Relationship, Sex and Health Education
RSHE Policy Rationale
At Temple Meadow, Relationship and Health Education is taught within a broader, carefully planned Personal, Social, Health and Relationship Education curriculum (PSHE) at Temple Meadow we call this Learning for Life (L4L). The aim is to gradually and appropriately prepare children for adult life, ensuring the development of personal skills needed by pupils if they are to establish and maintain relationships both now and in their future. The curriculum is designed to ensure that young people can make responsible and informed decisions about their own health and wellbeing. The curriculum, reflecting local needs, is also designed to build students understanding of how to keep themselves safe both now and in the future. The curriculum encourages students to develop their own ideas, opinions and beliefs whilst providing them with a safe place to discuss new ideas and concepts at an age and developmentally appropriate time.
The biological aspects of RSHE are taught within the Science curriculum, where there is no parental right to withdraw.
Other elements of the curriculum are addressed through assemblies.
We believe Relationship and Health Education (RHE) is a lifelong process in which pupils acquire information, develop skills and form positive beliefs and attitudes about relationships, providing them with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for decisions that they make throughout their lives. Relationship and Health education is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. RSHE education is part of British Values that values respect, inclusion and equality.
RHE at Temple Meadow, lays the foundations for factual knowledge and the more sexually explicit information required by young people in later years (secondary education). Effective RHE, set within Learning for Life (L4L) and Science lessons, encourages children to reflect upon and to develop their own values, attitudes, personal and social skills; including awareness of the values of their own community and others, whilst understanding the beliefs and ideas of their peers. The aim is to increase pupil knowledge and understanding, so that they are able to make informed decisions and life choices, both now and in the future. This includes the positive benefits of loving, rewarding, safe and responsible relationships, emotional and physical changes to their bodies (including puberty), developing positive mental health and emotional well-being and develop the skills to be digitally safe.
RHE, as taught at Temple Meadow, does not encourage sexual experimentation, the taking away of a child’s innocence, over-ruling the wishes or rights of parents or imposing ideas onto young people.
RHE is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching. It is important for our pupils and our schools to ensure students can reflect upon their own beliefs, values and ideas in an age appropriate and developmentally appropriate way and to develop an understanding of other’s ideas, beliefs and values.
Temple Meadow recognises that effective RHE is dependent upon partnerships at many levels; this includes between ourselves and parents, carers and guardians; children; the local authority including Public Health and health professionals; local faith communities and (where relevant) the voluntary sector.
All those who teach aspects of RHE within school, including visitors, are expected to be guided by the following values framework, which represents the values held in common by the whole school community.
The outcomes, intentions and values underpinning Relationship and Health Education intend:
- To provide the knowledge, information and skills (at an age-appropriate time) to which all pupils are entitled, to ensure that they able to make informed decisions grounded in self-respect, confidence and empathy towards others.
- To clarify/reinforce existing knowledge and where arising, to dispel myths and misinformation by providing factually accurate and age-appropriate knowledge.
- To provide students with the opportunity to ask questions (in a way that they are comfortable doing), express emotions and opinions and discuss issues openly and without embarrassment. This includes developing empathy to other’s ideas and listen sensitively to other’s opinions and ideas.
- To raise pupils’ self- esteem, mental health and emotional wellbeing, including self-confidence and resilience, especially in their relationships with others; to learn to manage emotions and relationships in a confident and sensitive manner.
- To help pupils develop skills (including language development associated with RSHE at an age appropriate time, decision making, choice, assertiveness) and making the most of their abilities. At Temple Meadow our Protective Behaviours strand within L4L Curriculum ensures a scientific vocabulary used when naming body parts.
- To provide the confidence to be participating members of society and to value themselves, and others for who they are, not for what they have or what they can do.
- To help gain access to reliable and accurate information and support, including within the school, family, wider community and online (ever mindful of E-Safety).
- To develop skills for a healthy, safer lifestyle including the role of the family, stable and loving relationships, love, honesty, respect and care.
- At Temple Meadow Protective Behaviours and Early Warning Signs supports age appropriate understanding of safe and unsafe touch and how to seek support.
- To develop and use communication and assertiveness skills to cope and make informed decisions and recognising the influences of their peers, the media including the internet and other influences.
- To value and respect difference and commonly held beliefs, in people’s religion, culture, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability and social background whilst being mindful of the influences of the media, stereotypes and discrimination and being sensitive to the needs of culture, religion and British Values.
- To respect and care for their bodies including body autonomy and the importance of consent.
- To be prepared for puberty and adulthood including learning and understanding of physical development, reproduction and associated emotional changes in an age appropriate manner.
- Able to make good academic progress, as children who feel safe and supported are more likely to achieve higher standards.
The personal beliefs and attitudes of staff delivering RHE will not influence the teaching of Relationship and Health education in this school. Staff receive regular training in dealing with emotional and sensitive issues, including developing an emotionally safe environment.
Legal framework and links to other policies
This policy is compliant with the following guidance:
- The Education Act (1996)
- Learning and Skills Act (2000)
- Equality Act (2010)
- The PSHE Association supplementary guidance SRE for the 21st Century (2014)
- Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory Safeguarding Guidance (as updated)
- The Public Sector Equality Duty.
- ‘PSHE Education Programme of Study Key stages 1-5’ (PSHE Association, 2017)
- The National Curriculum for Science (2015)
- Sex and Relationships Education Guidance DfE (2018 and 2020)
- Children and Social Work Act (2017)
- Subject specific research: Ofsted
This policy will be implemented in conjunction with the following school policies, documents and procedures:
- Subject specific Teaching and learning policies in particular Learning 4 Life and Science
- Safeguarding Policy, Staff Handbook and guidance including Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance
- Behaviour Policy
- SEND policy
- Anti-Bullying policy
- Health and Safety policy
- Visitors policy
- SEND Policy
- E-Safety Policy.
RSHE programme of study
The majority of the programme is delivered through the Learning for Life education, with statutory aspects taught via the science curriculum.
At Temple Meadow our Protective Behaviours strand of our Learning for Life curriculum includes naming of body parts appropriately as this supports the ‘my body’ sense of ownership that empowers children to speak out when anything concerns them regarding their Early Warning Signs.
At Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the topics are broken down into specific areas that are taught appropriate to pupils’ ages.
Elements of the topics for Key Stage 1 and 2 are statutory in accordance with the Science National Curriculum and therefore must be taught.
This is a whole school approach to pupils being empowered about their bodies and knowing their early warning signs when things are not as they expect. Part of Protective Behaviours that runs through the school from Nursery to Year 6 ensures body parts are named appropriately; i.e. linked to biological names.
In support of the equal opportunities policy, all pupils will have the same opportunities to benefit from the RSHE resources and teaching methods, regardless of age, ability, sex, religion or race.
Role of parents
We are well aware that the primary role in children’s sex 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:
- inform parents about the school’s sex and relationship education policy and practice;
- answer any questions that parents may have about the sex and relationship education of their child;
- take seriously any issue that parents raise with teachers or governors about this policy or the arrangements for sex and relationship education in the school.
Parental right to withdraw a child from RSHE sessions
Puberty talks are delivered by both Temple Meadow staff and the school nursing team in Years 5 and 6. These sessions explore the changes to the human body as children grow and are part of the Science curriculum. Parents do not have the right to withdraw from these sessions as they part of the National Curriculum. Although these sessions are delivered only in UKS2, school staff, including the PSK team, ensure Year 4 individual pupils are aware of the location of sanitary products in school and support available, where appropriate.
Temple Meadow has decided to deliver sex education sessions; these sessions will take place in summer term and covers the following content: changes that adolescence brings and how a baby is conceived and born. The intention of covering this content is to prepare all pupils for the changes that adolescence brings and to support their understanding and future safety. Parents continue to have the right to withdraw their children from these sessions only, apart from content covered in the National Curriculum for Science. Where a parent wishes to withdraw their child, this should be communicated with the school. Temple Meadow, would encourage parents wishing to do this, to contact the school to discuss this further and put their request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Where a child has been withdrawn from the curriculum, they will be taught elsewhere in the school.
Parents are unable to withdraw from lessons written and delivered as part of the National Curriculum for Science or part of Relationship or Health Education.
Our plan would always be for the school nursing team to deliver these sessions and we would be proactively communicating with parents prior to the session and arranging a parent information session in which the resources that we plan to use would be shared.