Sex and relationship education Policy

1 Introduction

1.1 In this document, sex and relationship education is defined as ‘learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about understanding the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and personal hygiene. Sex and relationship education is part of the personal, social and health education curriculum in our school. While we use sex and relationship education to inform children about sexual issues, we do this with regard to matters of morality and individual responsibility. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity.

2 Aims and objectives

We teach children about:

Attitudes and values

  • Learning the importance of values and individual conscience and moral consideration;
  • Learning the value of family life, marriage and stable loving relationships for the nurture of children.
  • Learning the value of respect, love and care;
  • Exploring, considering and understanding moral dilemmas

Personal and social skills-

  • Learning to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively;
  • Developing self respect and empathy for others;
  • 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.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Learning and understanding physical development at appropriate stages;
  • Understanding human reproduction, emotions and relationships

3 Context

3.1 We teach sex and relationship education in the context of the school’s aims and values framework. While sex and relationship education in our school means that we give children information about sexual behaviour, we do this with an awareness of the moral code and values which underpin all our work in school. In particular, we teach sex and relationship education in the belief that:

  • sex education should be taught in the context of a stable, loving relationship ideally within marriage and family life;
  • sex and relationship education is part of a wider social, personal, spiritual and moral education process;
  • children should be taught to have respect for their own bodies;
  • children should learn about their responsibilities to themselves and others, and be aware of the consequences of sexual activity;
  • it is important to build positive relationships with others, involving trust and respect;
  • children need to learn the significance of self-control in relationships and emotions

4 The National Healthy School Standard

4.1 We now participate in the National Healthy School Standard scheme. Sex and relationship education is one of a number of specific themes that make up the Standard. The principle underlying the Standard is that effective sex and relationship education is best achieved through a whole school approach. As participants in this scheme we:

  • train all our teachers who teach sex and relationship education;
  • listen to the views of the children in our school regarding sex and relationship education;
  • Look positively at any local initiatives that support us in providing the best sex and relationship education teaching programme that we can devise.

5 Organisation

5.1 We teach sex and relationship education through different aspects of the curriculum. While we carry out the main sex and relationship education teaching in our personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum, we also teach some sex and relationship education through other subject areas (for example, science), where we feel that they contribute significantly to a child’s knowledge and understanding of his or her own body, naming parts of the body and how it is changing and developing. The Science curriculum identifies the main stages of the human life cycle.

5.2 In PSHE we teach children about relationships, and we encourage children to discuss issues. We teach about the parts of the body and how these work, and we explain to them what will happen to their bodies during puberty. For example, we tell the children that boys’ voices will change during puberty and we explain about menstruation. We encourage the children to ask for help if they need it. Many of these activities will be through discussion. It is intended that children will become increasingly more confident in talking, listening and thinking about feelings and relationships.

5.3 By the end of Key Stage 2, we ensure that both boys and girls know

  • About changes in the body related to puberty, such as menstruation and voice breaking;
  • When these changes are likely to happen and what issues may cause young people anxiety and how to deal with these;
  • how babies are conceived and born

Clear ground rules will be established at the start of the lesson.

Children are given the opportunity to ask questions and teachers respond with sensitivity and care. Some areas will not be discussed in class and children will be advised to seek advice from home. Other questions may be answered on an individual or group basis. There are areas and issues that we do not discuss with the children, a list of these appear in the appendix. If a child discloses a child protection issue, appropriate procedures will be followed up by the class teacher.

5.4 In Year 5 we discuss menstruation with the girls during the summer term. In year 6 we place a particular emphasis on how a baby is conceived and born. We liaise with the school nurse team about suitable teaching materials to use with our children in these lessons. The correct terminology is used.

5.5 We inform parents by letter when Year 5 girls will study menstruation. We arrange a meeting for all parents and carers of children in Year 6 to discuss this particular programme of lessons, to explain what the issues are and how they are taught, and to see the materials the school uses in its teaching.

5.6. Our teaching aims to be fully inclusive and culturally appropriate to the needs of all our children.

6 The role of parents

6.1 The school is well aware that the primary role in children’s sex and relationship education lies with parents and carers. We wish to build a positive and supporting relationship with the parents of children at our school through mutual understanding, trust and co-operation. In promoting this objective we:

  • answer any questions that parents may have about the sex and relationship education of their child;
  • recognise culturally appropriate requests from parents.

6.2 Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of the sex and relationship education programme that we teach in our school. If a parent wishes their child to be withdrawn from sex education lessons, they should discuss this with the headteacher, and make it clear which aspects of the programme they do not wish their child to participate in.

7 The role of other members of the community

7.1 We encourage other valued members of the community to work with us to provide advice and support to the children with regard to health education. In particular, members of the Local Health Authority, such as the school nurse and other health professionals, give us valuable support with our sex and relationship education programme. Other people that we can call on include local clergy, social workers and youth workers.

8 Confidentiality

8.1 Teachers conduct sex and relationship education lessons in a sensitive manner and in confidence. However, if a child makes a reference to being involved, or likely to be involved in sexual activity, then the teacher will take the matter seriously and deal with it as a matter of child protection. Teachers will respond in a similar way if a child indicates that they may have been a victim of abuse. In these circumstances the teacher will talk to the child as a matter of urgency. If the teacher has concerns, they will draw their concerns to the attention of the headteacher. The headteacher will then deal with the matter in consultation with health care professionals.

9 The role of the headteacher

9.1 It is the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that both staff and parents and governors are informed about our sex and relationship education policy, and that the policy is implemented effectively. It is also the headteacher’s responsibility to ensure that members of staff are confident and able to teach sex education effectively and handle any difficult issues with sensitivity.

9.2 The headteacher liaises with external agencies regarding the school sex and relationship education programme, and ensures that all adults who work with children on these issues are aware of the school policy, and that they work within this framework.

The headteacher monitors this policy on a regular basis and reports to governors, when requested, on the effectiveness of the policy.

The headteacher will ensure that that they inform the Governing Body of new legislation and advice from the DFES, county or the diocese in relation to the schools responsibilities to sex and relationship education.

10 Monitoring and review

10.1 The Curriculum Committee of the governing body monitors our sex and relationship education policy on an annual basis. This committee reports its findings and recommendations to the full governing body, as necessary, if the policy needs modification. The Curriculum Committee gives serious consideration to any comments from parents about the sex and relationship education programme, and makes a record of all such comments.

Appendix

Issues not discussed:-

Contraception

Abortion

Sexually transmitted diseases.


Guidance on ground rules.

No one will have to answer a personal question.

No one will be forced to take part in a discussion

Meanings of words will be explained in a sensible and factual way.

Dealing with pupils questions-

If a question is too personal remind them of the ground rules.

If the teacher doesn’t know the answer, they will acknowledge this and research the answer.

If a question is too explicit or inappropriate, the teacher should comment that they will answer it on an individual basis later on. In this situation we would advise the child to talk to their parent.

If it is a sexual abuse issue, the usual procedure will follow.

If a child states that they want to tell a member of staff a secret, the member of staff must explain that they cannot give that promise to keep a secret as it might not be the best way to help them. The member of staff must reassure the child that if the confidentiality needs to be broken, the child will be informed and supported as necessary. If the issue is a child protection issue, the usual procedures will follow.