Relationships, Sex and Health Education
RHE Policy 2021
Parent Consultation Letter 2020
RHE Guide For Parents
‘I have come that you might have life and have it to the full’ (Jn.10.10)
Stemming from our vision of what it means to be human, we seek to educate the whole person: spiritually, intellectually, morally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically towards maturity.
We are committed to Relationships and Health Education because of our Christian beliefs about God and about the human person. The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in a Catholic school.
We acknowledge that the teaching of RHE is underpinned by the teaching of relationships. This will be carried out within the atmosphere of a Catholic community, where we travel together on our journey of faith growing and developing to our full potential.
Following the guidance of the Bishops of England and Wales and as advocated by the DFE (and the Welsh Assembly Government), RHE will be firmly embedded in the PSHE framework as it is concerned with nurturing human wholeness and integral to the physical, spiritual, emotional, moral, social and intellectual development of pupils.
What is RSE?
The DFE guidance defines RSE as “lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage and family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health.” Our policy is called Relationship and Health Education as our school will not be teaching about sexual intercourse (this is not statutory in primary schools) so will therefore be referred to as RHE.
Aims of RHE
- To offer RHE in the wider context of relationships
- To encourage pupil’s growth in self respect, acknowledging we are all created in the likeness of God
- To help pupils develop an understanding that love is the central basis of relationships
- To help pupils to understand the nature of relationships and to encourage them to reflect on their own relationships and respect differences between people.
- To develop pupils’ confidence in talking, listening and thinking about feelings and relationships
- To help pupils acquire the skills necessary to develop and sustain relationships
- develop clear understanding of their bodies, including the changes which have taken place since birth and those which will take place in the years ahead
- To ensure that pupils protect themselves and ask for help and support when needed
- To ensure that pupils are prepared for puberty
- To help pupils to develop a healthier, safer lifestyle
- All areas of RHE will be presented in a positive framework of Christian values. It will be taught within the context of stable, caring family relationships.
- Whilst maintaining Catholic values, accurate and relevant information will be provided honestly and sensitively in an age appropriate way.
Delivery of RHE
RHE will be taught within the Curriculum through Science, RE and PSHE lessons. Significant aspects of Sex and Relationship Education remain part of the national Curriculum for Science. These must be taught to all pupils and parents cannot withdraw pupils from such lessons.
At Key Stage 2 (7-11)
Communication: pupils should continue to be encouraged to ask questions during their work in Science
Pupils should be taught:
- that there are life processes common to all animals;
- the main stages of the human life cycle
PSHE is taught for 30 minutes every week as a specific lesson as well as being integrated among the other curriculum subjects. The PSHE curriculum is covered in each year group by the use of ‘TENTEN Life to the Full,’ and the Health Education Partnership’s ‘A PSHE and Wellbeing Framework for Primary Schools.’
The Life to the Full scheme is split into three modules which explore the ideas of humankind being created and loved by God, created to love others and created to live in community.
Resources within these modules are designed to teach pupils about:
- religious understanding of human relationships from a Christian perspective
- emotional wellbeing
- health in mind and body
- life cycles
- personal relationships - what makes a healthy relationship?
- making wise decisions which enable them to keep safe as they develop and mature
- living in the wider world
- responsibilities in later life
- A time is allocated for children to ask personal questions, verbally or in private using a post it note. Questions that are not covered in the talk, e.g. sex will be dealt with sensitively, and children will be directed to speak to their parents about their question.
This scheme of work is produced from a Christian perspective, and has a central focus on the human being as a whole and the importance of healthy relationships with ourselves and each other.
The programme adopts a spiral curriculum approach so that a child goes through the programme year-after-year, the learning will develop and grow, with each stage building on the last.
Module One: Created and Loved by God
Module One: Created and Loved by God explores the individual. Rooted in the teaching that we are made in the image and likeness of God, it helps children to develop an understanding of the importance of valuing themselves as the basis for personal relationships.
In these sessions, we explore:
Lower Key Stage Two – year 3/4 understanding differences, respecting our bodies, changing bodies (recommended for Year 4+), strategies to support emotional wellbeing including practicing thankfulness, and the development of pupils understanding of life before birth.
Upper Key Stage Two – year 5/6 appreciation of physical and emotional differences, a more complex understanding of physical changes in girl and boys bodies, body image, strong emotional feelings, the impact of the internet and social media on emotional well-being and menstruation.
Module Two: Created to Love Others
Module Two: Created to Love Others explores the individual’s relationship with others. Building on the understanding that we have been created out of love and for love, this unit explores how we take this calling into our family, friendships and relationships, and teaches strategies for developing heathy relationships and keeping safe.
This religious understanding is then applied to real-world situations relevant to the age and stage of the children:
Lower Key Stage Two – Year 3/4 The sessions here help children to develop a more complex appreciation of different family structures and there are activities and strategies to help them develop healthy relationships with family and friends.
For the ‘Keeping Safe’ unit, there are some excellent NSPCC resources, as well as teaching on bullying and abuse through a series of animated stories.
Upper Key Stage Two – Year 5/6 The sessions for UKS2 in the ‘Personal Relationships’ module aim to equip children with strategies for more complex experiences of relationships and conflict; this includes sessions that help children to identify and understand how to respond to spoken and unspoken pressure, and further teaching on how our thoughts and feelings have an impact on how we act. Teaching on positive relationships, different family structures and showing respect and love to each and every person will be reinforced.
Module Three: Created to Live in Community
Finally, Module Three: Created to Live in Community explores the individual’s relationship with the wider world. Here we explore how human beings are relational by nature and are called to love others in the wider community through service, through dialogue and through working for the Common Good.
In the first Unit, Religious Understanding, the story sessions help children to develop a concept of the Trinity.
In subsequent sessions, we apply this religious understanding to real-world situations, such as the community we live in, and through exploring the work of charities which work for the Common Good.
All staff realise the obligation to deliver RHE in their role as class teachers or support staff. Staff also recognise the need for close co-operation with each other and other subject areas in order to ensure a holistic approach to RHE.
We recognise that RHE requires sensitive teaching, which is matched in particular by the specific needs and concerns of pupils. Teachers will use their professional judgement when addressing issues in RHE and careful consideration will need to be given to the inevitable wide and varied experience and backgrounds of the pupils in the class. All teachers involved in RHE are required to be sensitive, credible and consistent.
All pupils are given equal access to RHE, within the curriculum. Children with SEN will be provided with differentiated materials where necessary.
The Governing Body
The Governing body and Foundation Governors in particular, recognise their responsibility to ensure that there is an RHE policy, in consultation with parents and teachers, which is in keeping with Catholic teaching. They will ensure that the policy is available to parents and that parents know of their right to withdraw their children. Governors will ensure that the programme and resources are monitored and evaluated.
The Role of Parents
RSE is lifelong learning about sex, sexuality, emotions, relationships and sexual health. It involves acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs, values and attitudes. RHE has a key part to play in the personal, social, moral and spiritual development of young people. It begins informally in the home with parents and carers long before any formal education takes place at school.
We acknowledge that parents are the first and best educators of their children and we, as a school, work in partnership with them. Parents will be informed each year about delivering aspects of RHE, and invited to look at the policy and make suggestions about the scheme of work.
We recognise parents have the right to withdraw their children from certain aspects of RSE but not from those areas which are required by National Curriculum Science and RHSE. Parents cannot withdraw from the statutory aspects of relationships and health education, e.g. Puberty. As our school will not be teaching sex education, parents do not have the right to withdraw. For that reason our school’s policy is called Relationship and Health Education policy rather than a Relationship and Sex Education policy.
Parents with any concerns are invited in the first instance, to arrange an appointment with the school to discuss any concerns that they have.