Relationships, Health and Sex Education
Primary schools in England have to teach Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). The government sets guidance about what they expect children to know by the time they leave primary education but it is up to schools to decide how they will teach this.
From September 2023, we will use a scheme, Kapow – an online provider of resources for primary schools – to deliver our RSHE Education. Lessons cover the statutory requirements and have been carefully planned to be age appropriate. As with other subjects, we will work hard to make sure the lessons meet the needs of the children, and also give the opportunity for children to revisit topics in different year groups. This is important as they will learn more and see things differently as they mature. These topics are important in helping children deal with current experiences and also to prepare them for the next stage of their education and ultimately for adult life.
Schools and the government recognise the important role you play in educating your children and this is especially true for RSHE. It is vital that children can discuss and ask questions both at home and at school, therefore we are running a meeting for parents and carers to find out more about what our new curriculum covers, so they can support children at home and encourage open conversations. The lessons will give children the opportunity to explore their feelings and ideas about topics and listen to the views of other people. The overall aim is for children to be able to make informed choices and decisions.
The lessons are divided up into three overarching themes covered by every year group, every year:
Families and relationships Health and wellbeing Safety and the changing body
Below is a summary of some of the areas covered within each theme:
Families and relationships
- How to form and maintain friendships
- Importance of family
- Different types of families
- Dealing with problems in friendships
- Online relationships, including staying safe
Health and wellbeingApril-2023-Parental-slides-RSE-
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Healthy eating
- Physical activity
- Dental health
- Importance of sleep
- First aid
Safety and the changing body
- Online safety
- Safety around adults
- Understanding their body
- Physical changes during puberty
- Emotional changes during puberty
- Asking for help when needed
All the content outlined above is statutory and therefore all children should be taught it. As with any other subject teachers will ensure that the lesson is taught in a way which means children of all abilities will learn. The government is very clear that they want children with special educational needs (SEN) to be included in these lessons. As a parent you do not have the right to withdraw your child from any of the statutory content on either relationships or health.
There is no legal requirement for schools to teach sex education but the government recommends children learn about some key areas before they leave primary school. As a school we have decided to leave the sex education aspect of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education out of our curriculum. Remember, it is advised that children have a knowledge of sex education by the time they leave primary school, so we will offer parents advice and resources in this area if there is a demand for this. We will regularly consult with parents about our decision NOT to teach the Sex Education aspects of the curriculum, and this may change if the majority of parents would prefer this. Should we deliver it in the future, you do have the right to withdraw your child from any sex education content that we choose to teach, apart from National Curriculum Science. Most recent consultation took place at the meeting on July 5th 2023.
Parents and carers are sometimes concerned about the conversations children may have in RSHE lessons, but teachers have lots of ways to make sure children are safe in these lessons. For example, they will have ground rules to make sure children feel confident to share their ideas, they will use things like puppets and stories, so children are discussing a made up characters’ experiences rather than their own. Resources online are cartoon like and easily accessible to all children. Teachers also know the children in their class well and will have a sense of their needs and what they teach will be age appropriate.
It is important to balance what children know already and to prepare them for the future. Discussing issues in the safe learning environment of the classroom before they experience them in real life is very valuable for children.
An information booklet for parents can be accessed here; April-2023-Parental-slides-RSE-
Both are also available, on request, from the school office.