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RSE Parent RE-consultation September 2021

As part of your child’s educational experience at Worsbrough Common Primary School, 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 and after parent consultation last year, we have reviewed our PSHE (including 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 and
  • Every pupil’s learning needs

Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual consultation sessions. It has been reassuring to know that the presentations have been well received and feedback suggests the sessions added value and clarity regarding the changes to the curriculum, as advised by the Government.

General feedback The overall response to the proposed changes was extremely positive. Parents and carers have shared that they have read the guidance and have felt secure in what their child will be taught in each year group.

As shared previously, 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.

During previous consultation parents raised questions around the content of our RSE curriculum. In response to this we assure you that RSE at Worsbrough Common Primary School, 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 school to ensure students 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.

Unless needed earlier, RSE lessons will tend to 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.

As a school community, we are committed to working in partnership with families and value your opinions regarding the education of your children. As we are currently reviewing policy we welcome your comments for further consultation. Below are links to relevant documents you might find useful.

At WCPS, the PD & RSHE Curriculum sets out learning opportunities for each key stage, in each core theme, organised under subheadings. These learning opportunities should be used flexibly to plan a programme according to pupils’ development, readiness and needs, and taking into account prior learning, experience and understanding.

Learning from one area may be related and relevant to others. Whilst this framework distinguishes three separate core themes, there will be extensive overlap, so when planning schemes of work, schools may draw from more than one theme. For example, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) falls within both ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Relationships’, as sexual health should always be considered as an element of health education but also taught within the context of healthy relationships. Similarly, whilst they are specifically addressed where appropriate, assessing and managing risk and managing life online are integrated throughout all three core themes.

PD & RSHE education addresses both pupils’ current experiences and preparation for their future. The HCAT PD & RSHE curriculum therefore provides a spiral curriculum to develop knowledge, skills and attributes, where prior learning is revisited, reinforced and extended year on year. This is grounded in the established evidence base for effective practice in PD & RSHE education.

During key stages 1 and 2, our PD & RSHE curriculum offers both explicit and implicit learning opportunities and experiences which reflect pupils’ increasing independence and physical and social awareness, as they move through the primary phase. It builds on the skills that pupils started to acquire during the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) to develop effective relationships, assume greater personal responsibility and manage personal safety, including online. PD & RSHE education helps pupils to manage the physical and emotional changes at puberty, introduces them to a wider world and enables them to make an active contribution to their communities.

PD & RSHE education contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. It enables them to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings. Developing an understanding of themselves, empathy and the ability to work with others will help pupils to form and maintain good relationships, develop the essential skills for future employability and better enjoy and manage their lives.

We have created supplementary guidance on sex education which is additional, but non-statutory content that parents have a right to withdraw their child from.

The content set out in this guidance covers everything that HCAT primary schools should teach about sex education, including puberty. The curriculum documents for science also includes subject content in related areas, such as the main external body parts, the human body as it grows from birth to old age (including puberty) and reproduction in some plants and animals. At HCAT, we have ensured our primary schools cover this additional content on sex education to meet the needs of our pupils, even though this is not a statutory requirement.

It is important that the transition phase before moving to secondary school supports pupils’ ongoing emotional and physical development effectively. Therefore, HCAT have developed a bespoke sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of our pupils. It aims to ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings and – drawing on knowledge of the human life cycle set out in the curriculum for science - how a baby is conceived and born.

As part of our policy review, you have a right to provide your views on:

  • The RSE policy
  • Coverage for PSHE & Relationship Sexual Health Education
  • Your rights as a parent/carer
  • How we will be teaching RSE at Worsbrough Common Primary

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.

Please take some time to view the policy, curriculum overviews and DfE guidance. Please share your feedback following this link;

This consultation period will end on Monday 20th July 2021 and therefore, all feedback will be required on or before this date.

FAQ

Q: Will my child be taught sex education at primary? This is too young.

A: We are not introducing compulsory sex education at primary school. We are introducing Relationships Education at primary, to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds. This will start with family and friends, how to treat each other with kindness, and recognising the difference between online and offline friendships.

Q: Does the new Relationships Education and RSE curriculum take account of my faith?

A: The subjects are designed to help children from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain. In all schools, when teaching these subjects, the religious background of pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching, so that topics are appropriately handled. In developing these subjects, we have worked with a number of representative bodies and faith organisations, representing all the major faith groups in England.

Q: Do I have a right to withdraw my child from Relationships and Sex Education?

The Relationships Education, RSE, and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 have made Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools. However, sex education is not compulsory in primary schools and the content set out in this guidance which chooses to teach aspects of sex education (which go beyond the national curriculum for science), is in-line with our schools’ policies and all our schools have individually consulted with parents on what is to be covered. As a result, the content outlined in our sex education guidance permits parents to have a right to withdraw their children from any of these lessons outlined in this document.

Q: Has the government listened to the views of my community in introducing these subjects?

A: A thorough engagement process, involving a public call for evidence and discussions with over 90 organisations, as well as the public consultation on the draft regulations and guidance, has informed the key decisions on these subjects. The consultation received over 11,000 responses from teachers, schools, expert organisations, young people and parents – these responses have helped finalise the statutory guidance.

Q: Will my child be taught about LGBT relationships?

A: 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. Pupils should receive teaching on LGBT content during their school years. Teaching children about the society that we live in and the different types of loving, healthy relationships that exist can be done in a way that respects everyone. Primary schools are strongly encouraged and enabled to cover LGBT content when teaching about different types of families.

Q: Where can I find out more information about what will be taught in my child’s school?

A: If you want to know more about what will be taught as part of the new subjects, the best thing to do is speak to us. These subjects are designed to equip your child with knowledge to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships as well as preparing them for a successful adult life. The important lessons you teach your child about healthy relationships, looking after themselves and staying safe, are respected and valued under this new curriculum. Teaching at school will complement and reinforce the lessons you teach your child as they grow up. Your child’s school will have flexibility to deliver the content in a way that is age and developmentally appropriate and sensitive to the needs and religious background of its pupils.

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