and healthy relationships appropriate to their age, development, etc. (respect for self and others)
- To support young people to have positive self-esteem and body image, and to understand the influences and pressures around them
- To empower them to be safe and safeguarded.
We want children to develop the skills to make positive, caring, respectful and healthy relationships; in their friendships, within their families and with other children and adults.
We recognise that most children including primary aged children already have active online lives and that the knowledge and skills they learn in Relationships Education will enable them to navigate the online world safely and understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour.
Through Relationships Education, pupils also gain the knowledge they need to recognise and report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse and keep themselves safe.
For all these important reasons, the government has made Relationships Education a compulsory part of the school curriculum in which all pupils are required to participate and parents do not have the right to withdraw them.
This is particularly important for children at Gloucester House with SEMH and often other additional needs that make them less able to understand and negotiate healthy boundaries in relationships.
Why teach RSE at secondary school?
- It is a statutory requirement for all secondary schools and is a statutory part of the science curriculum covering the biological aspects of RSE
- It prepares young people for the physical and emotional changes that will take place at puberty
- It helps develop positive attitudes, values and self-esteem and challenges negative attitudes and prejudices.
- It helps promote equality in relationships
- It helps make sense of misinformation in the media and from peers
- It provides an opportunity to talk about feelings and relationships
- It helps develop the skills necessary for effective communication and loving, caring, respectful and happy relationships.
- It protects young people from risk and harm in relationships, including violence and sexual exploitation and inappropriate on line content
- It helps deal appropriately with social and cultural pressures as a result of being exposed to distorted or inaccurate view of sex and relationships in the media
- It helps to reduce early sexual activity, prevent teenage conceptions, STIs, sexual exploitation and abuse, domestic violence and FGM
Values promoted through relationships education
We are committed to creating an inclusive school that promotes diversity and equality. Teaching relationships education will ensure that all children develop respect for others and for difference, and tolerance and understanding of all aspects of diversity. We want all children to understand and feel accepted in the society they are growing up in and for every child we work with to thrive in modern society.
We believe that pupils should have accurate information that relates to their needs. They need help to explore their own feelings and attitudes, and those of society, in order to develop values on which to base decisions about relationships. They need to learn the communication skills necessary to help them take increasing responsibility for their own sexual behaviour.
We believe that Relationships Education promotes the aims and values of Gloucester House which include:
- Respect for self and others
- Kindness and consideration for others
- Commitment, trust and love within relationships
- Value of family life and of stable and loving relationships, including marriage
(both heterosexual and gay) and civil partnerships, for bringing up children. Care is taken to ensure there is no stigmatisation of pupils based on their different home circumstances.
- Understanding diversity regarding religion, gender, culture and sexual orientation
- Reducing intolerance and discrimination based on sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, and gender
- Accepting, respecting and celebrating difference and diversity
- Promoting gender equality, challenge gender stereotypes and inequality and promotes equality in relationships.
- Making clear that everyone has the right to a healthy and safe relationship.
- Promoting equality and respecting rights and responsibilities in relationships.
- Preventing prejudice and discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, sex, and gender reassignment – 5 of 9 protected characteristics as enshrined in law through the Equality Act 2010 (others are age, race, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity)
- Educating pupils that tolerance is enshrined in law – democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance
We recognise that, at Gloucester House, the values listed are challenging for the pupils. It is their difficulties in these (and other areas) that bring them into our service. However addressing this is the bedrock of the Gloucester House curriculum (implicit and explicit). The work we do aims to impact pupils attitudes overtime and the focus on their personal development is to prepare them for their next step and ultimately for adult life.
Aims for relationships education at primary and secondary
- RSE will include discussions about feelings, relationships and family values in a variety of ways, and includes aspects of the following 4 interconnected areas of learning:
- Personal care and hygiene – Relationships and sex education – Appropriate behaviour, including addressing sexualised behaviour – Safeguarding.
- As with all pupils, RSE for pupils at Gloucester House should be part of life-long learning and begin at school entry and continue throughout formal education and beyond.
- RSE will be best achieved through a whole school approach that involves parents/carers, members of the clinical team and education staff.
- RSE will be part of the PSHE and science curriculum that develops skills in understanding to live healthy and lead confident lives, and allows children to be well informed about the biology behind changes in their development.
- RSE needs to be culturally appropriate and inclusive of all pupils.
- The RSE curriculum is about acquiring knowledge and understanding, exploring attitudes and values and developing personal and social skills.
- RSE should contribute to pupil’s spiritual, moral, cultural, emotional and physical development and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
Our Relationships Education programme aims to help children to (as appropriate for age and stage to):
- Develop the confidence to talk about and understand relationships
- Develop the confidence to talk, listen and think about feelings and relationships
- Develop skills to make and maintain positive relationships
- Understand the importance of respect, responsibility, love and care in relationships
- Develop positive attitudes about growing up
- Explore their own and other people’s attitudes and values
- Develop the skills to make and maintain healthy and respectful friendships and family relationships
- Recognise unhealthy or unsafe relationships, including friendships (and online), within the family and with known or unknown adults
- Develop increasing awareness of when relationships are destructive and over time be more drawn to healthy relationships and friendship groups
- Recognise the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe contact; physical or otherwise, and to know how to report it and get help.
- Understand the importance of respecting others even when they are different from them
- Understand and respect different types of families, including families with one parent, with same sex parents, families that foster and adopt children
- Know about human sexuality, understand and respect different types of relationships including heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, understand about transgender
- Recognise bullying and discriminatory language based on race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, disability or sexual orientation and develop the confidence to prevent it and report it
- Challenge and prevent discrimination based on difference e.g. race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, disability or sexual orientation
- Prevent sexist, sexual, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and bullying
- Challenge gender stereotypes and inequality and promote equality and respect in relationships
- Know how to be safe online and behave respectfully and appropriately
- Know where and how to seek information and advice when they need help
- Know the correct biological names for the parts of the body, including the male and female reproductive parts
- Know and understand about emotional, social and physical changes at puberty
- Know and understand about reproduction
- Discuss their concerns and correct misunderstanding they may have gained from the media and peers
- Recognise when something is risky or unsafe and make healthy and safe choices
- Know where are how to seek information and advice when they need help
- Know about contraception and the main types of contraceptives, how to prevent STIs and teenage pregnancy
Overall responsibility will be undertaken by the subject co-ordinator who is currently the Deputy Head teacher in consultation with clinical and other staff. Designated staff and class teachers shall undertake specific teaching and delivery.
Implementation and statutory responsibilities
The statutory Government guidance ‘Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education’ (2019) frames considerations for disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs (SEN) within the Equality Act 2010 and the Children and Families Act 2014.
Government guidance acknowledges that there may be a need for schools to tailor content and teaching to meet the specific needs of pupils at different developmental stages. It also highlights that ‘some pupils are more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues due to the nature of their SEND’, and that ‘Relationships Education and RSE can also be particularly important subjects for some pupils; for example those with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs or learning disabilities’.
Planning, content and time allocation
The RSE curriculum has three main elements:
- Knowledge and Understanding including; emotional, social and physical development, body image, human sexuality, different types of families, different types of relationships, healthy and unhealthy relationships, sex, consent, rights and responsibilities to others, reproduction, sexual health, contraception, the range of local and national sexual health services, reasons and benefits for delaying sexual activity, law about sexual activity and the use
of technology and social media, misuse of alcohol and sexual activity, sexual exploitation and violence in relationships, FGM, being safe including on line
- Personal and Social Skills including; managing emotions and relationships, developing self-respect and empathy for others, resilience to cope with change, how to make choices and understanding the consequences of choices, managing conflict, dealing with peer pressure, recognising and avoiding exploitation and abuse, communicating respectfully, making responsible and safe decisions, how to identify, assess and manage risk, ask for help and access advice and services
- Attitudes and Values including; understand a range of views about relationships and sex in society, respect in relationships, the importance of stable and loving relationships including marriage(both heterosexual and gay) and civil partnerships, respect, love and care, rights and respect for rights in relationships, value of family life, gender equality, acceptance of difference and diversity. Understanding that violence, coercion and sexual exploitation in relationships is unacceptable, understanding that discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, culture, age, faith is unacceptable, promoting equality and challenging inequality
On the whole the curriculum will be taught through topics, related to Life Skills work, Healthy Body and science topics such as Humans and Other Animals and Life Processes. These sessions will be active and participatory involving children’s full participation and enabling then to gain knowledge and understanding, learn skills, explore attitudes and values and discuss and listen to one another.
In year 5/6 and in KS3 there will be some cases where pupils will be taught in discrete subjects and this will be planned year on year taking into account the needs of the children.
The PHSCE co-ordinator will link with members of the clinical team when writing and reviewing the Scheme of Work- taking account of the group of children and their needs at the time. Case co-ordinators will link with parents/carers about any concerns and refer them to the PHSCE co-ordinator if necessary.
Ground rules are set to ensure an atmosphere of trust and respect that will enable pupils to discuss concerns, feeling and relationships.
How RSE is taught:
- Sometimes pupils are taught in mixed groups to ensure that boys and girls learn the same information. However, in some cases there will be single sex groups, and both boys and girls of the same age and/or stage will have the same lesson. Due to the mixed ages and stages of our pupils groups for RSE teaching are not generally class based.
- Staff set a group agreement or ground rules with pupils to ensure that an atmosphere is created where pupils feel able to ask questions, discuss concerns, talk about feelings and relationships, but do not discuss personal experiences or issues or ask information of each other or the teacher. Staff do not discuss details of their personal experiences or relationships with pupils.
- We answer questions honestly and sensitively, appropriate to the age and maturity of the pupils. Questions may be answered to the whole class, in small groups or on a one-to-one basis, as appropriate. We also use question boxes so that pupils can ask questions anonymously
- Resources, such as DVDs and leaflets are chosen to ensure that they are appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils. They take into account equality of opportunity through their use of language, cultural attitudes, family make-up and images, including body image, avoiding stereotyping, racism and sexism.
- A variety of teaching methods are used that enable pupils to participate and reflect on their learning, role play, quizzes, pair and small group work, mixing groups so that pupils work with a range of peers. We also use case studies, stories and role plays to help de-personalise discussions and help pupils gain confidence to talk and listen to each other.
- The RSE policy reflects and is line with our Equal Opportunities Policy and the school ensures that the RSE teaching programme is an inclusive one and is appropriate and relevant to all pupils, including those with SEN and disabilities. Teachers ensure that the content, approach and use of inclusive language reflect the diversity of the school community, and help all pupils feel valued and included, regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, disability, experiences and family background.
- Where needed, RSE is differentiated to meet the needs of pupils and specialist resources may be used to respond to their individual needs. In some cases pupils have individual support
- In KS3 staff do not offer individual pupils advice on contraception. The teaching programme includes information about local services that can offer confidential information and advice.
- Staff are sensitive to the issues of different types of relationships. Promoting inclusion and reducing discrimination are part of RSE throughout the school and reflect our equality policy. When teaching about relationships and families we include same sex relationships and specific understanding of different types of relationships, including lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships.
- Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic references, language and bullying are not tolerated in school and are challenged and dealt with as part of our commitment to promoting inclusion, gender equality and preventing bullying.
- Teaching about different families is part of RSE and we aim to reflect the broad range of experiences amongst pupils and ensure all pupils feel their family is valued, such as: single parent families; recently divorced parents; parents who are married, parents who are not married, parents who have non-monogamous relationships; lesbian, gay or bisexual parents; children living between two homes; in foster homes; in residential homes and living with relations other than biological parents. We will emphasise the importance of strong and supportive relationships, including marriage (both heterosexual and gay) and civil partnerships, for family life and bringing up children.
Content and organisation of relationships education primary pupils
Where is Relationships Education taught?
Relationships Education will be taught through a planned programme of PSHE and
Citizenship taught as timetabled lessons. Sometimes this will be organised as blocks of teaching e.g. teaching about preventing bullying to coincide with anti-bullying week or integrated into topics such as Me and My family, Keeping Safe and Online Safety.
What is taught in Relationships Education?
Our Relationships Education programme
- Reflects the statutory requirements in the DfE Guidance that describes what needs to be taught by the end of primary (see appendix 1)
- We have planned the curriculum so that the knowledge, skills and attitudes are appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils and progress from one year to another, building on what has been learnt in previous years.
Teaching about difference and diversity
The Government guidance “expects all pupils to have been taught LGBT content at a timely point as part of this area of the curriculum”. This will mean that when pupils learn about families, we will include a wide range of families, including two mums and two dads, and when pupils learn about marriage, they will learn that marriage can be between opposite sex and same sex couples. When children learn about bullying and discriminatory language they will learn that this can happen because people are different or perceived to be different, and this can be because they have a different religion, are a different race, have a disability, or a different sexual orientation.
We use the age related guidelines provided by Camden below to help us decide the right teaching content for the children at Gloucester House taking into account age, stage, emotional development, gaps in knowledge and any traumatic experiences that we may need to consider:
In Year 1 Camden schools teach a topic called Families and children talk about their children’s families to understand that all families are different but that they all love and care for one another. They use story books that show a wide range of family structures, including families with two mums and two dads
From Year 2 they introduce the idea that other people’s families may not be the same as our own, but that is ok and that even though they are different their love and care for one another is what is important and that we respect one another’s’ differences. Children talk about their own family structures which might include families with one parent, with parents who are married, with parents that are not married, families with parents who are divorced where children might have parents and step parents, families where children are living with relatives such as aunts and grandmothers. Teachers introduce a range of family structures to reflect the diversity within the school and within the community such as families where children are fostered and adopted and families where there are two mums and two dads.
The diversity of families is included when children cover the topic of families in Key Stage 2.
Camden library includes a range of information books and storybooks reflecting family diversity and our inclusive values. Age appropriate books are introduced when the subject is being covered in class e.g. when teaching about families. We will access these resources to supplement our own as needed.
Teaching about different relationships
In Year 6 pupils learn that there are different types of romantic relationships, and that these can be between couples of the same and different sex. They learn a basic meaning of the words heterosexual, gay and lesbian.
Teaching about preventing bullying and discriminatory language
Camden are clear that all PHSE will not tolerate any type of bullying or discriminatory language, including using the word lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in an insulting or derogatory way. The Equality Act 2010 requires schools to prevent all types of discrimination.
When Camden teach about bullying in Years 5 and 6, they cover all types of bullying and discriminatory language, including bullying based on race, religion, disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment and sexual orientation. They also learn what homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying mean.
Pupils learn about the impact that bullying and discriminatory language have on people, how these can cause prejudice and discrimination and mental health problems and what we can do to prevent this happening.
Science National Curriculum
All primary schools are required to teach the Science National Curriculum which covers the biological aspects of sex education; growth and development, naming body parts, a basic understanding of the life process of reproduction and the human life cycle. See Appendix 1. Parents do not have the right to withdraw from Science.
Health education and puberty
All primary schools are required to teach statutory Health Education that includes teaching about puberty. Camden begin teaching about puberty for pupils in Year 4 as part of learning about the human life cycle and introduce basic information about the changes for boys and girls that happen at puberty. They continue in Year 5 with more detailed information about what happens at puberty including the physical and emotional changes and revisit this in Year 6 and above as indicated by gaps in knowledge and/or need for over learning.
How is sex education, biological aspects of science and puberty taught at Gloucester House?
These are taught through PSHE and Science in mixed groups to ensure that boys and girls learn the same information. However, sometimes we provide single sex groups to discuss issues with a member of staff of the same sex.
When we teach the biological aspects of science, puberty (Year 5 and 6) and sex education (Year 6) we provide a question box so that pupils can anonymously ask questions and these are then answered by the class teacher.
How is Relationships Education taught?
- We recognise that teaching about some aspects of Relationships Education is sensitive. We consider the teaching of RSE in our multi-disciplinary team. All teachers & supporting staff set a group agreement or ground rules with pupils to ensure that an atmosphere is created where pupils feel able to ask questions, discuss concerns, talk about feelings and relationships, understand about confidentiality, are respectful of one another and do not discuss or ask private information of each other or the teacher.
- We will emphasise the importance of strong and supportive relationships, including marriage and civil partnerships (between opposite and same sex couples), and that caring and loving relationships are at the heart of happy and secure family life.
- Teaching resources are chosen to ensure that they are appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils. They take into account equality of opportunity through their useof language, cultural attitudes, family make-up and images, including body image, avoiding stereotyping, racism and sexism.
- A variety of teaching methods are used that enable pupils to participate and reflect on their learning, role play, quizzes, pair and small group work, mixing groups so that pupils work with a range of peers.
- As we have mixed age classes we usually plan RSE across the classes in order to group pupils according to age and stage. We also offer single gender opportunities/teaching for boys and girls as appropriate. We also use case studies, stories, puppets and role plays to help de-personalise discussions and help pupils gain confidence to talk and listen to each other.
- We ensure that the Relationships Education teaching programme is inclusive and is appropriate and relevant to all pupils. As all of our pupils have complex needs all the Relationships Education is differentiated to meet the needs of pupils and specialist resources may be used to respond to their individual needs. In some instances, pupils have individual support. Much of our RSE work is in small groups.
- Teachers ensure that the content, approach and use of inclusive language reflect the diversity of the school community and wider society, and help all pupils feel valued and included, regardless of their sex, gender, gender identity, race, religion, ability, disability and family structure
- Staff do not discuss details of their personal relationships with pupils
Answering children’s questions
We answer questions honestly and sensitively, appropriate to the age and maturity of the pupils. Some questions may not be answered immediately if the teacher/member of staff feels they need to consult with the SLT, the clinical team or parents/carers. Some questions may be more appropriately answered on a one-to-one basis, rather than with the whole class.
Content and organisation of the RSE Programme for secondary pupils
How we teach RSE to our secondary pupils:
As with our primary aged pupils, the biological aspects of sex and puberty will be taught through science lessons. Relationship and Sex Education will be taught through our PSHE curriculum. This will include group lessons tackling the above topics in a sensitive, open and age appropriate way and individual courses done through ASDAN.
Where is RSE taught?
RSE will be taught as part of the planned PSHEE curriculum in every year as well as in science. This will ensure that it covers the statutory biological aspects, but also the social and emotional aspects. We ensure that the same messages about being safe on line are taught through RSE as in IT/computing.
What is taught in each year group?
The content for each year group covers knowledge, skills and attitudes and is appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils and progresses from one year to another, building on what has been learnt in previous years. It covers statutory science and PSHEE.
We have a statutory duty to teach about HIV and AIDS and sexually transmitted infections as well as the RSE elements of the science national curriculum:
Key Stage 3
- reproduction in humans (as an example of a mammal), including the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle (without details of hormones), gametes, fertilisation, gestation and birth, to include the effect of maternal lifestyle on the foetus through the placenta
Key Stage 4 (we do not have KS4 pupils in Gloucester House)
Coordination and control
- hormones in human reproduction, hormonal and non-hormonal methods of contraception
Who teaches Relationships Education? KS1, 2 & 3
Relationships Education will be taught by the teachers and support staff. Sometimes clinicians are directly involved and sometimes the teaching & themes are discussed in team meetings and other staff forums. Sometimes outside organisations are involved.
We sometimes involve other agencies to enhance rather than replace teacher-led RSE e.g. school nurses and sexual health advisers from local sexual health clinics to deliver RSE, and also can arrange visits to sexual health clinics to find out about local services if appropriate.
Support staff and clinicians support individual pupils to ensure the RSE meets their individual needs.
The school nurse sometimes provides drop in sessions to support pupils on a range of health issues, including puberty
If visitors are involved in Relationships Education, we will
- Plan and evaluate their contribution as part of the school’s RSE teaching programme.
- Ensure their contribution is integrated into our scheme of work
- provide the visitor with an up-to-date copy of the school’s Relationships Education Policy and ensure they adhere to it
- Ensure that there are staff present throughout the lesson/session, taking responsibility for behaviour management and supporting the pupils additional needs
- Follow up the learning in later lessons
Working with parents and carers
As of September, 2020, the Health Education and Relationships Education aspects of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) are now compulsory within PSHE education in all schools.
This covers broad areas of particular relevance and concern to children and young people today – mental health and wellbeing, physical health(including healthy lifestyles and first aid) and learning about safe, healthy relationships, including understanding consent and negotiating life online.
The new statutory requirements do not extend to sex education at KS1 and 2 (Beyond the biological/reproductive aspects schools are already required to cover in science). Parents of UKS2 pupils will have the right to withdraw their child from sex education but not from statutory Relationships Education or Health Education.
We will take every opportunity to inform and involve parents and carers by:
- Making our commitment clear in the school policy and in other Gloucester House information.
- Informing them of topics to be covered on a termly basis.
We shall do this by:
- Writing to inform them of PSHE and RSE topics, and through topic leaflets.
- Case co-ordinators linking with parents/carers and offering a space to express concerns
- Offering parents/carers an outline of areas to be covered and a chance to discuss this with the PHSE co-ordinator
- Examining ways parents and carers can be involved in developing and reviewing RSE delivery.
If a parent or carer has concerns these can be discussed with their case co-ordinator and, if they wish the PHSE co-ordinator. If a parent/carer wishes to withdraw their child from non-statutory sessions alternative arrangements will be made.
We place the utmost importance on sharing responsibility with parents and carers for their children’s education. We do our best to find out about any religious or cultural views which may affect the RSE curriculum and will try to balance parental views with our commitment to comprehensive RSE and equality. We take account of religious and cultural views and aim to balance parental views with our commitment to comprehensive Relationships Education and compliance with the statutory guidance and Equality Act.
We will let parents know what will be taught and when and the resources that will be used and particularly consult parents before Year 6 about what will be taught in sex education and the resources that will be used.
We will take every opportunity to inform and involve parents and carers by
- Making the policy available on the school’s website
- Including a summary of the content and organisation of RSE in the school brochure
- Giving parents the content of the RSE teaching programme as part of the termly information on the curriculum
- Inviting parents and carers to a meeting to discuss the RSE programme
- Inviting parents and carers to a general meeting or workshop to discuss RSE in the school and help them talk to their children about growing up
- Providing materials for parents to use when talking about RSE with their children
- Providing information on RSE for the Parent’s Notice board, and making available a paper copy of the policy for any parent and carer that would like a copy
- Consulting parents on the RSE policy when it is reviewed
- Discussing individual concerns and helping parents and carers support the needs of their children
- Inviting Year 5 and 6 parents to a meeting about what will be taught in relationships education, science and sex education and include tips for talking to their children about relationships education and sex education
Child Withdrawal Procedures
Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from RSE, apart from the statutory national curriculum. This means that parents and carers cannot withdraw their children from RSE aspects of the science national curriculum.
We hope that parents and carers will support this important part of children’s education and we will make sure that all parents and carers know what we will be teaching and when. However we understand that some parents may want to educate their children about these aspects of sex education and parents have the right to request that their child is withdrawn from any or all parts of sex education.
If a parent wishes to withdraw their child from the sex education lessons they must arrange a meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team who will talk through their concerns and discuss the benefits of their child learning about sex education. If they decide to withdraw their child, work will be provided to do in another class/space. We will offer packs of the teaching materials if parents/carers wish to use this with their children at home. Parents can talk to the PSHE Coordinator about the resources to support this.
Even when a child has been withdrawn from RSE lessons, if the child should ask questions at other times, these questions would be answered honestly by staff.
To ensure that the Relationships Education programme meets the needs of pupils, the PSHE Coordinator involves the pupils in reviewing and evaluating the programme each year.
The PSHE Coordinator also gathers feedback from teachers about pupils’ engagement in the curriculum.
Older pupils are involved in raising awareness about relevant RSE issues such as sexual exploitation, domestic violence, keeping safe on line and equality in relationships.
We can provide KS3 pupils where to go to get advice and information locally including young people’s sexual health services, as appropriate
Confidentiality, safeguarding and child protection
Although RSE is not about personal disclosures and personal issues, it is possible that a pupil may disclose personal information. Staff understand that they cannot promise pupils absolute confidentiality, and pupils know this too. Pupils know that teachers cannot offer unconditional confidentiality and are reassured that their best interests will be maintained. They will be reminded that if confidentiality has to be broken, they will be informed first, if possible, and then supported as appropriate. They are encouraged to talk to their parents or carers and are provided with support to do so
Gloucester House upholds the right of any health professional to work within their professional code of conduct. However, when professionals are delivering aspects of RSE in the classroom they are bound by the school’s RSE policy
If staff are concerned in any way that a pupil is at risk of sexual or any other kind of abuse, they will talk to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and follow the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures. If a pupil discloses to a teacher that they are sexually active, or are considering sexual activity, then this would be viewed as a child protection issue.
Pupils’ progress in learning in RSE is assessed as part of the assessment of science and PSHE and citizenship.
Gloucester House overall assessment of curriculum areas such as PSHE and science can cover elements of RSE found in the relevant modules. The outcomes identified for each year on the scheme of work will provide the basis for assessment. This may be formative and involve the teacher, pupil and peer assessment.
Monitoring and evaluating Relationships Education
The PSHE Coordinator monitors teachers’ planning to ensure Relationships Education is being taught.
Pupils and staff are involved in evaluating the Relationships Education teaching programme as part of the annual review of PSHE and Citizenship. There are discussions with staff about the impact of the curriculum on pupil’s learning and their engagement in the learning and the pupils are involved in giving feedback about the PSHE curriculum.
Monitoring will be done in teachers planning evaluation, through evidence in books and on carousels.
Training staff to deliver RSE
It is important that RSE is taught by teachers that are knowledgeable, skilled and confident. We ensure that teachers are trained to teach RSE and provide a range of training opportunities including school based INSET, team teaching, classroom observations and external training courses provided by Camden LA and other organisations.
Training could include:
- What to teach and when
- Leading discussions about attitudes and values
- Information updates
- Practising a variety of teaching methods
- Facilitating group discussions
- Answering questions
- Managing sensitive and controversial issues
Disseminating the policy
A copy of this policy is on the school website.
The policy will be reviewed every 2 years and parents and carers will be informed through the newsletter and school website.
PSHE and Citizenship Co-ordinator
Steering Group Member with a lead on Relationships Education and Sex Education
Designated Safeguarding Lead