Relationship and Sex Education Policy

  • Aims

    The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) at our school are to:

    • Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
    • Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
    • Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
    • Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
    • Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
  • The Three Main Elements of RSE

    Attitudes and values 

    Recognition of the value of family life, marriage, stable and loving relationships for the nurture of children  Respect for self and others. Exploration of moral dilemmas. Development of critical thinking

    Personal and social skills.

    Self-confidence, self-esteem and empathy for others  Managing emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively

    Knowledge and understanding 

    Across all Key Stages, pupils will be supported with developing the following skills:

    • Communication, including how to manage changing relationships and emotions
    • Recognising and assessing potential risks
    • Assertiveness
    • Seeking help and support when required
    • Informed decision-making
    • Self-respect and empathy for others
    • Recognising and maximising a healthy lifestyle
    • Managing conflict
    • Discussion and group work

    These skills are taught within the context of family life.

  • Emotions and Relationships

    Physical development. Sexuality, reproduction, sexual health. Information on local and national contraception and sexual health services. Reasons for delaying sexual activity. The avoidance of unplanned pregnancy. Keeping safe from sexually transmitted infections (STI’s)

    Weobley High School provides a setting in which students can be offered appropriate teaching about RSE. In doing so, we aim to support our children and young people as they prepare for adult life by guiding them through their physical, emotional and moral development and helping them to understand themselves, respect others and form and sustain healthy relationships. RSE is also part of the Citizenship course we teach and is underpinned by the Science curriculum at KS3 and KS4.  It is inclusive of all students to ensure that they:

    • Receive their sex education in the wider context of relationships
    •  Are prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
    • Develop positive attitudes to sexuality

    At Weobley High School, RSE is also delivered, when appropriate, during the Year Group Consultation Days which are held once per year.  Ways of delivering this content from external providers are organised by our Subject Leader for Citizenship.

    The work that Weobley High School does is designed to support and complement the role of parents, carers or guardians, who have the prime responsibility in this sensitive area.

  • Work in the LInC

    Due to the nature of the LinC, students will receive support and advice on issues covered by RSE when they work with our LInC manager. When needed, the manager will liaise with and update the SENCo, Pastoral Lead, Learning Co-ordinators and Form Tutors as to the progress made by particular children.

  • Aims of RSE Education at Weobley High School

    The main aims of any Sex and Relationships education that takes place at school are to encourage students to appreciate the values and to promote the benefits of family life, whilst realising and accepting that not all families will have the same structure.   Students are encouraged to recognise the responsibilities of parenthood and to respect themselves and others. Students are educated in the importance of behaving responsibly and respectfully in sexual matters. Moral and ethical issues are presented and discussed.

    Issues of the biology of sexual maturation, focusing on the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty as well as the related issues of personal hygiene are discussed.   Students receive information about sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS and the importance of practicing safe sex. Students receive information about contraception and its importance in guarding against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Teaching covers the legal implications of sexual behaviour. Students are advised on the importance of checking for testicular and breast cancer.

    Students are taught about risks and how to stay safe online. They are encouraged to think about what they want others to know and see about them, whether on or offline. Students are given advice on keeping themselves safe from harm and how to access services if they need help and advice.

    Staff receive the statutory training and updates on Safeguarding and what to do if students approach them with issues that pertain to sexual health or practice.

  • Statutory Requirements

    As a maintained secondary school we must provide RSE to all pupils as per the Children and Social work act 2017.

    In teaching RSE, we must have regard to to guidance issued by the secretary of state as outlined in section 403 of the Education Act 1996.

  • Policy Development

    This policy has been developed in consultation with staff, pupils and parents. The consultation and policy development process involved the following steps:

    1. Review – a member of staff or working group pulled together all relevant information including relevant national and local guidance
    2. Staff consultation – all school staff were given the opportunity to look at the policy and make recommendations
    3. Parent/stakeholder consultation – parents and any interested parties were invited to attend a meeting about the policy
    4. Pupil consultation – we investigated what exactly pupils want from their RSE
    5. Ratification – once amendments were made, the policy was shared with governors and ratified
  • Definition

    RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity.

    RSE involves a combination of sharing information, and exploring issues and values.

    RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.

  • Curriculum

    Our curriculum is set out as per Appendix 1 but we may need to adapt it as and when necessary.

    We have developed the curriculum in consultation with parents, pupils and staff, taking into account the age, needs and feelings of pupils. If pupils ask questions outside the scope of this policy, teachers will respond in an appropriate manner so they are fully informed and don’t seek answers online.

    • Potential Difficulties and changes that adolescence brings
    • How a baby is conceived and born

    For more information about our curriculum, see our curriculum map in Appendix 1.

  • Information on Contraceptives

    The teaching about contraception should be carried out in a frank and open manner with students being given non-biased information about various forms of contraception. Staff do not give advice to individuals – advice can only be given through an appropriate external agency.  The School Nurse is available to provide students with advice.

  • Confidentiality and Child Protection

    If students wish to ask a member of staff for guidance on an issue of sex or emotional health, the staff should make it clear that they are not in a position to guarantee confidentiality, and remind the student that they will need to comply with statutory guidance on Child Protection issues. There is always the option to refer a student sensitively towards the SENCo, the LInC manager or another suitable member of staff.

  • Equal Opprtunities

    RSE will be delivered equally to both genders, normally in mixed classes. There are, however, certain topics that may be delivered in single sex groupings e.g. menstruation, safe sex for girls, STIs or personal hygiene.  These topics may be delivered as part of the Consultation Day workshops, depending on availability of external providers.

  • Science 'sex and relationships

    The Key Stage 3 National Curriculum for Science looks at the physical and emotional changes that take place during adolescence as well as the biology of reproduction in humans, including the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle, gametes, fertilization, gestation and birth, and the effect of maternal lifestyle on the fetus through the placenta. It also covers the growth and reproduction of bacteria and how the spread of viruses can affect human health. At GCSE level the Science the biology of reproduction is covered in detail, as well as relevant genetic conditions and their potential screening, sex determination, the medical use of hormones to control and promote fertility, and communicable diseases. The topics covered are listed, though this list is not comprehensive as relevant Science will appear in other units;

    Alternative sources of information are available online which students may wish to access themselves, however we cannot endorse these as factually accurate unless they have been checked by a suitable member of staff, such as a teacher from the Science Department.

  • Delivery of RSE

    RSE is taught within the Pastoral Programme set out in tutor time and on Consultation Days. Biological aspects of RSE are taught within the science curriculum, and other aspects are included in religious education (RE).

    Pupils also receive stand-alone sex education sessions delivered by a trained health professional.

    For more information about our RSE curriculum, see Appendices 1 and 2.

    RSE focuses on giving young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds including:

    • Families
    • Respectful relationships, including friendships
    • Online and media
    • Being safe
    • Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health

    For more information about our RSE curriculum, see Appendices 1 and 2.

    These areas of learning are taught within the context of family life taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances (families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: looked after children or young carers).

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    The Governing Board

    The governing board will approve the RSE policy, and hold the headteacher to account for its implementation.

    The Headteacher

    The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that RSE is taught consistently across the school, and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from non-statutory/non-science components of RSE (see section 8).

    Staff

    Staff are responsible for:

    Delivering RSE in a sensitive way

    Modelling positive attitudes to RSE

    Monitoring progress

    Responding to the needs of individual pupils

    Responding appropriately to pupils whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from the non-statutory/non-science components of RSE

    Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching RSE. Staff who have concerns about teaching RSE are encouraged to discuss this with the headteacher.

    Pupils

    Pupils are expected to engage fully in RSE and, when discussing issues related to RSE, treat others with respect and sensitivity.

  • Parents' Right to Withdraw

    Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the non-statutory/non-science components of sex education within RSE up to and until 3 terms before the child turns 16. After this point, if the child wishes to receive sex education rather than being withdrawn, the school will arrange this.

    Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing using the form found in Appendix 3 of this policy and addressed to the headteacher.

    A copy of withdrawal requests will be placed in the pupil’s educational record. The headteacher will discuss the request with parents and take appropriate action.

    Alternative work will be given to pupils who are withdrawn from sex education.

  • Training

    Staff are trained on the delivery of RSE as part of their induction and it is included in our continuing professional development calendar.

    The headteacher will also invite visitors from outside the school, such as school nurses or sexual health professionals, to provide support and training to staff teaching RSE.

  • Monitoring Arrangements

    The delivery of RSE is monitored by Russell Jones, Assistant Headteacher through:

    • planning scrutinies.
    • learning walks.
    • Consultation with students

    Last Revised:     April 2021

    Review Date:     April 2022

  • Appendix 1
  • Appendix 2
  • Appendix 3