Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) Statement – 2021/22

1.  Aims 

The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) at our school are to:

  • Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
  • Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
  • Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
  • Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
  • Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
  • Ensure that pupils feel safe, happy and able to learn (our three rights) in RSE lessons. 2.

2. Statutory requirements  

As a maintained primary school we must provide relationships education to all pupils as per section 34 of the Children and Social work act 2017.

However, we are not required to provide sex education but we are required to teach the elements of sex education contained in the science curriculum.

In teaching RSE, we must have regard to guidance issued by the secretary of state as outlined in section 403 of the Education Act 1996.

At Barrow CEVC Primary School we teach RSE as set out in this policy.

  3. Policy development 

This policy has been developed in consultation with staff, pupils and parents. The consultation and policy development process involved the following steps:

1. Review – a member of staff or working group pulled together all relevant information including relevant national and local guidance

2. Staff consultation – all school staff were given the opportunity to look at the policy and make recommendations

3. Parent/stakeholder consultation – parents and any interested parties were invited to read and provide feedback about the policy.

4. Pupil consultation – we investigated what exactly pupils want from their RSE

5. Ratification – once amendments were made, the policy was shared with governors and ratified

  4. Definition  

RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and involves learning about relationships, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity.

RSE involves a combination of sharing information, and exploring issues and values.

RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.

RSE includes work relating to scientific aspects such as body parts and their function.

  5. Curriculum 

We have developed the curriculum in consultation with parents, pupils and staff, considering the age, needs and feelings of pupils. If pupils ask questions outside the scope of this policy, teachers will respond in an appropriate manner, which might be to advise them to talk to their parents, so pupils are fully informed and don’t seek answers online.

Primary sex education in Year 6 will focus on:

  • The physical changes that puberty brings
  • The emotional changes that puberty brings
  • Information about the menstrual cycle, including where to obtain support in school and looking after health and well-being during the menstrual cycle.
  • The teaching of correct name for sexual organs, so as to avoid misconceptions and inappropriate language/insults.

  6. Delivery of RSE 

RSE is taught within the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum. Biological aspects of RSE are taught within the science curriculum, and other aspects are included in religious education (RE).

Pupils also receive stand-alone sex education sessions delivered by a teacher. These cover the topics outlined in the paragraph 5.

Relationships education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships including:

  • Families and people who care for me
  • Caring friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • Online relationships
  • Being safe

For more information about our RSE curriculum, see section 10.

 These areas of learning are taught within the context of family life taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances (families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: looked after children or young carers).

  7. Roles and responsibilities 

7.1 The governing body 

The governing board will approve the RSE policy, and hold the headteacher to account for its implementation. The governing board has delegated the review of this policy to The Learning And Achievement Committee.

7.2 The headteacher 

The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that RSE is taught consistently across the school, and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from non-statutory/non-science components of RSE.

7.3 Staff 

Staff are responsible for:

  • Delivering RSE in a sensitive way
  • Modelling positive attitudes to RSE
  • Monitoring progress
  • Responding to the needs of individual pupils
  • Responding appropriately to pupils whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from the non-statutory/nonscience components of RSE

Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching RSE. Staff who have concerns about teaching RSE are encouraged to discuss this with the headteacher.

7.4 Pupils

Pupils are expected to engage fully in RSE and, when discussing issues related to RSE, treat others with respect and sensitivity.

  8. Parents’ right to withdraw 

Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from relationships education. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the components of non-statutory sex education (see paragraph 10) within RSE. Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing using the form found in Appendix 1 of this policy and addressed to the headteacher.

Alternative work will be given to pupils who are withdrawn from sex education.

  9. Training  

Staff are trained on the delivery of RSE. It is included in our continuing professional development calendar.

The headteacher will also invite visitors from outside the school, such as school nurses or sexual health professionals, to provide support and training to staff teaching RSE where appropriate and where required.

10. Curriculum Organisation

Our Relationships Education Curriculum, 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:

  • Families and People who care for me
  • Caring Friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • Online Relationships
  • Being Safe

Our PSHE topic structure does not separate delivery of Relationships Education from Health Education and wider PSHE. 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:

  • Anti-bullying
  • Digital Lifestyles
  • Diversity and Communities
  • Family and Friends
  • Managing Change
  • My Emotions
  • Personal Safety
  • Relationships and Sex Education

Also: Working Together, Beginning and Belonging, Rights, Rules and Responsibilities

Relationships Education will be taught in:

PSHE through designated lessons, circle time, focused events and health weeks

Other curriculum areas, especially Science, English, RE, PE and computing

Enrichment activities, especially our assembly programme, social skills groups, involvement in school trips and adventurous activities, activities carried out as part of our development as a healthy school.

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

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.

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 Y5/6.

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.)

Y3/4 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.

Y5/6 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.

  11. Monitoring arrangements 

The delivery of RSE is monitored by Mrs Woodland (PSHE lead) and the leadership team. Pupils’ development in RSE is monitored by class teachers as part of our internal assessment systems. Any safeguarding concerns during the course of RSE and PSHE teaching will be brought to the attention of a DSL (Mrs Woodland, Mrs Ashe and Miss Fairweather).

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