The Children and Social Work Act 2017 placed a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to make the new subjects of Relationships Education at primary and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at secondary mandatory. Relationships and Sex Education will replace SRE. Parliament voted in support of the Government’s proposal that all primary schools would be required to teach Relationships Education.
The Government want to support all young people to stay safe and prepare for life in modern Britain by ensuring Relationships Education (Primary) is taught in all Primary Schools. This was based on the fact that children need more support whilst growing up in an increasingly complex and digital world. Whilst the internet can be a positive in our lives, it does present significant challenges, particularly for young people. With the use of social media, cyber-bullying and the risk that children learn about relationships from untrustworthy sources – it was felt that young people need support to make the right decisions and keep themselves safe and happy. This evidence was supported by the many calls for compulsory SRE and/or PSHE from leading parent representative bodies, as well as leading education and safeguarding organisations, such as teaching unions and charities. These calls were supported by young people themselves.
The DfE have set out their reasons below:
“We are clear on the themes and issues schools should cover to achieve this. Relationships and RSE will be age-appropriate, build knowledge and life skills over time in a way that prepares pupils for issues they will soon face. The subjects will likely focus on:
- different types of relationships, including friendships, family relationships, dealing with strangers and, at secondary school, intimate relationships;
- how to recognise, understand and build healthy relationships, including self respect and respect for others, commitment (including marriage and civil partnerships), boundaries and consent, tolerance, and how to manage conflict, and also how to recognise unhealthy relationships, including bullying, coercion and exploitation;
- healthy relationships and safety online, including use of social media, cyberbullying, sexting;
- how relationships may affect health and wellbeing, including the importance of good mental health and resilience”
Our Federation teaches RSE using a scheme called ‘RSE Solutions’ which covers the required elements of the government guidance. Every year group follows the same 6 strands of learning as they move from Reception, through to year 6. This ensures they are well prepared for life now and in the future and that they can discuss such areas confidently and safely. Each time children revisit a strand, they will build on prior learning. The children receive RSE lessons throughout the year. RSE will also be covered through our PATHS curriculum and many of our assemblies.
A brief outline of what we will be covering is set out below.
Children in KS1 and 2 also receive a termly first aid lesson from The British Red Cross – First Aid Champions toolkit. These lessons focus on basic first aid techniques, how to spot when someone needs assistance, making an emergency call, how to identify situations when first aid may be required and keeping safe. Children in EYFS learn about the role of a nurse and paramedic through visitors to the school during their ‘People who help us’ topic in the Spring term.
RSE and PSHE are designed to ensure pupils are taught the knowledge and life skills they will need to stay safe and develop healthy and supportive relationships, particularly dealing with the challenges of growing up in an online world. In primary schools, the focus is on building healthy relationships and staying safe. The curriculum we will follow is designed to be at an age appropriate level to ensure our children have the information they need to know as they progress through school.
The Government have committed to retaining a parent’s right to withdraw their child from sex education within RSE (other than sex education in the National Curriculum as part of 1 Statutory guidance – Sex and relationship education (July 2000) science), but not from relationships education at primary.
Parents wishing to withdraw their child in line with the guidance above should do the following:
1. Ask to see a copy of the schools RSE policy and schemes of work. (This is also available on the Federation website.)
2. Ask the school for an appointment to discuss withdrawing their child from the specified elements of RSE.
3. Following the discussion, if they still wish to withdraw their child, they will put their request in
Writing, stating which part of the programme they wish their child to be excluded from.
Please note however, this can only be the sex education strands and not any elements of this covered by the science curriculum
We hope all parents/carers will see the value of this learning for all of our children.
We will share information on the website and with parents as we progress with this, but please do ask if you have any questions.
You can also see information from the DfE on their website by searching ‘sex and relationships education’.
These websites may also help you:
Spring Term 2023
In reception this term the children have been talking about the way people can be the same and different to each other, and how it is okay to be ourselves. They discussed how we are all special, and that it is okay to like or dislike different things to our friends. The children sorted toys into three hoops, one for girls, one for boys, and one which both boys and girls may enjoy playing with. They looked at the contents of the toys in each hoop and decided which toy they might like to play with. The children were reminding that it doesn’t matter which hoop it was in.
The children learnt that sometimes we are the same as our friends and sometimes we were different to others; these differences are what make us unique and special.
We also talked through some scenarios and discussed how we would respond to the situation and the importance of discussing our concerns with trusted adults.
In the year 1 RSE lessons this half term the children have been learning how to actively listen to other people. They found out that they need to concentrate on what other people are saying in order to fully understand each other. The children used picture scenario cards to look at different disputes within friendships and talked about different ways to solve a problem.
In spring 2 the year 1 children discussed similarities and differences between themselves and others. The children identified similarities between themselves and their peers and then each created a section for some class bunting to celebrate what they felt made them unique.
In year 2 this term the children have been talking about bullying, what it is and how to identify bullying behaviours. They looked through scenarios and discussed in groups how bullying might make someone feel and the impact it might have. The children made posters after discussing their feelings about bullying and talked about a range of strategies to respond to bullying either for themselves or to help others.
In spring 2 the children discussed what makes them unique and talked about their families. They learnt that there are lots of different families and were asked what they thought made their family special or unique. The children also discussed peer pressure. They learnt that although you may want to ‘fit it’, you should never feel pressurised to be different to who you are.