Sex and relationships Education (SRE) Policy Statement
High quality SRE helps create safe school communities in which pupils can grow, learn and develop positive, healthy behaviour for life. It is essential for the following reasons: Children and young people have a right to good quality education, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children and young people want to be prepared for the physical and emotional changes they undergo at puberty, and young people want to learn about relationships. Older pupils frequently say that sex and relationships education was ‘too little, too late and too biological’. Ofsted reinforced this in their 2013 ’Not Yet Good Enough report.’
SRE plays a vital part in meeting schools’ safeguarding obligations. Ofsted is clear that schools must have a preventative programme that enables pupils to learn about safety and risks in relationships.
Schools maintain a statutory obligation under the Children Act (2004) to promote their pupils’ wellbeing, and under the Education Act (1996) to prepare children and young people for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult life. A comprehensive SRE programme can have a positive impact on pupils’ health and wellbeing and their ability to achieve, and can play a crucial part in meeting these obligations.
- SRE in the 21st Century (©2014 Brook, PSHE Association and Sex Education Forum)
Our school is situated within an economically deprived area of South Derbyshire and a number of our children are born to young parents. Recently, we have noticed an increase in the use of sexual language and behaviour among some of our children which results from exposure to inappropriate materials online. Children are becoming more aware of sex from a young age and, as a school, we recognise that it is our responsibility, in partnership with parents and carers, to educate children with accurate information in order for them to keep themselves safe. This policy works alongside the PSHE, Safeguarding, bullying and Internet safety policies. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination or bullying and challenge all reported incidents of homophobic or sexist discrimination. The best method of challenging these attitudes is by educating.
The aim of SRE is to provide children with age appropriate information, explore attitudes and values and develop skills in order to empower them to make positive decisions about their health related behaviour.
This should take place with consideration of the qualities of relationships within families, including same sex relationships. In addition, SRE will promote self esteem and emotional health and well-being and help them form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others, at home, school, work and in the community. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination or bullying and challenge all reported incidents of homophobic or sexist discrimination.
The objectives of Sex and Relationship Education are:
- To help pupils’ develop their language, decision making and assertiveness
- To provide the confidence to be participating members of society and to value themselves and others;
- To develop skills for a healthier safer lifestyle
- To respect and care for their bodies
- Understanding where animals, including humans, come from
- Talking about their own relationships with others (friends/family)
- Diversity- recognising how boys and girls are different and how families can be different (including families with same sex parents)
- Name all body parts, including scientific names for male and female genetalia
- Openly talk about their own feelings, how other people make us feel and is this ok?
- Being able to recognise appropriate and inappropriate physical and verbal contact (wanted and unwanted) and respecting other people
- Knowing how to respond to unwanted physical or verbal contact and who to tell
- Understanding the difference between secrets and surprises and the importance of not keeping adults’ secrets
Key stage 1:
- Developing empathy towards other people’s feelings and understanding how our behaviour can affect someone else’s feelings
- Develop relationships by being learning how to play and work cooperatively by taking turns, sharing, respecting other people’s belongings and resolving conflicts
- Understanding gender stereotypes
- Openly talk about their feelings relating to changes ie. Moving home, losing a toy, pet, friend, family member
- Understanding that some animals are born from their mothers (Science objective)
- Understanding the difference between secrets and surprises and the importance of not keeping adults’ secrets
- Understanding the importance of trust in relationships with others
- Developing feelings of self-worth and recognising positive attributes about themselves
- Recognise their own potential and aspirations and begin to set themselves goals
- Understand how people can persuade us to do things; know how to make the right decision and understand consequences
Lower key stage 2 (Year 3 and 4):
- Understanding the qualities of a positive friendship and the importance of love and trust in relationships
- Understanding the difference between keeping someone’s confidence and keeping secrets and knowing when it is necessary to break that confidence
- Talk openly about their own feelings and develop strategies for managing their feelings
- Understand how our behaviour can affect other people’s feelings
- Understand the consequences of bullying, teasing, discrimination, anti-social and aggressive behaviours
- Develop strategies for resolving conflict through negotiation, compromise and respecting other people’s points of view
- Develop strategies for resisting peer pressure and pressure to conform to gender stereotypes
- Reflect on and celebrate own achievements and strengths; recognise aspirations for the future and set goals
Upper key stage 2 (Year 5 and 6):
- Recognising the qualities needed in their own positive, healthy relationships and those of adults and develop the skills to form and maintain these
- Recognising signs of unwanted/inappropriate physical and verbal contact (including sexting, pornography, abuse, exploitation and grooming), understanding the law and knowing how they can protect themselves and who can help them
- Understand the responsibilities involved in a relationship and the importance of being ready for these responsibilities ie. Marriage and parenthood
- Understanding the process of birth (Science objective)
- Preparing for puberty and adulthood and understanding the changes that will happen to their bodies (Science objective) and changes to their emotions
- Understanding how a baby is conceived
- Talking openly about their feelings; what is a good feeling and how we can manage and overcome our emotions
- Coping with changes such as loss of a friend, family separation and bereavement
- Recognising good role models
- Developing a positive body image and understanding the effect of media
- Developing and using communication skills and assertiveness skills to cope with the influences of their peers and the media
At St George’s, Sex and relationship education is taught within Science or PSHE and citizenship lessons and, where ever possible, teachers make meaningful cross curricular links with other subjects, such as RE, literacy activities, circle and R time, in order for children to make connections in their learning. Sex and relationship education reflects the values of the PSHE and Citizenship programme and will be taught in the context of relationships.
The teaching method employed will vary according to the age, ability and experience of the children and the concept taught. These methods will include whole class/small group discussions, stories, role play, scenarios, puppets and videos. Sex and relationship education is usually delivered in mixed gender groups however, there may be occasions where single gender groups are more appropriate and relevant.
Class teachers plan and deliver engaging and relevant lessons, taking objectives from the scheme of work, which are differentiated appropriately to ensure all children, including SEN, can achieve the learning objective.
Class teachers are responsible for giving pupils the opportunity to discuss openly and honestly their feelings on a variety of social and emotional issues.
Occasionally, lessons may be delivered by outside agencies, (for example ChildLine and NSPCC). The lesson content will be discussed prior to the lesson and will be monitored by the class teacher and/or the SRE coordinator.
"Visitors should complement but never substitute or replace planned provision. It is the teacher and PSHE coordinator’s responsibility to plan the curriculum and lessons."
- Sex and Relationship Guidance DfEE 0166/2000
Dealing with difficult questions
We always distance the learning so that children and staff do not feel pressured into sharing personal information if they do not wish to. Teachers will endeavour to answer questions as honestly as possible but if faced with a question they do not feel comfortable answering within the classroom, provision will be made the meet the individual child’s needs. Each class will have a question box available for children to ask sensitive questions, which the teacher will then address either as a whole class, small group or an individual child.
Assessment is an ongoing process brought about by:-
- Observing children working and talking
- Discussion with children
- Informal observations
- Formal assessments will occur in Foundation Stage in accordance with EYFS.
Monitoring and evaluation
Cath Thompson is the named teacher responsible for co-ordinating the teaching of SRE, alongside PSHE, throughout the school. She will liaise with the Science coordinator, who will monitor the teaching of the science objectives relating to sex education.
Teachers’ planning will be monitored at regular intervals throughout the year (once per term), lesson observations, discussions with children and any evidence of children’s work, i.e. photographs/video clips of children’s role play, work in books.
The Headteacher and governor responsible for SRE will ensure that the school meets the statutory obligations for this subject
A positive relationship and communication between home and school is vital in the education of Sex and Relationships. The school informs parents when aspects of the sex and relationship programme are taught and provides opportunities for parents to view the videos and resources being used.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from those aspects of sex and relationship education which are not included in the National Curriculum Science Orders and alternative work would be set.
However this rarely happens, by working in partnership with parents they recognise the importance of this aspect of their child’s education. Our parents are informed about our SRE policy on the school website and is made available upon request.
Child Protection / Confidentiality
Teachers need to be aware that effective sex and relationship education, which brings an understanding of what is and is not acceptable in a relationship, may lead to disclosure of a child protection issue.
The staff member will inform the Head Teacher /Designated Child Protection person in line with the LEA procedures for child protection.
A member of staff cannot promise confidentiality if concerns exist.
This policy will be presented to governors and reviewed regularly.