POLICY FOR SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION
At Buckholme Towers we value the importance of Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development. This programme is linked closely to the Policy for Personal, Social and Health Education and Sex and Relationship Education Guidance.
We recognise the partnership of home and school, of parent and teacher, in this important area of personal development. A positive effort has and will continue to be made to inform and involve parents. Parents are informed annually by letter about upcoming SRE lessons in the summer term. All parents fully support the school’s delivery of a programme of SRE as part of the PSHE syllabus throughout the school, particularly in Years 5 and 6. A working party, consisting of the Headmaster, Deputy Head and the PSHCE co-ordinator continuously develop and monitor the SRE programme and policy.
SRE is a continuing, developmental process, which includes the exploration of attitudes and values and the development of skills, as well as the presentation of factual knowledge. As with all other learning, it should be gradual and matched to the child’s maturity and stage of development.
SRE teaches children to develop an awareness of, and respect for, themselves and others. It aids the development of positive self-esteem, which will help children to cope with the challenges of personal growth. It enables children to be aware of the personal choices they can make and prepares them to make responsible decisions. It is about exploring feelings and emotions and enjoying confidence in one’s own ability.
As part of the Sex and Relationship Education framework, pupils are taught about the nature and importance of family life and bringing up children. Pupils will learn about the significance of marriage and stable relationships. Care is taken that no child is stigmatised because of his or her home circumstances.
What is Sex and Relationship Education?
Sex and Relationship Education is about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex.
Sex and relationship education has three main elements.
1. Attitudes and values:
- learning the importance of values and moral considerations
- learning the value of family life, marriage and stable relationships
- learning the value of love, respect and care
2. Personal and social skills:
- learning to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively
- developing empathy and self-respect
- learning to make choices without prejudice
- appreciating the consequences of choices made
- managing conflict
- recognising and avoiding exploitation and abuse
3. Knowledge and understanding
- learning about and understanding physical development
- understanding reproduction, emotions and relationships
The Philosophy of the School
At Buckholme Towers we believe that Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) helps to give pupils the skills they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. Sex and Relationships Education is an integral part of PSHCE. It is an intrinsic part of the physical, intellectual and emotional growth of an individual.
Aims and Objectives of our SRE Programme
- To provide a secure, sensitive and caring framework where learning and discussion can take place.
- To reassure children of their value and self-worth, including aspects of dignity, self respect and self-restraint.
- To nurture a responsible attitude towards personal relationships, such as aspects of mutual respect and care, and to develop sensitivity towards the needs of others encompassing fidelity and loyalty.
- To foster the ability to manage relationships in a responsible and healthy manner.
- To promote the value of loving relationships and of family life.
- To recognise the importance of stable loving relationships as a basis for family life.
- To provide knowledge of human reproductive processes.
- To inform children on matters of personal hygiene and related health issues.
- To encourage exploration of values and moral issues, taking into account the physical and moral risks associated with certain behaviour.
- To educate against discrimination and prejudice.
- To empower children to make informed choices about their developing sexuality.
This policy supports the following School Policies and should be read in conjunction with them.
- Equal Opportunities
- Statement of School Philosophy, Aims and Objectives
- Health and Safety
- Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
- Child Protection
In support of the Equal Opportunities Policy, all Buckholme pupils, regardless of age, ability, gender or race, have the same opportunity to benefit from the sex education resources and teaching methods.
Organisation of School Sex and Relationship Education
Who Will Teach It?
All teaching staff (class teachers) will teach Sex and Relationship Education as part of the Science and the PSHCE Curriculum. Opportunities will be provided in Year 5 for separate lessons on physical and emotional changes in puberty, and in Year 6 on conception, forming healthy relationships, assessing risks and resisting peer pressure.
Methodology and Approach
The Headmaster, Deputy Head and the PSHE Co-ordinator will be responsible for the organisation of SRE throughout the school.
There will be a whole-school approach – from Reception to Year 6. The subject will be taught in a cross-curricular way, encompassing all the elements within Personal, Social and Health Education topics, as well as expanding on human relationships, human and physical development and reproduction in Key Stage 2.
Material used will be from a variety of sources as appropriate.
Dealing with Sensitive Issues
Teachers are in agreement that they should answer all children’s questions relating to sex and relationship education in an open and factual way, taking into consideration the family background, culture, religious beliefs, and pupils’ differing experiences. Teachers are to use their professional judgement and discretion when faced with, or answering, questions, which they deem to be of a sensitive nature.
The following ground rules have been established.
- Teachers should not enter into discussions about personal issues and lifestyles.
- No one (child or adult) has to answer a personal question.
- Nobody is forced to take part in discussion.
- In discussion, teachers will promote the knowledge and use of correct medical names of body parts.
- Meanings of words are explained in a sensible and factual way.
Sex and relationship education is delivered within the Science Curriculum and the four broad themes within PSHCE.
1. Increasing confidence and responsibility and making the most of pupils’ abilities.
2. Preparing to play an active role as citizens.
3. Embracing a healthier lifestyle.
4. Developing good relationships and respecting differences between people.
Develop confidence in talking, listening and thinking about feelings and relationships
- be able to name parts of the body and describe how their bodies work
- be able to protect themselves and ask for help and support
- be prepared for puberty
Within the Science Curriculum, the children should:
Key Stage 1:
- know that all creatures, including humans, move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce
- recognise the main external parts of their bodies
- know that humans and animals can produce offspring, which grow into adults
- recognise the similarities and differences between themselves and others, and treat others with sensitivity
Key Stage 2:
- know that the life processes common to humans and other animals include nutrition, growth and reproduction
- know about the main stages of the human life cycle
*Parents should be aware that children cannot be withdrawn from these Science lessons.
Specific Classroom Arrangement
When planning lessons, teachers should consider appropriate grouping in respect of pupil experience and need. Mixed-gender classes will be the norm for the younger pupils. Following consultation with parents we have decided that, in Years 5 and 6, girls and boys should be taught about issues such as menstruation, puberty and reproduction together, thus treating the issue as part of the broad sex education programme and avoiding boys’ misconceptions and speculation. However, where further discussion of specific issues is required, single sex groups may be formed, in order to facilitate a safe and secure environment.
Child Withdrawal Procedure
Sex and Relationships Education at Buckholme Towers is taught across the Curriculum and it is not always possible to separate all the sex education lessons. There will be, sometimes, specific lessons in which Health Professionals are invited to address the children in the presence of the class teacher. Notification is always sent to parents in advance. If parents wish to withdraw a child they should discuss their concerns with the Headmaster. In the event of a child being withdrawn from a lesson, that child is provided with appropriate challenging work until the sex education lesson is over.
If a parent or guardian has any cause for concern about the Sex Education Policy, they should approach the Headmaster and/or teacher.
Working with Parents
Buckholme Towers works in partnership with parents through consultation and support. Parents are vital in teaching children about sex and relationships, maintaining the culture and ethos of the family, helping children to cope with the emotional and physical aspects of growing, and preparing them for the challenges and responsibilities that sexual maturity brings.
The school provides support to parents in helping children learn the accepted names of the body, talking with the children about their feelings and relationships, and answering questions about growing up, having babies and relationships.
This policy was reviewed June 2016, by the Headmaster, Deputy Head and PSHCE Co-ordinator.