Sex education policy
Adopted: September 2017
Sex and relationships education (SRE) is a lifelong learning process of acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs and attitudes about sex, sexuality, relationships and feelings. It can make a significant contribution to the development of the personal skills needed by people if they are to establish and maintain relationships. It also enables young people to make responsible and informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
The importance of sexual relationships in all our lives is such that SRE is a crucial part of preparing children for their lives now and in the future as adults and parents. All students have an entitlement to sex education which should encourage them to respect themselves and others. SRE should be delivered in such a way that it will be in the context of family life education.
The 1996 Education Act states that all schools are required to provide an SRE programme that includes (as a minimum) information about sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. The sex education elements contained in the National Curriculum Science Orders are also mandatory . All schools must provide an up to date policy that describes the content and organisation of SRE provided outside the National Curriculum Science Order.
All those who teach aspects of SRE within school, including visitors, are expected to be guided by the following values which represent those values held in common by the whole school community. The teaching of SRE will encourage students to:
- Value and respect themselves
- Value and respect others for who they are, not for what they have or what they can do
- Value healthy sexual relationships which are based on mutual respect, care and goodwill
- Value and respect difference in people's religion, culture, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability and social background
- Value and respect their own and others' rights to make choices in sexual relationships after having accepted responsibility for considering the consequences of those choices
- Value stable and loving relationships for the nurturing of children and as the basis of a society in which people care for one another
- To promote an acceptable climate of discussion between men and women, girls and boys, children and parents, so that SRE in its widest sense can begin where it should, at an early age and in the home.
- To input a thorough understanding of the human life cycle.
- To remove ignorance and fear of sexual matters by providing the necessary information.
- To promote a considerate way of life, particularly in sexual matters which have great potential for causing human happiness or misery.
- To enable individuals to make responsible decisions about their own personal lives, whilst realising that many choices in this field are irrational.
PSHEE and CP
The main input which is not primarily concerned with biological aspects will be delivered in the form time programme by form tutors who receive training and suitable materials and advice as to the approach to this sensitive area of the curriculum, under the guidance of the vice principal responsible for behaviour, safety and personal wellbeing.
Hewett Academy liaises with the three feeder primary schools and will build upon previous experience.
Personal wellbeing: sex and relationships education
Personal wellbeing helps young people embrace change, feel positive about who they are and enjoy healthy, safe, responsible and fulfilled lives.
- Personal identities:
- Understanding the factors that contribute to personal identities is essential if students are to accept and value themselves and develop confidence and self-esteem.
- Having a positive sense of personal identity helps students feel confident about roles and responsibilities and about making a positive contribution to society.
- Healthy lifestyle:
- Recognising that healthy lifestyles, and the wellbeing of self and others, depend on information and making responsible choices.
- Dealing with growth and change as normal parts of growing up.
- Understanding that individuals need to manage risk to themselves and others.
- Developing the confidence to try new ideas and face challenges safely, individually and in groups.
- Understanding that relationships affect everything we do in our lives.
- Understanding that relationship skills have to be learnt and practised.
- Personal and social skills:
- Critical reflection
- Decision-making and managing risk
- Developing relationships and working with others
Range and content
Key Stage 3
- Sexual activity:
- Physical and emotional change and puberty.
- Sexual activity, human reproduction, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and how high-risk behaviours affect the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
- The features of positive and stable relationships, how to deal with a breakdown in a relationship and the effects of loss and bereavement.
- Different types of relationships, including those within families and between older and young people of the same sex, including civil partnerships.
- The nature and importance of stable relationships for family life and bringing up children.
- The roles and responsibilities of parents, carers and children in families.
Key Stage 4
- The benefits and risks of health and lifestyle choices, including choices relating to sexual activity, and the short and long-term consequences for the health and mental and emotional wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
- Where and how to obtain health information, how to recognise and follow health and safety procedures, ways of reducing risk and minimising harm in risky situations and how to find sources of emergency help.
- Characteristics of positive relationships, and awareness of exploitation in relationships and of statutory and voluntary organisations that support relationships in crisis.
- The roles and responsibilities of parents, carers, children and other family members.
- Parenting skills and qualities and their central importance to family life.
Key Stage 3
- Human fertilisation
- Physical and emotional changes during adolescence
- Human reproductive system including the menstrual cycle
- Development of the foetus
- How the growth and reproduction of bacteria and the replication of viruses can affect health
Key Stage 4
- The way in which hormonal control occurs, including the effects of sex hormones
- Medical uses of hormones, including the control and promotion of fertility
- The defence mechanisms of the body
- How sex is determined in humans including the genetic code
- Making ethical decisions in relation to genetic testing
Teaching and learning styles
It is essential that a range of teaching and learning styles is used from formal whole group situations to small group (fours/pairs) right through to individual study. This should provide a range of opportunities for discussion, information dissemination and most importantly individual enquiry. Similarly tasks and resources should be as varied as possible to ensure interest and enjoyment and equal access to information for all. Tasks will be differentiated to allow all students to understand at their own level.
The teaching context should always be considered carefully with a view to creating a relaxed pleasant environment for lessons to take place. Allowance should be made within the teaching context for genuine confidentiality.
A factor in all lessons should be the right of a student to 'pass' when she/he feels unable to express a view. In addition it is important to provide opportunities for questions on which students require further information either to be asked or to be recorded without name. These should be answered in a whole group context on a subsequent occasion.
Leaflets and information
Leaflets and pamphlets are used to provide very up-to-date information. Absent students are given the information upon return. Those students who join outside the main cohort also receive leaflets retrospectively.
In principle, boys and girls should have access to all leaflets, even if they are targeted for teaching in boy/girl segregated groups. However, some leaflets may only be appropriate to one sex e.g. testicular self-examination.
Additional sources of information
All students are taught to access arrange of online resources, including the NHS website. This allows them individually to find information on a range of health issues including STIs and contraception.
The SRE does not aim to provide individual advice to students. Teachers are not health professionals and are not qualified to give advice to individuals. In general teachers should not promise the students confidentiality. Nevertheless, if required, support will be given by pastoral support staff, the tutor, the vice principal or the principal.
The school has a separate safeguarding policy. Effective SRE may bring about disclosures of child protection issues and staff should be aware of the procedures for reporting their concerns.
If a member of staff learns that a student under 16 years old is sexually active or contemplating sexual activity the school will ensure that:
- The young person is persuaded to talk to their parent/carer
- Child protection issues are addressed
- The young person receives adequate counselling and information
- The principal will monitor the frequency of cases where they handle information without parental knowledge
Issues relating to parents
Any parent may withdraw their child from SRE, except in so far as it remains in the National Curriculum in science. Any parent wishing to withdraw their child should discuss their concerns with the principal.
Any parent wishing to make a complaint about the teaching of SRE at Hewett Academy should in the first instance see the principal. If the problem remains unsolved the parent should inform the clerk to the governors in writing.
Issues relating to staff
Information concerning this policy will be disseminated to all staff through the pastoral system.
The governors will review this policy at least annually.