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Sex and Relationships Education Policy
To be read in conjunction with the PHSE policy
Kemball School Sex and Relationships Education Policy.
The Governing Body recognise that this policy takes into account the school’s legal obligations and is based on the principle that Sex Education should be available for all children in accordance with section 241 of the 1993 Education Act. The Department for Education requires all schools to have an up to date policy that is made available for inspection to anyone who asks for it. The policy should:-
- Define Relationship Education.
- Define Relationship and Sex Education.
- Set out the subject content, how it is taught and who is responsible for teaching it.
- Describe how the subject is monitored and evaluated.
- Include information to clarify why parents do not have a right to withdraw their child (KS1 & KS2).
- Include information about a parent’s right to request that their child be excused from sex education within SRE only (KS3 & KS4).
In the document, “Sex and Relationships Education Guidance” (DfEE, July 2000), the Secretary of State said this about Sex and Relationships Education:
“It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching.”- (para 9, page 5)
As of September 2020 the Government has committed to making the health education and relationships education (primary) and relationships and sex education (secondary) aspects of PSHE compulsory.
What is Relationships Education?
Relationships Education focuses on teaching the building blocks of positive relationships with others including; family, friendships, and relationships with other peers and adults. For younger pupils, this learning focusses more on understanding feelings in themselves and in others and on the skills of friendship. They learn about risks in everyday life and develop their thinking about risk taking behaviour. As they get older, pupils consider the ways that others can influence how they think and behave and begin to think about peer pressure and how to resist it.
What is Sex and Relationships Education?
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is an integral element of a broader developmental programme of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. It is lifelong learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. It is about understanding the importance of stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care, empowering students to make informed and wise decisions to keep them safe.
Schools have a legal obligation to provide a Sex and Relationships Education programme. They also have a responsibility to keep an up to date policy which must be available to parents (accessible on our school’s website). Parents of pupils in KS3 & KS4 have a right to withdraw their children from the additional SRE sessions which are taught once every half term. A letter of coverage will be sent home and parents/ carers will have the option to opt out by returning a slip back to their child’s class teacher.
Aims and Objectives of the SRE Policy
The aims of the SRE policy is to determine the content and manner in which the SRE programme is taught in school. The policy has the following aims;
1. To ensure that sex and relationship education meets the needs of all young people in a manner related to their developmental age and experience.
2. To emphasise that Sex and Relationship Education is placed within the context of the school’s work in Personal Social and Health Education.
3. To give information to parents about the programme so that they are aware of what will take place and will be aware of opportunities for involvement and consultation.
4. To indicate the school’s interpretation of all relevant legislation and the Local Authorities’ policy guidelines.
5. To ensure a cohesive and progressive delivery of SRE education that is consolidated and revisited at appropriate times.
The school’s approach to Sex and Relationships Education
Effective Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is essential if children and young people are to make responsible and well-informed decisions about their lives. SRE should help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development. A successful programme, firmly embedded in PSHE, will help children and young people to respect themselves and others and move with confidence through adolescence into adulthood.
Kemball School are committed ensuring that the education provided to pupils is appropriate to their individual ability and their understanding. We recognise that maturity may not correspond to chronological age and this will be taken into consideration prior to conducting SRE with individuals. We aim to make SRE accessible to our pupils through sensitive and age-appropriate teaching.
Due to the nature of the Special Educational Needs of the pupils we recognise that they are more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues, therefore Relationship Education is especially important for our pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.
Pupils within the functional and progression pathways at Kemball will be offered a comprehensive, well planned programme of study for PSHE. It aims to promote and develop key skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, teamwork and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes:
- Health and wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World, economic wellbeing and being a responsible citizen.
Within this, Relationship Education has been put in place at KS1 & KS2 to increase pupils understanding of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy.
At KS3, teaching will build on the knowledge acquired at primary and develop further pupils’ understanding about different forms of relationships including families, romantic relationships, marriage and civil partnerships.
At KS4, aspects of PSHE and Sex and Relationships are taught through ASDAN (see ASDAN policy for further information).
We further our pupil’s knowledge of Sex and Relationships for KS3 and KS4 pupils through specific sessions once every half term that encompasses coverage which has been identified by the teachers of these year groups. The coverage for these sessions will be sent home in a letter in the Autumn Term and will specify the areas/ themes that will be covered and will provide parents/carers with the option to ‘opt out’ of these lessons.
Through our approach to Relationships Education and Sex and Relationships Education we aim to develop:
Attitudes and Values
- Learning the importance of values and individual conscience and moral considerations.
- Learning the value of family life, marriage and stable and loving relationships for the nurture of children that is inclusive of the diverse society in modern Britain.
- Learning the value of respect, love and care.
- Exploring, considering and understanding moral dilemmas.
- Developing critical thinking as part of decision making.
Personal and Social Skills
- Learning to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively.
- Developing self-respect and empathy for others.
- Learning to make choices based on an understanding of difference and with an absence of prejudice.
- Developing an appreciation of the consequences of the choices made
- Managing conflict.
- Developing the skills of being assertive and how to stay safe and avoid all types of exploitation and abuse.
Morals and Values Framework
- Effective SRE should achieve a balance between acquisitions of:
- Attitudes – appreciation of difference; tolerance; openness about sex.
- Skills – negotiation; communication; assertiveness; care for self and others; personal skills; managing emotions and relationships; problem-solving skills; decision-making skills.
Knowledge and Understanding
- Learning and understanding physical development at appropriate stages Such as; emotions and relationships, puberty; the mechanics of sex including biological aspects; fertility and reproduction; contraception and sexual health; information about sexual orientation, sexuality, gender reassignment, the avoidance of unplanned pregnancies, reasons for delaying sexual activity.
- Understanding human sexuality
- A broad and balanced programme of Sex and Relationship Education will respect individual differences – inspired by cultural, religious and familial background. It will seek to promote those values, which respect human life and dignity.
Organisation & Whole School Approach
The Governors expect a basic programme of Relationship Education (KS1 & KS2) and SRE (KS3 & KS4) and Personal development to be part of every child’s entitlement at Kemball School, planned according to individual and group needs and development.
Progression and Functional Pathways
Relationships Education (all key stages in functional and progression pathways) is mandatory and suggested coverage is set out in the schools PSHE rolling programme. Teachers may adapt to suit the needs of the pupils in their classes. Within our Progression and Functional Pathways, the adopted approach is that the following groups that make up the part of the school community, have rights and responsibilities regarding Sex Education. In particular:
- The school leadership team supports the provision and development of this in line with this policy by providing leadership, adequate resourcing and time in the curriculum.
- Teachers in these pathways are involved in the school’s Sex Education provision. It is their aim to deliver high quality teaching which is differentiated and personalised. Some teach this through the PSHE /tutor period programme and some through science and other curriculum areas. All teachers play an important pastoral role by offering support to students. Any teacher can be approached by a student who experiences a difficulty regarding sex or relationship issues. All staff are trained in how to keep children safe and understand how to report concerns to the school’s designated safeguarding officer.
- Support staff may be involved in a supportive role in some lessons and also play an important, informal pastoral role supporting students outside of the classroom.
- Governors have responsibilities for school policies and they are consulted.
- Parents/carers have a legal right to view this policy and to have information about the school’s sex education provision. The policy is available on the school web site.
- The school nurse plays a key role in supporting sex education through the provision of pastoral support for students either on a one to one basis or through the School Nurse ‘Drop in’. This can be arranged via the HUB.
- Outside agencies and speakers are involved as points of referral as support services for students. The school will work in partnership with them and jointly plan their work within the school in adherence to this policy. We will also promote relevant outside support agencies that students can access.
The curriculum for our Progression and Functional pathways is developmental and is mostly taught as part of the PSHE programme. Some elements may be included in other subjects, for example, some of the Relationship and Sex education form part of the National Curriculum for Science. SRE is also explored in Religious Education and possibly through outside speakers and drama. The Relationship and Sex and Relationships programme will for these pathways will:
- Provide learning opportunities that are relevant and appropriate to the age, maturity, and ability of the pupil
- Include the development of social skills
- Encourage pupils to explore different values and attitudes
The programme is based on the National Curriculum for Science, PSHE and Citizenship guidance and guidelines from The PSHE Association. Staff will develop their own coverage for SRE in KS3 & KS4 dependent on the needs of their current cohort of pupils. This coverage will be sent home to parents/ carers in the Autumn term and will provide parents/ carers with the option to opt of these sessions.
Multi-sensory and Engagement pathways
Within our Multi-sensory and Engagement pathways, discrete PSHE topics will not be taught as stand-alone lessons. This is because we believe that these pupils require individualised targets that promote independence and prepare them for adult-life. These targets are interwoven into all curriculum areas however each week there is a session whereby pupils receive specific, focused one to one support to embed and extend their learning. These targets are continually reviewed and revisited to meet individual needs.
Opting out/ Withdrawing
Throughout the whole school, parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from the mandatory coverage for Relationships Education that is set out on the school’s programme of study. However, parents of pupils in KS3 + KS4 do have the right to withdraw their children from the SRE coverage that is taught once every half term. A letter will be sent home in the Autumn term that sets out the coverage for the year and this will then provide the opportunity for parents/ carers to withdraw by returning the letter back to their child’s class teacher. Although parents can withdraw their children from dedicated ‘sex education’ lessons, they do not have the right to withdraw them from those aspects that are taught in Science or where it arises incidentally in other subject areas. We will work in active partnership with parents, value their views and keep them informed about our provision and should they have any concerns about the provision we will take time to address their concerns.
Handling Sensitive and Controversial Issues
Learning from real-life experience is central to PSHE and Citizenship. Sensitive and controversial issues are certain to arise. Pupils will not be sheltered from such issues: through them, they can develop an important range of skills, including listening, accepting other points of view, arguing a case, dealing with conflict and distinguishing between fact and opinion.
Issues that are likely to be sensitive or controversial are those that have a political, social or personal impact and arouse strong feelings and/ or deal with questions of values and belief. RSE, drug education, religion or politics are likely to fall within this category amongst other issues.
In the teaching of controversial issues, there is always the risk of bias. Teachers will include in their provision activities that enable pupils to learn how to recognise bias, how to evaluate evidence put before them, how to look for different interpretations, views and sources of evidence and how to give reasons for what they say and do. Teachers will seek to avoid bias by providing a balanced presentation or opposing views.
Confidentiality – See Confidentiality Policy
All staff, pupils, parents and carer’s will be made aware of the school’s framework for confidentiality. Key aspects include:
- Teachers and other school staff will not put pressure on the pupils to disclose personal information and will discourage fellow pupils from applying such pressure.
- Ground rules will be used in PSHE lessons.
- Boundaries for confidentiality will be set in lessons and in discussions with teachers and visitors to the school.
- Situations when teachers will need to break confidentiality, such as those involving child protection issues.
- In 1-1 situations, the limits as to the advice that teachers/ school staff can offer.
Please refer to Kemball School’s confidentiality policy for more information.
Equal opportunities - See Equal opportunities Policy
Under the provisions of the Equality Act, schools must not unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their age, sex, race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, or sexual orientation (collectively known as the protected characteristics). Schools must also make reasonable adjustments to alleviate disadvantage and be mindful of the SEND Code of Practice when planning for these subjects (DfE, Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education, 2019, p13)
In teaching Relationships Education and SRE, Kemball School will ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. The education programme is an entitlement of all pupils (however parental consent forms are sent prior to any Sex and Relationship Education being conducted). The programme will reflect and include values held by a variety of religious and racial communities with an emphasis on those held within the school. The class will be taught in mixed groups, although there should be opportunities for single gender work.
As all of our pupils have Special Educational Needs they will be supported according to their stage of development and learning difficulty, but will not be excluded from SRE.
The school has a child protection and safeguarding policy which is available on the school website.
Answering pupil’s questions
Pupil’s questions will be answered, as in every lesson, in an honest and sensitive manner appropriate to the age and maturity of the child and in keeping with their religious and cultural background.
Procedures for the involvements of health professionals and visitors
In accordance with school policy, visitors will be invited into school in order to supplement or complement the programme.
Outside agencies may be used to complement the curriculum. All materials used will be discussed prior to the visit and a member of staff will remain in the class with the speaker.
Complaints procedure – See Complaints Policy
Any complaints should be taken to the class teacher. If the teacher cannot resolve the situation, then the Head Teacher should be informed. There is a complaints procedure available on the school website.
Monitoring and evaluation
A copy of the policy will be given to the school governors. The policy should be updated regularly.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following:
- Safeguarding policy
- Behaviour policy
- PSHE coverage in pathway booklets
- Equal Opportunities policy
- Confidentiality policy
- Complaints policy
- E-safety policy