Relationship and Sex Education
Agreed by Local School Committee: October 2019
Review Date: Autumn 2020
Our school’s Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) policy is based on the DfE guidance document ‘Sex and Relationship Education Guidance’. In this document, RSE is defined as ‘learning about physical, moral and education development. It is about understanding the importance of family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care’.
The Beckfoot Phoenix RSE policy was written following discussion and consultation with parents, special schools in Bradford’s District Achievement Partnership, Bradford Council Sexual Health Team, and the School Nursing Special Needs Team.
At Beckfoot Phoenix, we want everyone to 'Enjoy, Learn and Succeed' beyond their potential so that all children are well prepared for life outside school.
We want children at our School to
- Keep safe.
- Behave appropriately.
- Understand the nature of human relationships.
- Understand the importance of stable, caring friendships and relationships.
- Have the skills, knowledge and understanding to be happy, fulfilled individuals in adult life.
Aims of the Policy
- To provide a secure, sensitive and caring framework where learning and discussion can take place
- To provide children with information that is relevant and appropriate to their needs, age and maturity.
- To empower children to make informed decisions.
- To help children to acquire and practise important life skills such as communication, decision making, and assertiveness
- To ensure that RSE is available to all children regardless of gender, ability, cultural or religious background in line with the school’s policy on equal opportunities.
Principles of RSE
The principle underlying this policy is that:
- effective RSE is best achieved through a whole-school approach.
- ensuring that RSE teaching is appropriate to individual need.
- involving parents and carers;
- giving staff appropriate training and support; and
- ensuring that pupils’ views are listened to.
RSE at our School has three main elements:
- Attitudes and values; learning about respect, diversity, love and care and considering and exploring moral dilemmas.
- Personal and social skills: learning to manage relationships, developing self-respect and empathy for others, keeping safe.
- Knowledge and understanding: learning about physical development at different stages, preparation for the changes that occur to their bodies, minds and emotions as a consequence of growth from childhood to adulthood.
The role of the Head teacher
It is the responsibility of the Head teacher to ensure that both staff and parents are informed about our RSE policy, and that the policy is implemented effectively. It is also the Head teacher’s responsibility to ensure that members of staff are given sufficient training, so that they can teach effectively and handle any difficult issues with sensitivity.
The Head teacher liaises with external agencies regarding the school RSE programme, and ensures that all adults who work with children on these issues are aware of the school policy, and that they work within this framework.
The Head teacher may delegate some of the above responsibilities to the following named staff:
- The School’s Curriculum Lead: Sarah Lloyd.
Monitoring and Review
It is the responsibility of the PSHE/RSE lead to monitor the standards of teaching and learning in RSE supported by the Curriculum Lead and Head Teacher.
The leader will also:
- Ensure staff are trained appropriately
- Attend training and disseminate to staff
- Consult and advise colleagues
- Monitor RSE throughout the school
- Assist the planning process
- Review annually the resources available and purchase any necessary equipment and books
- Set clear realistic targets for raising standards throughout the school
How RSE is taught
- Some of the elements of RSE are taught through everything we do as part of our School ethos, ie. Attitudes, values, diversity, personal and social skills.
- RSE is taught within compulsory science lessons which all children access.
- It is also taught within the Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum.
We teach RSE:
- Through specific lessons or learning journeys.
- Whole class/girls/boys groups/individual basis.
- In response to key questions/as issues arise/as behaviours are observed.
- RSE will be individualised, developmental and age appropriate
- Within a context of relationships and family life
Who will teach RSE?
RSE may be taught by:
- Class staff.
- School Nurse.
- Visiting speakers.
Staff Support and Development
It is appreciated that some staff may feel less comfortable with this area of the curriculum. All staff will be supported with appropriate training and support and if preferred, alternative staff or visiting professionals may be asked to deliver the curriculum.
Topics covered within the RSE curriculum (see curriculum on website).
- Public and private: body parts, consistency of language and messages, assertiveness skills and actions, ie. how to say ‘no’. Private and public places and parts of the body.
- Friendships: developing social greetings and acceptable touch behaviours that will continue to be appropriate in adulthood.
- Hygiene: importance of personal hygiene, body functions and self help skills. Understanding consent. Importance of hygiene routines, washing hair, bodies and private parts.
- Biology and body changes: gender differences and timeline of growing up. Developing body parts, learning about each other, basic feelings and emotions.
- Puberty and emotions: social boundaries, emotions, feelings, public and private, mood swings, periods.
- Music videos and internet safety: body image, vulnerability, video games and music videos. Keeping safe using the internet, danger of strangers introducing them online and using social networking sites.
- Masturbation: sexual feelings, how medication can affect feelings, private time for masturbation, where to go is something hurts. Understanding the boundaries of public and private behaviour. Keeping safe.
- Diversity and relationships: how friendships develop and understanding consent, different types of relationships, consent, sexuality, reproduction.
- Dangerous relationships: stranger danger, communication skills to ask for help, importance of telling.
Other Topics covered within the Science Curriculum
- Life processes common to humans including nutrition, growth and reproduction
- How humans move, feed, grow.
- Differences between different humans.
- Changes over time.
The role of parents
At Beckfoot Phoenix School, we believe that RSE is an ongoing process throughout the child’s life which starts in the home and continues at school. To ensure we work in partnership with parents/carers, we:
- Inform parents about the school’s RSE policy and practice
- Answer any questions that parents may have about the RSE of their child
- Take seriously any issue that parents raise about this policy or the arrangements for RSE in the school.
Parent’s Rights to withdraw their child from RSE.
As a special School, we have a duty to ensure that children with special educational needs are properly included in RSE so that they are helped to understand their physical and emotional development and enable them to make positive decisions in their lives (DCSF 2010: Sex and Relationships Education Guidance to Schools).
We would hope that parents would understand the importance of the topics covered within the RSE curriculum for children at our School. We see it as crucially important that we teach RSE to our pupils so that they are less open and vulnerable to abuse. We see the consequence of not teaching RSE to our pupils is that we limit their life experiences due to their inability to behave appropriately in the wider community.
We understand however that parents have a right to withdraw their child from RSE lessons/activities.
If a parent wishes their child to be withdrawn from RSE lessons, they should discuss this with Rachel Stirland, the Head teacher, and make it clear which aspects of the programme they do not wish their children to participate in.
Parents cannot withdraw their child from aspects of RSE lessons which are covered by the Science curriculum, eg body parts, changes.
The role of other members of the community
We encourage other valued members of the community to work with us to provide advice and support to the children with regard to RSE and health education. In particular, members of the Local Health Authority, such as the School Nursing Team give us valuable support with our RSE programme.
Teachers will answer children’s questions about RSE in an open and honest manner, taking into account the understanding, age and maturity of the child. Parents will be informed if it is felt that this teaching should continue in the home, or if it may affect a child’s behaviour or understanding at home. However, if a child makes reference to something that may be considered a Child Protection or Safeguarding concern, then the teacher will refer this to the Safeguarding Team or Head Teacher who will then decide whether a referral to Social Care should be made. See Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
All pupils will have the opportunity to participate in RSE. However, parents have the right to withdraw their children from some of the curriculum after discussion with the headteacher and if the school is notified in writing.
Role of the Local School Committee (LSC)
The Head teacher monitors this policy on a regular basis and reports to (LSC), when requested, on the effectiveness of the policy. The LSC is kept informed of any new developments and progress made pertaining to RSE.