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Sex & Relationships Policy

St Mark’s CE Primary School

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) Policy

 

Approval Date: Spring 21

Review Date: Spring 23

Head Teacher: Laura Kelsey

Chair of Governors: Denise Harbour

 

 

Together

in God’s love

we will shine.

 

  • We will provide a secure and happy learning environment where everyone is valued
  • In partnership with the home, the Church and our local community, we will foster a lifelong love of learning
  • We will become thoughtful, responsible citizens in the Global community

 

  • We believe that every child is an individual with equal rights to our care, time and attention
  • We nurture and support each other on our journey of discovery, knowledge and faith
  • We will create an environment in which everyone learns that he/she is made in the image of God

 

 

  • We will develop joyous learners with high self-esteem
  • We will encourage a natural curiosity and excitement for learning
  • Through creative, challenging and personalised teaching and learning, each child will achieve.

 

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) Policy

Aims

At St Mark’s CE Primary School, we believe that Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives, in order to become informed, active and responsible citizens. Under the new guidance issued by the DfE, by September 2020, Relationships Education and Health Education at primary school will be compulsory. The Sex Education elements are not statutory however, as this is covered within the Science Curriculum, we believe that it is important that it is embedded within RSHE programme. RSHE enhances and is enhanced by learning related to topics including anti-bullying; keeping safe on and off line; keeping physically and mentally healthy, learning about drugs, alcohol and tobacco; and the development of skills and attributes such as communication skills, managing peer pressure, risk management, resilience and decision making.

 

The aims of RSHE at St Marks are to:

 

  • Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all pupils
  • Prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
  • Encourage pupils to value themselves and others
  • Allow pupils to acknowledge and appreciate difference and diversity
  • Teach pupils how to make informed choices
  • Prepare pupils to be positive and active members of a democratic society
  • Teach pupils to understand what constitutes a safe and healthy lifestyle
  • Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
  • Promote safety in forming and maintaining relationships
  • Provide pupils with a toolkit for understanding and managing their emotions
  • Provide pupils with the opportunities to consider issues which may affect their own lives and/or the lives of others
  • Help pupils to identify the characteristics of healthy relationships, how relationships may affect mental and physical health; and how to stay safe online
  • 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

 

Statutory requirements

At St Marks CE Primary School, we teach RSHE as set out in this policy. The Department for Education is introducing compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary pupils from September 2020. Also, from September 2020, it will be compulsory for all schools to teach Health Education. Through these subjects, we want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe – we want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. At St Marks, we have committed to retain our current choice to continue to teach age-appropriate Sex Education alongside Relationships Education. In doing so, we have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State as outlined in Section 403 of the Education Act 1996.

Definitions

RSHE is part of lifelong learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, human sexuality and sexual health. RSHE aims to give children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and the skills to stay safe both on- and off-line. It enables pupils to explore their own and other’s attitudes and values and builds their self-esteem and confidence to view their own sexuality positively. RSHE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.

Relationships education (statutory)

Primary Relationships education is learning about the physical, social, legal and emotional aspects of human relationships including friendships, family life and relationships with other children and adults. Relationships education supports children to be safe, happy and healthy in their interactions with others now and in the future.

Sex Education (non-statutory)

Sex education is learning about the physical, social, legal and emotional aspects of human sexuality and behaviour, including human reproduction. This includes conception and contraception, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections and sexual health. This last definition covers both primary and secondary. At St Marks, we will not cover all these aspects of Sex Education although they may come up in class discussions. We will cover conception, pregnancy and birth where appropriate.

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. Pupil consultation – we investigated what exactly pupils want from their RSHE lessons via a pupil focus group and questionnaire.
  2. Review – a member of staff coordinated national and local guidance and built the curriculum in accordance to West Sussex’s Education 4 Safeguarding Programme.
  3. Staff consultation –the policy was shared, reviewed and amended by school staff.
  4. Parent consultation – the policy was shared with Parents and amended according to the feedback received.
  5. Ratification – the policy was shared with and reviewed and approved by the full Governing Body.

 

Our RSHE Curriculum

RSHE will replace the previous personal, social and health (PSHE) curriculum and will incorporate some biological aspects of the sex education currently taught within the science curriculum.

RSHE will be provided through a combination of:

  • Discrete curriculum time
  • Teaching through and in other subjects/curriculum areas
  • Enrichment activities and school events
  • School assemblies

 

RSHE Curriculum Overview: Key Stage 1

Cornerstones

2020-2021

Whole school themes

Fern (Year 1/2)

Relationships and Sex Education

Autumn 1

 

 

 

Being Safe (Week 1 & 2)

Worries and Asking for Help

Body Privacy and Saying Yes or No (PANTS rule)

Online relationships & Media (Week 3, 4 & 5)

Private and Privacy

Being safe in unfamiliar situations 

Feeling and Attitudes (Week 6 & 7)

Feeling happy and sad

Feelings and impact on self and others

Coping with feelings and change

Autumn 2

 

 

 

 

Identity (Week 8 & 9)

Changes in growth

Boys, girls and Stereotypes

Similarities and Differences

Family & Friendship, Relationships (Week 10, 11 & 12)

Special people

Friends and friendship

Digital and Media Literacy

Spring 1

Online Content and Critical Thinking (Week 1 & 2)

Sources of internet information

Self-Image and Mental Health and Wellbeing (Week 3, 4 & 5)

Online activities

Identities online and offline

Online Relationships and Cyberbullying (Week 6 & 7)

Communicating with others online

Spring 2

Online Reputation (Week 8, 9 & 10)

Digital footprints

Risks of sharing online

Staying Safe Online (Week 11 & 12)

Privacy and information

Physical Health and Wellbeing

Summer 1

Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco (Week 1 & 2)

Looking after our bodies safely

Medicines and safety

Keeping Safe and Risks (Week 3, 4 & 5)

Feeling safe

Fair and unfair/right and wrong/rules

Keeping Safe and Emergencies (Week 6 & 7)

Helping us stay safe

Staying safe in emergencies

Summer 2

Hygiene & Protecting Your Health (Week 8, 9 & 10)

Well, unwell and spread of germs

Keeping clean

Eating Well and Being Active (Week 11 & 12)

Being healthy and active

Food practice and choice

 

RSHE Curriculum Overview: Key Stage 2

Cornerstones

2020-2021

Theme

Bramble (Year 3/4)

Laurel (Year 5/6)

 

Relationships and Sex Education

Autumn 1

 

 

 

Being Safe (Week 1 & 2)

Early warning signs, saying yes or no, secrets

Body Privacy

Body Safety

 

Early warning signs, saying yes or no, secrets

Body Privacy

Body Safety and FGM

Physical contact & Appropriate Touch

Online relationships & Media (Week 3, 4 & 5)

Personal boundaries and the right to privacy

Pressure to share and dares

Personal boundaries and the right to privacy

Pressure to share and dares

Feeling and Attitudes (Week 6 & 7)

Changing feelings

Challenging the impact of feelings on self

Dealing with strong feelings

Changing feelings

Challenging the impact of feelings on self

Dealing with strong feelings

Autumn 2

 

 

 

 

 

Identity (Week 8 & 9)

Gender expectations

Body changes and puberty

Media influences: Masculinity and Femininity

Gender expectations

Body changes and puberty

Media influences: Masculinity and Femininity

Family & Friendship, Relationships (Week 10, 11 & 12)

Relationships and Conception

Changes in relationships (When Relationships go wrong)

Types or relationship (love and commitment)

Relationships and Conception

Changes in relationships (When Relationships go wrong)

Types or relationship (love and commitment)

Digital and Media Literacy

Spring 1

Online Content and Critical Thinking (Week 1 & 2)

Validity of information

Online vs real world

Validity of information

Online vs real world

Self-Image and Mental Health and Wellbeing (Week 3, 4 & 5)

Managing time online

Identities online and influence

Managing time online

Identities online and influence

Online Relationships and Cyberbullying (Week 6 & 7)

Knowing people online

Cyberbullying and negative behaviours

Knowing people online

Cyberbullying and negative behaviours

Spring 2

Online Reputation (Week 8, 9 & 10)

Online profiles and age appropriateness

Online profiles and age appropriateness

Staying Safe Online (Week 11 & 12)

Online security/sharing information

Legal use of information

Online security/sharing information

Legal use of information

Physical Health and Wellbeing

Summer 1

Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco (Week 1 & 2)

Drugs and usage

Everyday substances inc caffeine

Tobacco and smoking

Pressure influence

Drugs and usage

Everyday substances inc caffeine

Tobacco and smoking

Pressure influence

Keeping Safe and Risks (Week 3, 4 & 5)

Safety rules and laws

Making decision, taking risks and influences

Safety rules and laws

Making decision, taking risks and influences

Keeping Safe and Emergencies (Week 6 & 7)

Responsibility to be safe

Risk, hazard and emergency

Responsibility to be safe

Risk, hazard and emergency

Summer 2

Hygiene & Protecting Your Health (Week 8, 9 & 10)

Cleanliness, germs and immunisation

Sleep and health

Cleanliness, germs and immunisation

Sleep and health

Eating Well and Being Active (Week 11 & 12)

Healthier lifestyle choices

Habit and choices

Influence of exercise and consequence of choice

Healthier lifestyle choices

Habit and choices

Influence of exercise and consequence of choice

 

At St Marks, we have developed our own RSHE scheme of work for Years 1-6, which is based on the West Sussex Education 4 Safeguarding materials and takes into account the local context and the needs of the children in school. These lessons are based around Cornerstones which change half-termly. These subjects are designed to foster respect for others, for diversity and educate pupils about healthy relationships. The Curriculum Overview will be reviewed regularly (and adjusted if required) to take account of changing needs of the school and the locality. The content will be taught in mixed age classes unless the content is not appropriate for a particular year group.

RSHE will be delivered using a range of teaching and learning methods:

  • Teaching will start from and build upon the children’s current knowledge, understanding, skills, language, experience, concerns and interests. Starting points may be determined through diagnostic activities and discussion.
  • Wherever possible, contexts for learning should be relevant to the children and make use of actual situations and current issues.
  • Lessons to embed a high degree of active participation by children, and active learning techniques will be used.
  • Organisation and management in the classroom should offer children opportunities for working individually and collaboratively in pairs and groups.

 

We believe that RSHE should meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity – this should include age-appropriate teaching about different types of relationships in the context of the law. Pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships, which are delivered at St Marks for example, through teaching about different types of family, including those with same sex parents.

Dealing with Questions during Sex Education

Clear boundaries for questioning are established and ground rules set as to what is appropriate and inappropriate. Whilst personal questions will not be answered, teachers are ready to deal with questions on relationships and sexuality, naturally and honestly, as and when they arise. If a teacher is asked a question that is too explicit, is age inappropriate or raises questions about sexual abuse, then it will be acknowledged with a promise to attend to it later, on an individual basis. If a question is raised that alerts a member of staff that a child is at risk of sexual abuse, school child protection procedures will be followed.

Dealing with sensitive and controversial issued

Sensitive and controversial issues, such as sex, drugs, racism, religion and politics, are certain to arise in RSHE teaching. The exploration of these issues will touch deeply held beliefs and values and may provoke strong feelings. Part of the purpose of RSHE is to enable children to address sensitive and controversial issues directly in a balanced way and in a safe environment. The Education Act 1996 aims to ensure that children are not presented by their teachers with only one side of political or controversial issues. Teachers will take all reasonably practical steps to ensure that, where political or controversial issues are brought to pupils’ attention, they are offered a balanced presentation with due regard being given to opposing views.

Confidentiality                                     

In the context of RSHE, children sometimes make personal disclosures. Children must be made aware that it is necessary for the school to act upon certain disclosures that they may make, for instance in relation to activities that are illegal or harmful to themselves or others. ‘Ground-rules’ will be set by Class Teachers to clarify boundaries before tackling any sensitive or controversial issue. Where there is a ’disclosure’, the member of staff should discuss the matter with the Head Teacher.

 

Pupils with SEND

As far as is appropriate, pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) follow the same RSHE education programme as all other students. Careful consideration is given concerning the level of differentiation needed, and in some cases the content or delivery will have to be adapted. Teachers and/or Teaching Assistants should work with individual pupils where required, and if appropriate. Pupils with SEND will not be withdrawn from RSHE education to catch up on other national curriculum subjects: we believe these aspects of personal and social development are as important to all pupils as well as their academic achievement.

Pupils

Pupils are expected to engage fully in RSHE and treat others with respect and sensitivity during discussions and activities.

Roles and Responsibilities

The governing body will approve the RSHE policy and hold the Head Teacher to account for its implementation. The Head Teacher is responsible for ensuring that RSHE is taught consistently across the school, and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from components of RSHE.

Staff

Staff are responsible for:

· Delivering RSHE in a sensitive way

· Modelling positive attitudes to RSHE

· Monitoring progress

· Responding to the needs of all pupils

· Responding appropriately to pupils whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from the [non statutory/non-science] components of RSHE

· Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching RSHE. Staff who have concerns about teaching RSHE are encouraged to discuss this with the Head Teacher.

Parents’ Right to Withdraw

As a school, we understand that the primary role in children’s relationships and sex education lies with parents and carers. We wish to build a positive and supportive relationship with the parents and carers of the pupils at our school through mutual understanding, trust and co-operation. In promoting this objective, we:

• Make available online, via the school’s website, this RSHE policy and the curriculum overview

• Answer any questions that parents may have about the RSHE education of their child;

• Take seriously any issue that parents raise with teachers or governors about this policy or the arrangements for RSHE in the school;

• Inform parents about the best practice known regarding RSHE, so that the teaching in school supports the key messages that parents and carers give to children at home.

We believe that, through this mutual exchange of knowledge and information, children will benefit from being given consistent messages about their changing body and their increasing responsibilities.

Parents/Carers are not able to withdraw their child from Relationships Education in primary school or secondary school as the contents of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught.

Parents are able to withdraw their child from primary school classes which address Sex Education - i.e. those that do not sit within the Relationships Education curriculum. Maintained primary schools are required to teach National Curriculum Science, which includes some elements of Sex Education. Parents do not have a right to withdraw from this.

Parents will be notified in advance of the start of the Sex Education phase of teaching. If a parent wishes their child to be withdrawn from the Sex Education elements of RSHE, they should discuss this with the Head Teacher, and make it clear which aspects of the programme they do not wish their child to participate in. Parents should be aware that schools are legally required to provide a broad, balanced curriculum. Sex Education topics can arise incidentally and overlap with Relationships Education lessons and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions. Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing and addressed to the Head Teacher. A copy of withdrawal requests will be placed in the pupil’s educational record. The Head Teacher will discuss the request with parents and take appropriate action. Alternative work will be given to pupils who are withdrawn from these lessons.

Training

Staff are trained on the delivery of RSHE as part of their induction and it is included in our continuing professional development calendar. On occasion, visitors from outside the school, such as school nurses or sexual health professionals, may be invited into the school to provide support and training to staff teaching RSE.

Monitoring Arrangements

The delivery of RSHE is monitored by the RSHE Subject Leader through lesson observations, learning walks, feedback from staff and children. Pupils’ development in RSHE is monitored by class teachers as part of our internal assessment systems.

 

 

This policy will be reviewed every two years. At every review, the policy will be shared with parents for comment before being approved by the governing body and headteacher.

 

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