Beulah Junior School
Sex & Relationship Education Policy
We have based our school’s Sex and relationships policy (SRE) on the Healthy Schools Croydon Council scheme of work, the recommendations of the PSHE Association (2015) and the DfEE guidance document ‘Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (ref DfEE 0116/2000). In this document SRE is defined as:
“learning about physical moral and emotional development. It is about understanding 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.”
The PSHE Associations ‘SRE for the 21st Century’ (2014) builds upon this and states that:
‘Sex and relationships education is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health.
A comprehensive programme of SRE [should] provide accurate information about the body, reproduction, sex, and sexual health. It [should] also give children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and staying safe both on and offline.”
At Beulah Junior School, SRE is part of our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education curriculum. While we use SRE to inform children about sexual issues, we do this with regard to matters of morality and individual responsibility. We acknowledge that our children will come from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds and different home situations. All children and families have the right to privacy, respect and acceptance and our approach will be non-judgemental and respectful.
We will promote the view that a sexual relationship comes as part of a stable and loving relationship. We will educate children as to what is a ‘healthy’ relationship and discuss the importance of trust. As part of our duty to educate our children about the different family types we will discuss alternative relationships with children, such as same-sex couples. All teachers will be sensitive to the religious and moral beliefs of themselves and their class when they are considering how to approach this area of SRE.
The SRE guidance (DfEE 2000) states that:
- “Teachers should be able to deal with honestly and sensitively with sexual orientation, answer appropriate questions, offer support, and be able to deal with homophobic bullying.”
This also relates to the five outcomes of Every Child Matters (DfES, 2004)
- To complement and support the work of parents.
- To prepare pupils to cope with the physical and emotional challenges of growing up.
- To give pupils an elementary understanding of human reproduction.
- To support the personal and social development of all pupils.
- To offer balanced and factual information appropriate to the age and maturity of the pupils acknowledging the moral and ethical issues involved.
- To discover what pupils know, understand, think and feel and to identify their needs.
- To create a programme for progressive and differentiated learning which caters to pupils needs and is sensitive to individuals and groups.
- To encourage unembarrassed acceptance of sexuality by providing appropriate vocabulary for parts of the body and encourage positive attitudes to all bodily functions.
- To generate an atmosphere where questions and discussions on sexual matters can the place without embarrassment.
- To counteract misunderstanding of how the body functions.
- To enable pupils to accept variation in rates of growth and development (physical, emotional, social) and in ages when puberty or sexual activities commence.
- To provide constant reassurance that change is part of the life cycle and to give help in adjusting to these changes.
- To recognise the value of loving and caring relationships.
- To make children aware of the basic principle of ‘consent’.
- Curriculum Content
The teaching of all sex and relationship education is set within a clear, balanced sensitive and moral framework in which pupils are encouraged to consider the importance of respect, acceptance of responsibility, sensitivity, self-esteem, dignity, self-restraint, loyalty and fidelity.
The curriculum (updated 2015) has been written taking into consideration the Croydon SRE Scheme alongside the PSHE Associations recommendations (2015).
Parents, children and governors are consulted on the new curriculum.
- It is important that a range of teaching approaches is employed.
- Ground Rules should be established at the beginning of every lesson and these should be agreed on by the teacher and the pupils.
- Children need to acquire knowledge but also have opportunities to discuss issues openly.
- A ‘Worry Box’ should be available in every classroom for children to ask questions/bring up issues that they feel they are too embarrassed/worried to talk about in class.
- Group work is important as it enables children to develop personal and social skills, exchange ideas and express attitudes. [Consideration needs to be given to the organisation of group work, for example; size and composition of groups. In the upper school some sex education may be taught in single-sex groups].
- Self-reflection should be a crucial part of PSHE lesson provision. This enables children to take the skills and knowledge they have acquired and apply it to other situations inside and outside the classroom.
Although the education of children on sexual and relationship matters is primarily the right and duty of the parents, the school accepts its responsibility to provide sex education for all children. Sex and relationship education teaching is, therefore, complementary to and supportive of the parent’s role.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from sex education lessons but not from those elements that form part of the National Curriculum Science Order (see appendix 1). Parents will, therefore, be notified in writing in advance of the lessons taking place and will be given an opportunity to view and discuss the materials used.
- Responding to Children’s Questions
During lessons on sex education, children may ask questions about topics which are not specifically taught as part of a planned programme. Such topics might include contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, homosexuality, abortion, rape etc. The teacher has to decide whether:
- To answer the question right away.
- To ask the child to wait for the answer until the class has been dismissed.
- To contact the child’s parents.
- To deal with the question in accordance with the school’s Child Protection Policy because there is a child protection issue.
As a general rule if the question is about something which is likely to be appropriate to and relevant for the majority of the class, then it should be answered honestly, openly and right away.
All staff, including teaching and support staff, may be asked questions relating to sexual matters. The adult should be clear about what the child wants to know and the reason why. This will give an indication of the child’s own level of understanding. If possible a simple, honest answer should be given but if a member of staff feels uncomfortable then the question should be referred to the head teacher, deputy head teacher and/or the child’s class teacher.
Staff should not promise confidentiality. If a safeguarding/child protection issue came to light, it must be reported to the appropriate member of staff who would take the appropriate action.
- Use of Visitors
If visitors, for example the school nurse, are used to support the provision of sex education, the teacher(s) must ensure that:
- A preliminary meeting has taken place to ensure appropriate content.
- That the content of the school’s policy is known and understood.
- That the needs of the individual class are catered for.
- The teacher is present so they can follow up the input at a later stage.
- The visitor can offer something specific and useful that the teacher cannot.
- The children have been told beforehand of the visit and are prepared.
- That the visitor has experience in SRE and working with children.
Books, internet, pictures, DVD programmes will be used to support the curriculum.
Parents will be invited to view these resources should they so wish to. Refer to Croydon SRE SoW for scheme, resources and references.
- Assessment and Record Keeping
Long term, medium term and short term planning documents show knowledge covered by the schemes of work based on school guidelines.
Older children will be encouraged to reflect on, evaluate and feedback on the sex and relationship education as appropriate.
In some lessons, children may be asked to record their thoughts/knowledge on paper as part of the learning. These can be used by the class teacher as an assessment opportunity.
- Equal Opportunities
Children will have equal access to the sex and relationship education unless specifically withdrawn from this provision by their parents (except from the parts covered by the National Curriculum Science subject).
Extra care will be taken to ensure sensitivity is shown towards children whose maturity, experience of family life, sexual knowledge and moral framework is a cause for concern. Religious and cultural differences will also be taken into account when planning and delivering the lessons.
- Related policies
- PSHE Ed policy
- Child Protection
- Anti – Bullying policy
- Monitoring the Policy
The policy was written in consultation with staff, parents and governors. It will be monitored and reviewed in line with the school monitoring policy every 2 years.