As part of your child’s educational experience at Eaton Park Academy, we aim to promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensively taught programme of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education that gives children and young people the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy, safe, productive and fulfilled lives, both now and in the future.
Following nationwide consultation, The Department for Education has made changes to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), which came into effect from September 2020, and all schools are required to comply with the updated requirements.
In light of the guidance, we have reviewed our PSHE (including RHE & RSE) curriculum and policy so we can be sure our provision is appropriate for our pupils based on their:
- Age and maturity levels, as well as their cultural and religious backgrounds
- Physical and emotional maturity
- The values of our school community
- Every pupil’s learning needs
The new guidance focuses on healthy relationships and keeping children safe in the modern world. It also covers a wide range of topics relating to physical and mental health, wellbeing, safeguarding and healthy relationships. Learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up will give children and young people the information, skills and positive values to have safe, fulfilling relationships and help them take responsibility for their own well-being.
Pupils should be taught about the society in which they are growing up. These subjects are designed to foster respect for others and for difference, and educate pupils about healthy relationships. 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. In our school, children will be taught about the many different types of family in our modern society and all our planned learning will be taught in an age appropriate way.
Teaching the correct names of our external body parts is an important aspect of sex education, appropriate for young children, and it need not be done with stigma or embarrassment. From a safeguarding point of view, it is vitally important for young children to know what their body parts are called. No one wants to introduce fear and worry for young children where it was not previously felt, but it is equally important to build confidence and ‘a voice’ so that all children can lead healthy and safe lives.
As part of the established KS2 Science curriculum, we already teach the life cycle of reproduction in animals, including humans. How our bodies grow and change from birth to old age, and the different challenges this brings for all of us, is an important part of a KS2 primary curriculum with body changes and puberty already featuring in the current Year Five and Six curriculum.
RHE at Eaton Park Academy, does not encourage sexual experimentation, the taking away of a child’s innocence, over-ruling the wishes or rights of parents or imposing ideas onto young people. RHE is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching.
It is important for our pupils and our schools to ensure children can reflect upon their own beliefs, values and ideas in an age and developmentally appropriate way, and to develop an understanding of other’s ideas, beliefs and values.
We have decided that the RSE lessons will be taught in the summer term of each year as by then, children will have established secure relationships with the staff in their year groups. We use a well respected
Parents continue to have the right to withdraw their children from these sessions only apart from content covered in the National Curriculum for Science. Where a parent wishes to withdraw their child, this should be communicated with the school. We would encourage parents considering this, to contact the school to discuss this further. Where a child has been withdrawn from the curriculum, they will be taught elsewhere in the school.
As a school community, we are committed to working in partnership with parents and carers and value your opinions regarding the education of your children. As I am sure you will appreciate, the present climate makes it a little more challenging to consult with you, so in order for you to have an understanding of the curriculum requirements, we have placed information on our website which I would encourage you to read.
- Link to DfE statutory guidance on Relationships and Sex Education. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education
- Jigsaw RSE information
- How we cover the RSHE Statutory Curriculum
It is important to note that the RSE elements in each year group take up a small part of an extensive and enriching PSHE curriculum. However, prior to the teaching of the RSE sessions in Summer 2022, we believe it is important to offer informal drop in-sessions for parents and carers. These meetings will give you the opportunity to speak to staff and enable you to view all of the resources used across school as we are unable to publish these on our website, due to copyright law.