Sex and relationship education policy
Adopted: November 2017
Ethos and values
Sex and relationship education (SRE) will reflect the values of the PSHE and citizenship programme. SRE will be taught in the context of relationships. In addition SRE will promote self-esteem and emotional health and wellbeing and help them form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others, at home, school, work and in the community.
According to the Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (DfE 0116/2000, SRE is "lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of loving and caring relationships."
Contributing to the foundation of PSHE, the school’s SRE programme aims to "explore attitudes and values with children about relationships, emotions, self-esteem and personal safety". Children will develop skills in order to make positive decisions about their health-related behaviour. During SRE children will "develop personal and social skills and a positive attitude to growing up".
The school aims to provide a graduated, age-appropriate SRE programme emphasising the social and emotional aspects of relationships.
Education about relationships for 3-7 year olds will focus on the building of self-esteem and confidence by encouraging learners to:
- Respect, value and care for themselves and others
- Value recognise and communicate their feelings
- Form friendships and relationships
- Respect boundaries – their own and other people's
SRE will teach 7-11 year olds to understand:
- The range of their own and others’ feelings and emotions
- The importance of personal safety and what to do or to whom to go when feeling unsafe
- To develop and use communication skills and assertiveness skills to cope with the influences of their peers and the social media
- To be prepared for puberty and adulthood, including physical and emotional changes that take place at puberty, including conception, pregnancy and birth
Sex and relationship education is delivered through PSHE and science learning. A planned and co-ordinated approach to each subject can provide an appropriate framework for SRE to take place providing pupils with a consistent message.
SRE is taught by classroom teachers, teaching assistants and if appropriate, outside visitors such as the school nurse. A range of teaching methods include use of video, discussion, looking at case studies, drama and role-play.
Sex and relationship education is usually delivered in mixed-gender groups; however, there may be occasions where single-gender groups are more appropriate and relevant.
The minimum statutory requirement for SRE is that schools must deliver the national curriculum for science to all children within school:
Key Stage 1
- Animals, including humans, move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce.
- Children should name and recognise the main external parts of the human body.
- That humans can produce offspring and these grow into adults.
- Children should recognise similarities.
Key Stage 2
- That the life processes common to humans and other animals include nutrition, growth and reproduction.
- The main stages of the human life cycle, including puberty.
Dealing with difficult topics/questions
All teachers are aware of the ground rules which provide an agreed structure to answering sensitive or difficult questions. Teachers will endeavour to answer questions as honestly as possible but if faced with a question they do not feel comfortable answering within the classroom, provision would be made to meet the individual child’s needs.
- ‘Silly questions’ Children are testing boundaries and have no interest in the answer. In this case, teachers will not answer questions, and explain that they are inappropriate.
- ‘Concerning questions’ These could possibly be indicative of safeguarding issues. In this case, teachers will follow the school safeguarding procedures.
- ‘Genuine questions’ The child has a genuine but age-inappropriate question.
In this case, the child’s question will be acknowledged, with a promise to return to it later. The class teacher will then consult with the child’s parents, and discuss if they would like to answer, or they want school to answer, in the case of the latter, it will be discussed with parents how much information they are happy for their child to have.
The school informs parents when aspects of the sex and relationship programme are taught and will be given an outline of the lessons in advance so they are able to make an informed decision.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from those aspects of sex and relationship education, not included in the science national curriculum.
"If the parent of any pupil in attendance at a maintained school requests that he may be wholly or partly excused from receiving sex education at the school, the pupil shall, except so far as such education is comprised in the National Curriculum, be so excused accordingly until the request is withdrawn." Education Act 1996 (Section 405)
Teachers need to be aware that effective sex and relationship education, which brings an understanding of what is and is not acceptable in a relationship, may lead to disclosure of a child protection issue.
- The staff member will inform the headteacher/designated child protection person in line with the procedures for child protection.
- A member of staff cannot promise confidentiality if concerns exist.
Monitoring, assessing and reviewing
To ensure that the policy is adhered to and is effective, it will be monitored, reviewed and evaluated regularly. The school will assess the effectiveness of the aims, content and methods in promoting pupils’ learning by lesson observation, sampling teachers planning, questionnaires to teachers and children and feedback from parents. The effectiveness of the SRE programme will be evaluated by assessing children’s learning and implementing change if required.