Sex and Relationships Education
We believe that promoting the health and well-being of our students is an important part of their overall education. We do this through our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) course. This looks at many topics including all kinds of relationships, physical / emotional health and living in the wider world. The aim of the PSHE course is to help our pupils make safe and informed decisions during their school years and beyond.
Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is an important part of the PSHE course. We will be teaching lessons about SRE during terms 3 &4 which will include topics such as (puberty; relationships and communication skills; pregnancy; contraceptives; prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; prevention of sexual abuse; FGM; body image; sexting and social media; pornography; consent.) During the course, students will be able to ask questions, which will be answered factually and in an age appropriate manner. Each student’s privacy will be respected, and no one will be asked to reveal personal information.
Some parts of SRE are compulsory – these are part of the National Curriculum for Science. Parents can withdraw their children from all other parts of SRE if they wish to do so. However, we believe that the presentation of sexual images in social and other media make it important that all young people have a place to discuss pressures, check facts and dispel myths. Even if a child is withdrawn, many students will discuss such issues with each other outside the classroom – so, rather than hear about the content second-hand, we hope all children will have the opportunity to take part in our carefully planned lessons.
Sex and Relationships Education – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the aims of SRE in our school?
Depending on the age of the children and the lessons in their particular year group, we want SRE to:
• Develop the confidence to talk, listen and think about their feelings and relationships
• Develop friendship/relationship skills
• Develop positive attitudes, values and self esteem
• Provide knowledge and understanding about puberty and the changes that will take place
• Provide knowledge and understanding about reproduction and sexuality
• Address concerns and correct misunderstanding that children may have gained from the media and peers
• Develop skills to help children protect themselves against unwanted sexual experience
• Know where and how to seek help
Can you explain the school’s SRE Morals and Values Framework?
SRE follows the school’s agreed aims, values and moral framework which is sensitive to the needs and beliefs of pupils, parents / carers and other members of the school community. SRE will be delivered within the school’s agreed equal opportunities framework.
SRE will support the importance of marriage or stable relationships, for family life and bringing up children. Care is taken to ensure there is no stigmatisation of children based on their different home circumstances.
Pupils will be encouraged to understand that thinking about morals and values also includes:
• Respect for self and others
• Commitment, trust and love within relationships
• Understanding diversity regarding religion, culture and sexual orientation
• Honesty with self and others
• Exploration of rights, duties and responsibilities
Misunderstandings about SRE
There is sometimes concern that SRE in school might promote sexual activity or cause confusion about an individual’s sexuality. The research on quality SRE points to a more positive outlook: 87 programmes from many countries were examined by UNESCO in 2009. This led to the conclusion that if SRE has an effect it is a positive one: “sexuality education can lead to later and more responsible sexual behaviour or may have no discernible impact on sexual behaviour”.
In the UK the research is even more positive. Analysis by the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles team over several years consistently shows that men and women who said that lessons at school were their main source of information about sex were more likely to have started having sex at a later age than those for whom parents or other sources were their main source. Schools have an important role to play in SRE.