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Sex and relationship education policy

Adopted: October 2017

Introduction

This policy covers The Thetford Academy's approach to sex and relationship Education, providing parents/guardians, governors, staff, and students with a clear understanding of the guidelines, expectations, and curriculum that will be delivered in SRE.

Effective sex and relationships education is essential if young people are to make responsible decisions about their lives. The objectives of SRE are to help young people through their physical, moral, and emotional development, where students learn to respect themselves and others through adolescence into adulthood.

The policy will be reviewed in 2020, or before, depending on new government guidelines.

All maintained secondary schools in England have a statutory requirement to teach a programme of sex education including work on HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections.

The aim of this document is to help parents and students to understand the sex and relationships education (SRE) policy and programme within The Thetford Academy. It should be read alongside the Secretary of State's 2000 guidance on SRE which schools must have regard to when putting together such a policy. The Sex Education Forum (SEF) provides comprehensive information and guidance for schools developing their curriculum. We strongly recommend that parents/guardians and students familiarise themselves with the resource before students participate in SRE.

Aims and scope of this policy

This policy aims to:

  • Provide guidance on the variety of issues that can arise when studying SRE.
  • Guide parents, teachers, and students in creating a policy and programme that works in line with the law.
  • The school will ensure it guides teachers on the sensitive issues schools have when tackling the delivery of SRE.
  • The school will make the policy available to all parents, which will outline the practical strategies that will be used when delivering SRE.
  • The school will ensure it works with parents and the wider community to ensure guidance is updated on a regular basis to ensure all understand the SRE programme.
  • All parents have the right to withdraw students from the programme through a written letter stating reasons to the school.
  • The school will ensure it provides a detailed yearly report on how sex and relationship education is monitored and evaluated.

Intended outcomes and beliefs of the school in delivering SRE

  • The school aims to provide clarity and guidance on the following areas of law and guidance to support the students' learning experience.
  • Provide guidance on the variety of issues that can arise when studying SRE.
  • Guide parents, teachers and students in creating a policy and programme that works in line with the law.
  • The school will ensure it guides teachers on the sensitive issues schools have when tackling the delivery of delivering SRE.
  • The school will make the policy available to all parents, which will outline the practical strategies that will be used when delivering SRE.
  • The school will ensure it works with parents and the wider community to ensure guidance is updated on regular basis to ensure all understand the SRE programme.
  • All parents have the right to withdraw students from the programme through a written letter stating reasons to the school.
  • The school will ensure it provides a detailed yearly report on how sex and relationship education is monitored and evaluated.

Aims of sex and relationship education

  • To provide the students with lifelong learning support about physical, moral and emotional development.
  • Students will develop knowledge and understanding of marriage and family life, and what a stable and loving relationship should look like, that has respect, love, and care for those involved.
  • Aspects of the programme will be to look at sex, different sexualities and sexual health. At no point will lessons promote sexual activity or sexual orientation.

There are three main elements to the studies and they fall into the following categories:

  • Attitudes and values
  • Personal and social skills
  • Knowledge and understanding

The overall aims of the school and National Curriculum are:

  • To provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve.
  • To promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of life.

Main elements of SRE

Attitudes and values

  • To learn the importance of values, individual conscience, and moral considerations
  • Learn the value of family life, marriage, and stable and loving relationships
  • Learn the value of respect, love, and care for themselves and each other
  • Consider and understand all the different dilemmas
  • Develop all the different aspects of thinking critically when making decisions

Personal and social skills

  • Learn to manage emotions and relationships
  • Develop self-respect and empathy for others
  • Learn to make the correct choices based on knowledge and understanding
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of consequences based on the choices we make
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of avoiding exploitation and abuse
Knowledge and understanding
  • Learning when physical changes will happen
  • Understand sexuality, reproduction, sexual health, emotions and relationships
  • Learn about the different contraception and the range of local and national sexual health support services
  • Learn and understand the different reasons for delaying sexual activity and also the benefits gained for delaying
  • Avoiding unplanned pregnancy

The benefits of SRE for students

  • Build self-esteem
  • Will be able to understand SRE from both a female and male perspective
  • Gain knowledge of their own responsibilities towards SRE
  • Become a peer educator
  • The opportunity to ask open and honest questions
  • Students will have the opportunity to hand questions into the anonymous questions box
  • Students will complete a variety of class activities, discussion and Q & A to support their knowledge and understanding
  • Learning to make choices based on an understanding of difference and with an absence of prejudice
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning how to recognise and avoid exploitation and abuse
  • Recognising and managing risk
  • Empowering students with the skills to be able to avoid inappropriate pressures or advances

Topics covered by SRE

  • Definitions of all the key terms and topics linked to sex and relationship education
  • Changes in the body in relation to puberty, such as periods and voice breaking
  • When these changes will occur, and issues that can arise from this
  • How a baby is conceived and born
  • Provide details about the different types of contraception, safe sex and how it can be accessed
  • Helping pupils clarify their knowledge of HIV/AIDS and STls
  • Teaching them assertiveness skills for negotiating relationships
  • Enabling them to become effective users of services that help prevent/treat STls and HIV
  • Sex and relationship education should inform young people about condom use and safer sex in general
  • Young people need factual information about safer sex and skills to enable them to negotiate safer sex

The role of the school and the values to delivering SRE

  • To teach the students about relationships, care, and love and the responsibilities about parenthood as well as sex
  • To ensure both genders fully under the importance of SRE
  • To build self-esteem
  • To teach the responsibility and consequences of actions in relation to sexual activity and parenthood
  • To provide information on the different types of contraception, safe sex, and how they can access local sources of further advice and treatment
  • Use young people as peer educators
  • To provide a clear understanding of the arguments for delaying sexual activity and resisting pressure
  • To link sex and relationships with other peer pressure and risk-taking activities and behaviour
  • To teach and ensure all students understand the laws surrounding sexual relationships
  • All material used by the school will be used in accordance with the PSHE guidelines
  • To contribute to a reduction in local and national teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and abortion rates
  • To provide knowledge about sources of help and how to access such help if necessary
  • It at any stage during the lessons and feedback staff believe a student is at risk they will use the school safeguarding policy to raise these concerns
  • To dispel myths and misunderstandings

The role of the teacher in SRE and the SRE team

  • It is the role of the teacher to ensure lessons and topics are delivered with the most current and effective sources of delivery.
  • All teachers must ensure the safety and welfare of their pupils inside and outside of the classroom and any concerns are raised with the school safeguarding team.
  • All teachers will avoid providing a personal answer that could influence the decision making of the students.
  • The staff delivering the programme will be trained and will all be able to deliver the lessons through the SMSC department and current curriculum leader CSP. Other outside sources like the NHS and community nurses will provide additional support in this area.
  • The senior leadership team will endeavour to support the provision and development of SRE in line with this policy by providing leadership and adequate resourcing.
  • The designated PSHE co-ordinator will maintain an overview of SRE provision and have overall responsibility for its development. This will include keeping up to date with developments and good practice, developing the provision to meet student needs, providing support and resources for staff, arranging staff training, liaison with outside agencies, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Governors have responsibilities for school policies. They will be consulted about the SRE provision and policy and have regular reports at governors' meetings.

Role of the parent/carer

  • They have a legal right to view this policy and to have information about the school's SRE provision.
  • They also have a legal right to withdraw their children from dedicated sex education lessons if they wish. The school will seek and take account of parent/carer views and endeavour to adopt a partnership approach with parents/carers. This will include information/education workshops for parents/carers. The school's approach to SRE will encourage dialogue between parents/carers and their children.

Confidentiality and support

All students will start from the same point but once the knowledge and understanding of individual needs is determined, tasks and activities will be delivered to ensure we meet the student's needs.

The school will ensure equality by ensuring lessons help students to realise the nature and consequences of discrimination. Teasing, bullying, and aggressive behaviours, or any use of prejudice-behaviour, will not be tolerated in lessons and incidents will be dealt with in accordance with the school behaviour and/or safeguarding policy.

The school will ensure the key messages and topics are delivered to ensure all students are provided with the best possible opportunities, irrespective of disability, educational needs, race, religion nationality or sexual orientation, whilst ensuring sensitivity in all areas.

The responsible officer

The principal will have overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this policy. The principal will maintain a record of concerns raised and the outcomes (but in a form which does not endanger  confidentiality) and will report as necessary to the governing body.

Monitoring, evaluation, and review

The academy will review this policy every three years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the academy.

The principal will report on the effectiveness of the policy to the governing body.