Relations and Sex Education
As you may already be aware, Relationships Education was delayed from becoming statutory by the DfE until the summer term 2021. This means that all children will be able to learn about different relationships, different families, growing up, puberty and their changing bodies.
Parents and carers do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationships Education objectives which link to the national curriculum as part of their science learning.
The PSHE Association states, ‘Teaching about puberty before children experience it is essential to ensure that pupils’ physical, emotional and learning needs are met and that they have the correct information about how to take care of their bodies and keep themselves safe.’
Ofsted’s PSHE lead, Janet Palmer HMI, has said: ‘If pupils are kept ignorant of their human, physical and sexual rights… they are not being adequately safeguarded.’
In order to keep pupils safe, it is vital that they learn about puberty before it happens. NHS advice states that puberty can begin as early as 8 for girls and 9 for boys. We aim to teach children about puberty in year 4, 5 and 6.
Parents and carers do have the right to withdraw their child from all or any part of the Relationships Education, other than learning about reproduction and human development within national curriculum science. However, we would urge any parents and carers considering withdrawing their child from these lessons to consider what is being taught, how it is being taught and how important this education is for all children.
Our Relationships Education is fully inclusive to meet the needs of all our pupils. We cover the following objectives:
• being a good friend
• kind and unkind behaviours, including bullying
• teamwork and resolving disputes
• feelings we experience and how to discuss our feelings
• self-worth and self-respect
• important people in our lives
• consent and autonomy
• secrets and surprises
• growing up and physical and emotional changes to our bodies
• different families and relationships
• how babies are made and how babies are born
• differences, similarities and stereotypes
• body image
We fully believe that all children should learn about these important life skills in an open, honest and safe environment. We also believe that they should be taught in an age-appropriate and engaging way.
Having considered comments from parents during our parent consultation, we now encourage all parents/carers to view our agreed Relationships Education Policy.
We believe it is important to have a strong partnership with parents and carers and will always communicate what is being taught and when. We will also provide any further reading or support for any parents and carers wishing to discuss the objectives taught with their children at home. Any children who are withdrawn from the Relationships Education lessons will have to be provided with alternative learning in another learning space.
Our schemes of work are currently in consultation with parents and governors.
We will make you aware when we have uploaded the document.