At Newton Primary, we believe that PSHE helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives, in order to become informed, active and responsible citizens. Under the new guidance issued by the DfE, by September 2020, Relationship Education (RSE) at Primary School will be compulsory. At Newton Primary, we believe that to be effective, RSE should always be taught within a broader PSHE education programme. RSE enhances and is enhanced by learning related topics, at an age appropriate level, including anti-bullying; keeping safe on and off line; keeping physically and mentally healthy, learning about drugs, alcohol and tobacco; and the development of skills and attributes such as communication skills, managing peer pressure, risk management, resilience and decision making.
The aims of Personal, social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at our school are to:
- Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
- Encourage pupils to value themselves and others
- Allow pupils to acknowledge and appreciate difference and diversity
- Teach pupils how to make informed choices
- Teach pupils to understand what constitutes a safe and healthy lifestyle
- Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
- Promote safety in forming and maintaining relationships
- Provide pupils with a toolkit for understanding and managing their emotions
- Provide pupils with the opportunities to consider issues which may affect their own lives and/or the lives of others
- Help pupils to identify the characteristics of healthy relationships, how relationships may affect mental and physical health; and how to stay safe online
- Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
- Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
- Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
- Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
Statutory Regulation and Guidance
The Department for Education is introducing compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils from September 2020. Also, from September 2020 it will be compulsory for all schools to teach Health Education. Through these subjects, we want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe – we want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. We are not required to provide Sex Education, but we do need to teach the elements of Sex Education contained in the Science Curriculum.
At Newton-le-Willows Primary School we are required to provide Relationships Education and Health Education to all pupils. We have chosen to deliver age appropriate Sex Education to our pupils, alongside Relationships Education, as we believe children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.
In Year 5, pupils will be taught about puberty and menstruation. At Newton, these sessions are delivered by ‘HH Kids’, a Wigan based organisation, that support us in the delivery of PSHE and tailor the sessions to the needs of the pupils within our setting. This will be compulsory for all children.
In Year 6, we have the opportunity to offer a ‘conception’ lesson delivered by HH Kids. Parents/ Carers will be consulted as to the aspects covered within this lesson. Parents/Carers will have the right to withdraw their child from this lesson.
This policy has due regard to current legislation and guidance.
The DfE guidance states that “children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way”. Relationship Education is part of lifelong learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. Relationship Education, within PSHE, aims to give children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, healthy, respectful and non-exploitive relationships and the skills to stay safe both on and off line. It enables pupils to explore their own and other’s attitudes and values and builds their self-esteem and confidence to view their own sexuality positively and enables them to make well informed decisions in good conscience.
Relationship Education is not about the promotion of sexual activity.
Definition of terms:
RSHE: Relationships, Sex, and Health Education
Health Education: Physical Health and Mental Wellbeing, the link between the two, and being able to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Relationships Education: the physical, social, legal and emotional aspects of human relationships including friendships, family life and relationships with other children and adults.
Sex Education: there is no agreed definition in the new DFE guidance.
RSE: Relationships, and Sex Education
PSHE: Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education. The RSE policy may link to, or be part of, a wider PSHE ed policy.
DSL: Designated Safeguarding Lead
DfE: Department for Education
This policy has been developed in consultation with staff, pupils and parents. The consultation and policy development process involved the following steps:
- Review – the PSHE leader compiled all relevant information including relevant national and local guidance
- Parent consultation – an overview of the new PSHE/RSE guidance and curriculum was sent out to parents for consultation.
- Pupil consultation – pupils were asked their views on PSHE to inform the new curriculum.
- Ratification – the policy was shared with and approved by the Full Governing Body.
Principles of Teaching and Learning
Relationship Education and Sex Education (RSE) is taught within the Personal, Social, Health, Economic (PSHE) Education curriculum. Some biological aspects of sex education are taught within the Science Curriculum.
At Newton Primary, we have developed our own PSHE scheme of work for Years 1-6, which is based on guidance from the PSHE Association. This provides a spiral curriculum, where subject areas are revisited in greater depth throughout the primary school years. The lessons are based around a theme which changes half-termly.
We believe that pupils should be taught about the society in which they are growing up. These subjects are designed to foster respect for others and respect for diversity, and educate pupils about healthy relationships. We felt it was necessary to include learning opportunities about the wider world to help develop the child as a whole.
We believe that RSE should meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity – this should include age-appropriate teaching about different types of relationships in the context of the law.
Pupils will receive teaching on LGBT relationships, at an age appropriate level, for example, through teaching about different types of family, including those with same sex parents.
PSHE Curriculum Planning
In the creation of Newton’s PSHE Curriculum, the needs of our pupils, the aims and ethos of the school, the local community and local environment in which the school is situated were considered. Using information from the School’s Census, Local data (from Public Health England’s Child and Maternal Health (CHIMAT) data sets and the Local Authority’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)), together with our knowledge of our pupils’ needs, allowed us to clarify our curriculum ‘intent’, and to ensure a curriculum was designed tailored to our pupils’ needs and our school’s circumstances. Although our Newton curriculum organises content under different headings from those used in the content grids of the Department for Education’s statutory guidance on Relationships Education, RSE and Health education, it covers all of the statutory requirements.
PSHE has allocated time within the school timetable for each year group. Sessions are taught regularly, however, subject content filters into many areas of the curriculum. It is embedded in our pupil’s daily routines, through assemblies, through interactions with peers and staff, via our new school values, and through whole school events, such as Aspiration Week, Head Boy and Head Girl, JRSOs, allow our curriculum to be explored further and are essential in developing pupils holistically.
Delivery of RSE
RSE will be taught as part of our PSHE Curriculum. Our curriculum will be facilitated using lesson ideas and resources from the PSHE Association Programme of Study. Biological aspects of RSE are taught within the science curriculum, and other aspects are included in Religious Education (RE).
All teachers, across every year group, will cover RSE through the core theme of Relationships. An overview of the learning that will take place in each year group is detailed in Appendix 2, including the units in which RSE will occur.
As in all areas of the curriculum, teachers will use a variety of teaching and learning methods and approaches including discussion, project learning, DVDs, circle time, group work, drama and role play to teach RSE. We ensure RSE is inclusive and meets the needs of all our pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by choosing appropriate teaching and learning methods, as detailed above, to suit their needs.
Relationships Education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships (available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education), including:
- Families and People who Care for Me
- Caring Friendships
- Respectful Relationships
- Online Relationships
- Being Safe
At Newton Primary, these are taught within the core strands of Relationships, Living in the Wider World and Health and Wellbeing, these three strands comprise of the following units: Being Me, Aspirations and Money Sense, Respecting Ourselves and Others, Physical Health and Wellbeing, Keeping Safe, Positive Relationships, Belonging to a Community, Growing and Hanging, and Media and Digital Resilience.
Sex Education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of physical and emotional changes including:
- The physical changes our body undergoes
- How a baby is conceived and born
These areas of learning are taught within the context of family life taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances (families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: looked after children or young carers).
As a school, we promote equality of opportunity and we uniformly apply values of inclusion and respect to all pupils and their families. All staff are proactive in promoting positive relationships and receive regular training. We value the diversity in our pupil’s cultural and religious backgrounds. RSE contributes to our pupil’s education around inclusion and respect, consequently we are aware of the need to be respectful of our pupil’s cultural or religious beliefs and sensitive in delivering certain topics. Newton-le-Willows Primary school aims to create a learning environment that is accessible to all of our students. In order to ensure this, we will make sure that the content is relevant to the age, experience, maturity and individual needs of our pupils.
Delivery of Health Education
Physical Health and Mental Wellbeing will be taught as part of our PSHE Curriculum. Our curriculum will be facilitated using lesson ideas and resources from the PSHE Association Programme of Study. Biological aspects of Health Education are taught within the science curriculum.
All teachers, across every year group, will cover Physical Health and Mental Wellbeing through the core theme of Health and Wellbeing.
As in all areas of the curriculum, teachers will use a variety of teaching and learning methods and approaches including discussion, project learning, DVDs, circle time, group work, drama and role play to teach Health Education. We ensure Health Education is inclusive and meets the needs of all our pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by choosing appropriate teaching and learning methods, as detailed above, to suit their needs.
Health Education aims to give your child the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, to recognise issues in themselves and others, and to seek support as early as possible when issues arise. Health Education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of a healthy lifestyle, including:
- Mental Wellbeing
- Internet Safety and Harms
- Physical Health and Fitness
- Healthy Eating
- Facts and Risks Associated with Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
- Health and Prevention
- Basic First Aid
- Changing Adolescent Body
Pupils with SEND
As far as is appropriate, pupils with Special Educational Needs should follow the same PSHE and RSE programme as all other students. Careful consideration is given concerning the level of differentiation needed, and in some cases the content or delivery will have to be adapted. Teachers and/or learning support assistants work with individual pupils where required, and if appropriate. All staff will be actively involved in offering consistent messages around RSE from teachers to lunchtime supervisor. These aspects of personal and social development areas are important to all pupils.
The pace and detail of topics may be different and pupils may need lots of support to generalise their learning outside of RSE lessons and support to personalise the learning to their own relationships, behaviours and maturation. It may be appropriate to revisit topics more frequently with our pupils with SEND to support ‘overlearning’ (i.e. practising and embedding the new skills, so the learner retains the learning beyond the initial success and develops mastery) for new and abstract topics.
We acknowledge the greater vulnerability to bullying, exploitation and other issues for pupils with SEND and they will have greater need to be informed and supported in RSE. For pupils with more significant needs, their particular RSE needs may helpfully be assessed as part of an Education Health Care (EHC) needs assessment, with provision to meet those needs set out in their EHC plan.
For pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders or Conditions sometimes their academic capabilities mask their social and emotional needs. Although they may understand the concrete information, work about relationships, consent and understanding risk and coercion this can be very challenging for some young people on the spectrum. Individual sessions or small group provision in addition to mainstream classes will be beneficial to address this. There is likely to be a higher incidence of ‘social masking’ and this will be taken into consideration when evaluating the effectiveness of our teaching and whether our pupils have understood the nuances of social and appropriate intimate relationships.
For pupils with Physical Disabilities, their disability may impact on every aspect of an individual’s life including how they socialise, develop relationships and have sex. Pupils with physical disability may have to find different ways to communicate, take part in learning and everyday activities: including making friends and socialising with others. They may have anxiety about a different body shape or image, worry about how their body works and what others may think. They may not have the opportunity to talk about these things with others with similar needs. Sometimes we may need to ask the family to seek medical advice to share as appropriate with the school to aid the planning and delivery of RSE with the consent of the young person.
Our parents and carers of pupils with SEND may face challenging issues at home that are relevant to RSE. Parents may appreciate information about what school are providing in RSE and may value opportunities for further discussion. SEND pupils may receive further support through a ‘Life Skills’ curriculum.
All our teaching approaches will take account of the pupil’s individual needs and be differentiated accordingly. These are detailed in the pupil’s IEP or EHCP.
Roles and Responsibilities -
Are primarily responsible for advising teachers on how best to identify and support pupils’ need (including the use of teaching assistants/support staff)
The Governing Board
The Governing Body will approve the Personal, Social, Health, Economic Education and Relationship Education policy, and hold the PSHE Leader and Senior Leadership Team to account for its implementation.
The Headteacher/PSHE Leader
The PSHE Leader is responsible for ensuring RSE is taught consistently across the school, and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from components of Sex Education.
Staff are responsible for:
- Delivering RSE in a sensitive way
- Delivering RSE with sensitivity
- Modelling positive attitudes to RSE
- Monitoring progress
- Responding to the needs of individual pupils
- Responding appropriately to pupils whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from the non-statutory/non-science components of RSE
Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching RSE. Staff who have concerns about teaching RSE are encouraged to discuss this with the Headteacher, PSHE Leader or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
All staff have a responsibility of care; as well as fostering academic progress they should actively contribute to the guardianship and guidance of the physical, moral and spiritual well-being of their pupils.
Pupils are expected to engage fully in PSHE and RSE, when discussing issues related to RSE. Pupils are encourages to treat others with respect and sensitivity. At Newton, we offer a broad and balanced PSHE and Relationship Education curriculum which is tailored to the needs of our pupils.
Safeguarding: Safe and Effective Practice
At Newton-le-Willows Primary School, we recognise that there are a range of opinions, beliefs, and perspectives in regard to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Our role in school is not to influence or judge individual belief, but rather to teach the RSE curriculum “in a factual way so that pupils are clear on their rights and responsibilities as citizens”.
We also recognise that Relationships and Sex Education is about the understanding of physical development and puberty, appropriate and inappropriate sexual behaviour, and the protection and empowerment of children and young people.
RSE integrates safeguarding into the learning objective of the lesson, and we aim to provide our children with the knowledge to ensure that they are not exploited or mistreated and that children have a clear understanding around consent and keeping themselves safe.
Relationships and Sex Education is fundamental in keeping our children and young people safe. It plays a vital part in preventative education. It is our responsibility to ensure that pupils are informed about the full range of perspectives, risks, and rights, so they are able to make informed decisions that will help to keep them safe.
We will ensure all resources and images used are inclusive of all pupils e.g. including those in wheelchairs or wearing hearing aids. This is part of our general inclusive approach to RSE (and in other subjects and within the whole-school) and images will represent SEND, LGBT+, a range of ethnicities, and all the protected characteristics. Our choice of images and characterisation will reinforce the message that human sexuality is a positive thing and that no-one is excluded from that. Materials will be available in appropriate learning media including tactile diagrams and physical materials when required. Our teaching of RSE will take account of all our pupil’s needs, culture, development and views. We are aware of language used in RSE and will ensure that it is inclusive.
Parents’ right to withdraw
The school is aware that the primary role in children’s RSE lies with parents and carers. We wish to build a positive and supportive relationship with the parents of children at our school through mutual understanding, trust and co-operation. In promoting this objective we:
- Make available online, via the school’s website, this RSE;
- Answer any questions that parents may have about the RSE of their child;
- Take seriously any issue that parents raise with teachers or Governors about this policy or the arrangements for RSE in the school;
- Inform parents about the best practice known with regard to RSE, so that the teaching in school supports the key messages that parents and carers give to children at home. We believe that, through this mutual exchange of knowledge and information, children will benefit from being given consistent messages about their changing body and their increasing responsibilities.
Parents should be aware that schools are legally required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from Sex Education, except those topics that are a part of the Science Curriculum. There is no right to withdraw your child from Relationships Education as we believe the contents of these subjects such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught. Sex Education topics can arise incidentally and overlap with Relationships Education lessons and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions.
Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing, making clear which aspects of the programme they do not wish their child to participate. This should be addressed this to the Headteacher. A copy of withdrawal requests will be placed in the pupil’s educational record. The Headteacher will discuss the request with parents and take appropriate action. Alternative work will be given to pupils who are withdrawn from these lessons.
Due to the nature of RSE, pupils’ learning may result in them seeking advice or support on a specific personal issue. Teachers cannot offer complete confidentiality. It is important for everyone’s safety that teachers and pupils are clear about what can and cannot be kept confidential. It is also very important for external contributors, including school nurses, to be clear about these rules established by school regarding confidentiality.
Staff are supported in the delivery of RSE by the PSHE Leader and HH Kids. Lesson Plans and support materials are available to staff through an online folder with guidance given by the PSHE Association. The headteacher will also invite visitors from outside the school, such as school nurses or sexual health professionals (where appropriate), to provide support and training to staff teaching RSE.
The school is committed to delivering effective RSE for its pupils and recognises the value and importance of monitoring and evaluating the provision of RSE and the way in which all individuals are supported.
The school has established an on-going process of monitoring. Monitoring is undertaken by the PSHE leader (Mr. Ibbotson) in conjunction with the Inclusion and Safeguarding Leader (Mrs Davies) through book scrutiny, lesson observations and drop ins, learning walks and teacher, pupil, parent or carer feedback. In addition, the PSHE Long Term Plan and Medium Term Overview will be evaluated biannually. The PSHE leader reports findings to the Senior Leadership Team and staff on a regular basis in order to inform future planning.
Pupils’ development in RSE is monitored by class teachers as part of our internal assessment systems.
This policy will be reviewed by the PSHE leader annually. At every review, the policy will be approved by the Governing Board.
Through our policy at Newton Primary School we hope that all our pupils and staff will develop a positive approach to PSHE and RSE and fulfil all legal requirements. Our RSE policy stands alongside our PSHE, E-Safety, Safeguarding and Child Protection and Science policies. Where necessary, these policies may need referring to.