The Department for Education (DfE) statutory guidance states that, from September 2020, all primary schools must deliver Relationships Education and Health Education and has produced this guide for parents.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) forms part of our personal, social, health education (PSHE) curriculum – we call this Living and Learning. Learn more about Living and Learning and check out our long-term plan.
Read our complete Relationships and Sex Education Policy. The policy includes details of when we teach the correct terms for some parts of the body and the specific sequence of learning for RSE from Year 1 (relationships with friends and family and the ‘underwear rule’) to Year 6 (human reproduction, how babies grow and consent).
In primary school, it’s important to be clear that the very large majority of RSE is about relationships. The learning is ongoing, and often incidental, learning about relationships with family, friends and others around us. Children in primary school will naturally talk about different relationships; this might include:
- relationships with family members compared with relationships with people at school
- developing friendships and the need to get on with everyone, and ways to cope if relationships are hard
- different families, some with a mum and dad, but others with a different make-up
This is clear from our overall aims for RSE in our school. These include:
- learning the value of family life, safe, stable and loving relationships (including marriage and civil partnerships); and learning the value of respect, love and care
- learning to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively; and learning to make choices based on an understanding of difference and with an absence of prejudice
- learning about physical development at appropriate stages; and being aware of emotions and relationships
Read the specific age-related expectations in our full Curriculum Statement.
Children can become aware of sexual matters from an early age: they receive information (either explicitly or implicitly) from family, peers, the media and the general values and attitudes they encounter in society. This approach can lead to misconceptions. There are many advantages of school-based RSE. It provides a structured programme matched to the ages and development stages of pupils. It can combat ignorance and fear and clarify existing knowledge by providing accurate information. It can provide opportunities to discuss feelings, emotions and attitudes in a safe, non-threatening situation. It can also help to create a natural, positive attitude towards sexuality and to develop the skills needed to manage relationships. By providing opportunities to exchange ideas, it can promote tolerance and understanding of others. The sharing of ideas can contribute to the development of values and a personal sense of morality.
Parents / carers have the choice of withdrawing their children from sex education lessons if considered necessary. However, please be aware that we will sometimes discuss issues around relationships (eg same-sex couples, use and misuse of terms such as ‘gay’) as and when appropriate. We believe this is the right and proper thing to do. It is not always possible to withdraw children from such discussions if they arise, and it is not considered appropriate to do so by the Department for Education (see its advice regarding bullying, for example).
We want parents/carers and pupils to feel assured that RSE is delivered at a level appropriate to both the age and development of pupils, and to feel safe to voice opinions and concerns relating to the provision. Please contact school if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns.