This policy has been approved and adopted by the Governing Body in November 2023 and will be reviewed in November 2024.
In this policy the Governors and teachers, in partnership with pupils and their parents, set out their intentions about relationships, health and sex education (RHSE). We set out our rationale for and approach to relationships, health and sex education in the school.
A consultation period took place between May 2019 and July 2020 during which many different activities were occurred:
Implementation and Review of Policy
This policy will be reviewed every annually by the Head teacher, RE Leader, RHSE Leader, the Governing Body and Staff.
The draft policy will be given to all members of the Governing Body, and all teaching and non-teaching members of staff. Copies of the document will be available to all parents through the school’s website and a copy is available in the school office.
DEFINING RELATIONSHIP, HEALTH AND SEX EDUCATION
The focus in primary school should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.
Establishing personal space and boundaries, showing respect and understanding the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact – these are the forerunners of teaching about consent, which takes place at secondary.
Through Relationships Education (and RHSE), schools should teach pupils the knowledge they need to recognise and to report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. This should also include understanding boundaries in friendships with peers and also in families and with others, in all contexts, including online.
(Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RHSE) and Health Education, DFE, updated Sept 2021)
It is about the development of the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of themselves as a sexual being, about what it means to be fully human, called to live in right relationships with self and others and being enabled to make moral decisions in conscience.
STATUTORY CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS
We are legally required to teach those aspects of RHSE which are statutory parts of National Curriculum Science.
However, the reasons for our inclusion of RHSE go further.
‘I HAVE COME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL’
We are involved in relationships, health and sex education precisely 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. Our approach to RHSE therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and presented in a positive framework of Christian ideals.
At the heart of the Christian life is the Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit in communion, united in loving relationship and embracing all people and all creation. As a consequence of the Christian belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God, gender and sexuality are seen as God’s gift, reflect God’s beauty and share in the divine creativity. RHSE, therefore, will be placed firmly within the context of relationship, as it is there that sexuality grows and develops.
Following the guidance of the Bishops of England and Wales and as advocated by the DFE, RHSE will be firmly embedded in the PSHE framework as I is concerned with the nurturing human wholeness and integral to the physical, spiritual, emotional, moral, social and intellectual development of pupils. It is centred on Christ’s vision of being human as good news and will be positive and prudent, showing the potential for development, while enabling the dangers and risks involved to be understood and appreciated.
All RHSE will be in accordance with the Church’s moral teaching. It will emphasise the central importance of marriage and the family life. It also promotes those virtues which are essential in responding to God’s call to love others with a proper respect for their dignity and the dignity of the human body. The following virtues will be explicitly explored and promoted: faithfulness, fruitfulness, chastity, integrity, prudence, mercy and compassion.
AIM OF RHSE AND THE MISSION STATEMENT
Our Mission Statement commits us to the education of the whole child (spiritual, physical, intellectual, moral, social, cultural, emotional) and we believe that RHSE is an integral part of this education. Furthermore, our school aims state that we will endeavour to raise pupils’ self-esteem, help them to grow in knowledge and understanding, recognise the value of all persons and develop caring and sensitive attitudes.
It is in this context that we commit ourselves:
In partnership with parents, to provide children and young people with a “positive and prudent sexual education” (Gravissimum Educationis) which is compatible with their physical, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual maturity and rooted in a Catholic vision of education and the human person.
To develop the following attitudes and virtues:
To develop the following personal and social skills:
To know and understand:
INCLUSION AND DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING
We will ensure RHSE is sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils in respect to pupils’ different abilities, levels of maturity and personal circumstances; for example their own sexual orientation, faith or culture and is taught in a way that does not subject pupils to discrimination.
Lessons will also help children to realise the nature and consequences of discrimination, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours (including cyber-bullying), use of prejudice-based language and how to respond and ask for help.
The governing body have wider responsibilities under the Equalities Act 2010 and will ensure that our school strives to do the best for all of the pupils, irrespective of disability, educational needs, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, pregnancy, maternity, sex, gender identity, religion or sexual orientation or whether they are looked after children.
BROAD CONTENT OF RHSE
Three aspects of RHSE - attitudes and values, knowledge and understanding, and personal and social skills will be provided in three inter-related ways: the whole school / ethos dimension; a cross-curricular dimension and a specific relationships and sex curriculum.
RHSE will be taught at St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School using the Life to the Full programme from Ten Ten. This is an ambitious, evolving programme of Catholic RHSE.
The programme will be supplemented with NHS Smoke Free, Educate Against Hate, Anna Freud Centre, Anti-Bullying Alliance, Education for a Connected World, St John’s Ambulance, Safe4Me (Hampshire Police), NSPCC and Hampshire County Council’s Water Safety resources.
Our programme will cover teaching on the topics of:
The curriculum breaks down into the following subject matters:
|What a relationship is
What a friendship is
What family means
Happiness and security
Permission-seeking and giving
Unsafe physical contact
Positive online relationships
Online safety and boundaries
Working towards goals
Sense of justice
Recognising and reporting abuse
Rights over their own bodies
The content of Relationships Education is statutory. Parents cannot withdraw their children from this aspect of the curriculum.
In more detail, this means...
The content of Health Education is statutory. Parents cannot withdraw their children from this aspect of the curriculum.
Sex Education (Year 6 only)
The requirements here have not changed. Sex education is not compulsory in primary schools.
The DfE recommends that primary schools have a sex education programme that builds on and complements content covered through relationships education, health education and science.
Pupils will learn:
The content of Sex Education is not statutory. Parents can withdraw their children from this aspect of the curriculum.
PROGRAMME / RESOURCES
Appendices to this policy provide further information about the programme and resources for suggested use.
Teaching strategies will include:
Each unit of work includes an assessment activity.
Each assessment activity takes into account the learning objectives of the sessions within the unit and provides before and after evidence of the learning, that has taken place.
PARENTS AND CARERS
We recognise that parents and carers are the primary educators of their children. As a Catholic school, we provide the principal means by which the Church assists parents and carers in educating their children.
Therefore the school will support parents and carers by providing material to be shared with their children at home and workshops to help parents/carers to find out more. Parents/carers will be informed by letter when the more sensitive aspects of RHSE will be covered in order that they can be prepared to talk and answer questions about their children’s learning.
Parents must be consulted before this policy is ratified by the governors. They will be consulted at every stage of the development of the RHSE programme, as well as during the process of monitoring, review and evaluation. They will be able to view the resources used by the school in the RHSE programme.
Our aim is that, at the end of the consultation process, every parent and carer will have full confidence in the school’s RHSE programme to meet their child’s needs.
Parents continue to have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education except in those elements which are required by the National Curriculum science orders. Should parents wish to withdraw their children they are asked to notify the school by contacting the headteacher.
The school will provide support by providing material for parents to help the children with their learning. We believe that the controlled environment of the classroom is the safest place for this curriculum to be followed.
Whilst promoting Catholic values and virtues and teaching in accordance with Church teaching, we will ensure that pupils are offered a balanced programme by providing an RHSE programme that offers a range of viewpoints on issues. Pupils will also receive clear scientific information as well as covering the aspects of the law pertaining to RHSE. Knowing about facts and enabling young people to explore differing viewpoints is not the same as promoting behaviour and is not incompatible with our school’s promotion of Catholic teaching.
We will ensure that pupils have access to the learning they need to stay safe, healthy and understand their rights as individuals.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR TEACHING THE PROGRAMME
Responsibility for the specific relationships, health and sex education programme lays with RE, RHSE, Computing and Science Leaders.
However, all staff will be involved in developing the attitudes and values aspect of the RHSE programme. They will be role models for pupils of good, healthy, wholesome relationships as between staff, other adults and pupils. They will also be contributing to the development of pupils’ personal and social skills.
OTHER ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING RHSE
The Head teacher takes overall delegated responsibility for the implementation of this policy and for liaison with the Governing Body, parents, the Diocesan Schools’ Service and the Local Education Authority, also appropriate agencies.
The leader with the head teacher has a general responsibility for supporting other members of staff in the implementation of this policy and will provide a lead in the dissemination of the information relating to RHSE and the provision of in-service training supported by the DSL.
RHSE is a whole school issue. All teachers have a responsibility of care; as well as fostering academic progress they should actively contribute to the guardianship and guidance of the physical, moral and spiritual well-being of their pupils.
Teachers will be expected to teach RHSE in accordance with the Catholic Ethos of the school. Appropriate training will be made available for all staff teaching RHSE. All staff have been included in the development of this policy and all staff should be aware of the policy and how it relates to them.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER POLICIES AND CURRICULUM SUBJECTS
This RHSE policy is to be delivered as part of the PSHE framework. It includes guidelines about pupil safety and is compatible with the school's other policy documents.
Pupils with particular difficulties whether of a physical or intellectual nature will receive appropriately differentiated support in order to enable them to achieve mature knowledge, understanding and skills. Teaching methods will be adapted to meet the varying needs of this group of pupils.
Learning about RHSE in PSHE classes will link to/complement learning in those areas identified in the RHSE audit.
The governors want to promote a healthy, positive atmosphere in which RHSE can take place. They want to ensure that pupils can ask questions freely, be confident that their questions will be answered, and be sure that they will be free from bullying or harassment from other children and young people.
Controversial or Sensitive issues
There will always be sensitive or controversial issues in the field of RHSE. These may be matter of maturity, of personal involvement or experience of children, of disagreement with the official teaching of the Church, of illegal activity or other doubtful, dubious or harmful activity.
The governors believe that children are best educated, protected from harm and exploitation by discussing such issues openly within the context of the RHSE programme. The use of ground rules, negotiated between teachers and pupils, will help to create a supportive climate for discussion.
Some questions may raise issues which it would not be appropriate for teachers to answer during ordinary class time, e.g., where a child or young person’s questions hints at abuse, is deliberately tendentious or is of a personal nature.
SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE AT RISK
Children will also need to feel safe and secure in the environment in which RHSE takes place. Effective RHSE will provide opportunities for discussion of what is and is not appropriate in relationships. Such discussion may well lead to disclosure of a safeguarding issue. Teachers will need to be aware of the needs of their pupils and not let any fears and worries go unnoticed. Where a teacher suspects that a child or young person is a victim of or is at risk of abuse they are required to follow the school’s safeguarding policy and immediately inform the designated senior member of staff responsible.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND ADVICE
All governors, all teachers, all support staff, all parents and all pupils must be made aware of this policy, particularly as it relates to issues of advice and confidentiality.
All lessons, especially those in the RHSE programme, will have the best interests of pupils at heart, enabling them to grow in knowledge and understanding of relationships, health and sex, developing appropriate personal and social skills and becoming appreciative of the values and attitudes which underpin the Christian understanding of what it means to be fully human.
Pupils will be encouraged to talk to their parents/carers about the issues which are discussed in the programme. Teachers will always help pupils facing personal difficulties, in line with the school’s pastoral care policy. Teachers should explain to pupils that they cannot offer unconditional confidentiality, in matters which are illegal or abusive for instance. Teachers will explain that in such circumstance they would have to inform others, e.g., parents, head teacher, but that the pupils would always be informed first that such action was going to be taken
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The RHSE leader will monitor the provision of the various dimensions of the programme by examining plans, schemes of work and samples of pupils work at regular intervals.
The programme will be evaluated annually by means of:
The results of the evaluation should be reported to these groups of interested parties and their suggestions sought for improvements. Governors will consider all such evaluations and suggestions before amending the policy. Governors remain ultimately responsible for the policy.