Below is our Relationship and Sex Education Statement, which reflects the school's Relationship Education Policy.
This Relationships Education Policy must be read in conjunction with our PSHE Policy.
1.1 Definition of Relationships Education
At The Weatheralls Primary School, Relationships Education is learning about emotional, social and physical aspects of our lives, about ourselves and our relationships. It enables pupils to develop essential life skills for building and maintaining positive, enjoyable and respectful relationships. It equips pupils with information and skills they need to understand themselves, their peers and people they meet in the wider community. It explores risks, choices, rights, responsibilities and attitudes. It will help pupils to develop skills to keep themselves and others safer, physically and emotionally, both on and off line. Relationships Education enables pupils to explore their own attitudes and those of others respectfully.
1.2 Aims of Relationships Education
Through the delivery of Relationships Education, we intend to further our school’s aims of providing a curriculum which is relevant to the needs of pupils, both now and in the future. It will enable pupils to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes which enhance their personal development and wellbeing. This will have a direct, positive effect on their progress and achievement in school.
All adults in school will work towards achieving these aims for Relationships Education. In ways appropriate to their age and stage of development, we seek to enable our children to:
- Develop excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Develop positive, personal values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions and behaviour
- Respect themselves and others - views, backgrounds, cultures and experiences
- Develop respectful, caring relationships based on mutuality, reciprocation and trust
- Develop their ability to keep themselves and others safe, physically and emotionally, both on and off line
- Develop their understanding of a variety of families and how families are central to the wellbeing of children
- Recognise and avoid coercive and exploitative relationships
- Value, care for and respect their bodies
- Build confidence in accessing additional advice and support for themselves and others.
1.3 Context of Wider PSHE
We deliver Relationships Education as part of our wider provision of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), which also includes statutory Health Education.
The aims of Relationships Education and Health Education are further supported by interventions, extracurricular and enrichment activities we provide. Examples include the implementation of a whole school therapeutic behaviour policy (STEPS), Eco-council, Nurture interventions and provision and Marlborough Group.
2. Implementing Our Policy
At The Weatheralls, we understand the importance of ensuring that all children in our school receive their entitlement to RSE. We will carefully consider special education needs or disability, gender, sexual orientation and age, nationality, religion, cultural and linguistic background when planning and delivering RSE. In relation to nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and cultural diversity, we value the different backgrounds of our pupils and, in addressing different views and beliefs, seek to promote tolerance and understanding. In order to ensure the RSE curriculum meets the needs of all:
- We will not promote one particular lifestyle or type of relationship over another.
- We will not seek to gain consensus but will accept and celebrate difference.
- We respect individual rights and choices in relation to sexual identity, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- We will encourage respect and discourage abuse and exploitation.
- We will not ask children to represent the views of a particular religious or cultural group to their peers, unless they choose to do so.
In relation to those with special educational needs or disability, we will review of RSE policy to ensure that provision is made for those with additional needs.
We will consider:
- Their level of vulnerability.
- Their need to learn and demonstrate appropriate behaviour.
- Their need to develop self-esteem and positive body image.
- The need to involve all staff, including ancillary staff and carers, in policy development, planning and training.
- The management of personal care.
- Clarity about sources of support for pupils.
The Equality Act 2010 has special resonance in Relationships Education. Through this area of learning we seek to develop key interpersonal skills such as respect and empathy which enable pupils to understand the rights and responsibilities we all have towards one another.
The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We will ensure that our provision of Relationships Education is not only equally accessible and inclusive for all pupils with protected characteristics, or who have family members with protected characteristics, but also that it reduces discrimination, advances equality of opportunity and encourages good relations between different groups.
In order to ensure that Relationships Education meets the needs of all:
- We will reflect a range of lifestyles and family structures so that all children see themselves and their families reflected back in the lessons.
- Where there are different cultural or religious views about families, relationships or behaviours, we will share these to ensure children see their family views represented.
- We will not seek to gain consensus, but will accept and celebrate difference.
- We will, as appropriate, ensure that a variety of views and beliefs are reflected back to pupils.
- In order to ensure that children of all genders can access information they need, we will teach in mixed gender groups wherever possible.
- We will encourage respect and discourage abusive and exploitative relationships.
- We will not ask children to represent the views of a particular religious or cultural group to their peers, unless they choose to do so.
We understand the importance of high quality Relationships Education as we fulfil our statutory safeguarding duties.
Relationship Education enables pupils to understand about mutual, consensual and reciprocated relationships. Teaching about ‘Family and Friends’ and ‘Anti-bullying’ enables us to fulfil our statutory duty to prevent ‘peer-on-peer’ abuse. In the case of RSE and Personal Safety, we recognise that effective teaching may alert children to what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour (including inappropriate sexual behaviour) and that there is an increased possibility that a disclosure relating to abuse may be made. All staff are aware of the Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures and will report disclosures or concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) immediately.
2.4 Development of the Policy
This policy has been developed in consultation with pupils, staff, the Advisory Body and parents/carers. The consultation period followed the provision of information about the duties and statutory elements which have to be included in Relationships Education. It has also included gathering views on needs and priorities for the school community.
All views expressed by pupils, staff, the Advisory Body and parents/carers about the policy have been considered. The final decision on policy and delivery has been made by the school, having listened to the needs and views of the school community.
2.5 Consulting on our Policy
Further consultation with parents/carers and pupils will be carried out when the policy is reviewed, which happens annually.
3. Involving the Whole School Community
3.1 Working with Staff
Teachers have a duty to deliver statutory areas of the curriculum and all teachers will be supported to develop their skills in delivering non statutory areas such as sex education. We will discuss relevant issues and staff concerns and, where appropriate, arrange training to enable staff members to feel confident in delivering the various aspects of Relationships Education. We will also encourage the sharing of good practice. Those with special responsibility for the development of Relationships Education will be offered opportunities to consult with advisors and attend external training courses.
3.2 Engaging with Pupils
We will involve pupils in the evaluation and development of their Relationships Education in ways appropriate to their age. We will seek opportunities to discuss children’s views about the content of their PSHE lessons (e.g. through School Council or pupil voice).
3.3 Working with the Advisory Body
This policy has been developed with the advisory body’s involvement, so that they are able to fulfil their statutory duties. It is the responsibility of the advisory body to ensure, through consultation, that the Relationships Education Policy reflects the needs and views of our community. In order to facilitate this process, the Relationships Education Policy will appear annually on the agenda of one advisory body’s meeting.
The policy will be available on the school’s website. The safeguarding lead from the Advisory Body will be the link member for PSHE (including Relationships Education).
It is the role of the advisory body to ensure that:
- pupils make progress in Relationships Education in line with the expected educational outcomes
- the subject is well led, effectively managed and well planned
- the quality of provision is subject to regular and effective self-evaluation
- teaching is delivered in a way which is accessible to all
- clear information is given to parents/carers
- the subject is resourced and taught in a way which enables the school to fulfil statutory requirements.
3.4 Communicating with Parents/carers
Parents/carers are the first educators of their children about relationships, emotions, empathy, respect and growing up. We recognise that many children like to receive information about relationships from their parents/carers in addition to their learning in school. Therefore, we seek to work in partnership with parents/carers when planning and delivering Relationships Education. We will encourage this partnership by:
- Sharing details of our curriculum on our website.
- Informing parents/carers through our termly class learning grids of forthcoming Relationships Education topics.
- Providing supportive information about parents’ role in Relationships Education.
- Inviting parents to discuss their views and concerns about Relationships Education at least once annually.
- Signposting parents/carers to sources of support to help them address the needs of their child or build their own confidence in talking about relationships with their children.
4. Curriculum Organisation
4.1 Relationships Education Curriculum
Our Relationships Education Curriculum (see appendices) is wholly consistent with the DfE statutory requirements for Relationships Education and Health Education (2020), National Curriculum (2014), other DfE and Ofsted guidance. We consider Relationships Education to be a continuous process of learning, which begins before the children enter our school and continues into adulthood. We have planned a curriculum appropriate to each age group with a spiral of progression.
Relationships Education is learning about:
- Families and People who care for me
- Caring Friendships
- Respectful relationships
- Online Relationships
- Being Safe
4.2 RSE and the PSHE Curriculum
Our PSHE topic structure does not separate delivery of Relationships Education from Health Education and wider PSHE. We deliver topics which, taking the lead from children’s lived experiences, consider related themes including development of knowledge, skills and attitudes in an integrated way.
Relationships Education will be taught in:
- PSHE through designated lessons, circle time, focused events.
- Other curriculum areas, especially Science, English, RE, PE and computing
- Enrichment activities, especially our assembly programme, growth mind-set approaches, visits and visitors, social skills groups, involvement in school trips and adventurous activities.
4.3 Curriculum Materials and Resources
We will primarily use the Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme and the resources recommended within it when planning and delivering Relationships Education.
We will ensure resources:
- are consistent with our curriculum for Relationships Education
- relate to the aims and objectives of this policy
- are suitable to the age, maturity, needs, linguistic proficiency and ability of the children
- are up-to-date in factual content
- are produced by a reputable organisation
- do not show unfair bias e.g. towards a commercial product, religious view point
- avoid racial, gender, sexual, cultural and religious stereotyping
- conform to the statutory requirements for Relationships Education.
4.4 Safe and Effective Practice
In our school we have a clear Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, which is shared with staff, pupils and parents/carers. This policy is communicated to parents/carers.
The policy states that:
- Staff are unable to offer absolute confidentiality.
- We will reassure children that staff will act in their best interests and that this may involve sharing information if the child is at risk of harm.
- Children will be told if information is to be shared (taking special care with very young children or those with significant special needs) and will be offered appropriate support.
Answering Questions: We acknowledge that sensitive and complex issues will arise in Relationships Education, as pupils will naturally ask questions. When spontaneous discussion arises, it will be guided in a way which reflects the stated school aims and curriculum content. As a first principle, we will answer questions relating to the planned curriculum for that age group or below to the whole class. We will answer questions relating to areas beyond the planned curriculum for that age group, in a sensitive and age appropriate way, only to the pupil/s who have asked the question. If a member of staff is uncertain about the answer to a question, or indeed, whether they wish to answer it, they will seek guidance from the PSHE leader/Designated Safeguarding Lead. In some cases, the question will reach beyond the planned curriculum and the question will not be answered in school. When answering questions, we shall ensure that sharing personal information by adults, pupils or their families is discouraged. Where the question indicates the need for pastoral support, the conversation will be deferred to a time outside the teaching session and other colleagues may be involved. Where a question or comment from a pupil in the classroom indicates the possibility of abuse, coercion or exploitation, teachers will pass this information to the DSL in line with the school Safeguarding policy.
4.5 Assessment, Recording, Reporting
Relationships Education will be assessed in a variety of ways, including the use of self-assessment and teacher assessment. Guidance provided in the Cambridgeshire Primary PDP will be used.
5. Sex Education Policy
5.1 Definition of Sex Education
Following guidance from the DfE, we define Sex Education as learning about ‘how a (human) baby is conceived and born’. This extends the learning about sexual reproduction in ‘some plants and animals’ required through the science national curriculum. It also complements the statutory requirement to teach about puberty as part of Science and Health Education, as understanding sexual reproduction in humans enables children to understand the processes of puberty.
5.2 Consultation about Sex Education
We have a taken into account the Department for Education’s recommendation that all primary schools have a sex education programme and we understand that this is not statutory. In consultation with parents, we will offer a programme tailored to the needs and physical and emotional maturity of our pupils.
5.3 Content of Sex Education
The content of our sex education programme can be found in the Appendices. The teaching of conception and birth will take place in Year 6.
5.4 Delivery of the Sex Education Curriculum
Sex Education will be delivered through PSHE by a teacher who knows the needs of the children.
Each year parents/carers will be informed about the content of the curriculum in advance of teaching and will be invited to talk to staff if they have questions. In the final year of primary school, parents will be offered support in talking to their children about sex education and how to link this with what is being taught in school. Teachers will be offered support to develop their skills where needed.
5.5 Right to be excused from sex education
Parents/carers have the right to request that their child be excused from some or all of sex education. Before granting any such request the Head Teacher will discuss the request with the parent/carer to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. The educational, social and emotional benefits for the child of being part of the lessons will also be discussed. We will consider compromise arrangements which will enable the child to receive Sex Education at school (e.g. same sex teacher, same sex teaching group). A record will be made of the outcome of the discussion.
We will offer support to parents/carers who wish to deliver sex education at home.
If a pupil is excused from Sex Education, we will ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal. The parents/carers will be asked to reconfirm their decision to withdraw their children from sex education each time a sex education element is planned for their child.
Last reviewed Summer 2021