St Winifred’s Primary School
Relationships and Sex Education Policy
School Mission Statement
St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School is a Catholic School and all matters pertaining to sexuality will be taught in accordance with the teaching and moral norms of the Catholic Faith. The governors and staff believe that sexuality, male and female, is a gift of God which permeates the whole of our life and personality; it enables us to express the depth of our relationship with others on a physical, emotional and affective level and it allows us to become co creators with God in bestowing the gift of life to our children. The school Mission Statement is at the core of this policy.
‘Inspiring a love for learning and life’
At St Winifred’s Primary School;
We nourish a happy, safe and supportive school community in which every individual is welcomed, valued and respected for being unique.
We inspire a search for excellence by offering the best possible learning environment.
We provide a Christ-centred education, helping our children to develop and grow in faith and teaching them to promote the Gospel values of love of neighbour, fairness and forgiveness both in school and in the wider community.
St Winifred’s Primary School has produced a Relationships and Sex Education Policy (RSE) Statement with regard to the Sex and Relationships Education Guidance (DfE 0116/2000). The current statutory provisions on Sex Education are contained in sections 403 and 405 of the Education Act 1996, as amended and state that:
‘The governing body and head teacher shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where sex education is given to any registered pupils at a maintained school, it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life.’
The policy will be reviewed every two years by the Head Teacher, RSE Coordinator, the Governing Body and Staff. The next review date is July 2022.
The final agreed policy will be given to all members of the Governing Body, all teaching and non-teaching members of staff, and parents. Copies of the document will be available to all parents through the School’s website.
Defining Relationships and Sex Education
The DfE guidance states that “children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way”. It is about the development of the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of her or him as a sexual being, about what it means to be fully human, called to live in right relationships with self and others and being enabled to make moral decisions in conscience. In primary schools the focus should be on “teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.” This would include the topics of families and the people of who care for me, caring friendships, respectful relationships, online relationships and being safe.
Statutory Curriculum Requirements
We are legally required to teach those aspects of RSE that are statutory parts of the Science National Curriculum. However the reasons for our inclusion of RSE go further.
‘I HAVE COME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL’ (Jn.10.10)
We are involved in relationships and sex education precisely because of our Christian beliefs about God and about the human person. The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in a Catholic school. Our approach to RSE therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and presented in a positive framework of Christian ideals.
At the heart of the Christian life is the Trinity; Father, Son and Spirit in communion, united in loving relationship and embracing all people and all creation. As a consequence of the Christian belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God, gender and sexuality are seen as God’s gift, reflect God’s beauty, and share in the divine creativity. RSE, therefore,
will be placed firmly within the context of relationship as it is there that sexuality grows and develops.
Following the guidance of the Bishops of England and Wales and as advocated by the DFE (and the Welsh Assembly Government) RSE will be firmly embedded in the PSHE framework as it is concerned with nurturing human wholeness and integral to the physical, spiritual, emotional, moral, social and intellectual development of pupils. It is centred on Christ’s vision of being human as good news and will be positive and prudent, showing the potential for development, while enabling the dangers and risks involved to be understood and appreciated.
All RSE will be in accordance with the Church’s moral teaching. It will emphasise the central importance of marriage and the family whilst acknowledging that all pupils have a fundamental right to have their life respected whatever household they come from. It will also prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.
Values and Virtues
Our programme enshrines Catholic values relating to the importance of stable relationships, marriage and family life. It also promotes those virtues which are essential in responding to the God’s call to love others with a proper respect for their dignity and the dignity of the human body. The following virtues will be explicitly explored and promoted: faithfulness, fruitfulness, chastity, integrity, prudence, mercy and compassion.
Aim of RSE and the Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement commits us to the education of the whole child (spiritual, physical, intellectual, moral, social, cultural, emotional) and we believe that RSE is an integral part of this education. Furthermore, our school aims state that we will endeavour to raise pupils’ self-esteem, help them to grow in knowledge and understanding, recognise the value of all persons and develop caring and sensitive attitudes.
It is in this context that we commit ourselves: in partnership with parents, to provide children and young people with a “positive and prudent sexual education” which is
compatible with their physical, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual maturity, and rooted in a Catholic vision of education and the human person.
To develop the following attitudes and virtues:
• reverence for the gift of human sexuality and fertility;
• respect for the dignity of every human being – in their own person and in the person of others;
• joy in the goodness of the created world and their own bodily natures;
• responsibility for their own actions and a recognition of the impact of these on others;
• recognising and valuing their own sexual identity and that of others;
• celebrating the gift of life-long, self-giving love;
• recognising the importance of marriage and family life;
• fidelity in relationships.
To develop the following personal and social skills:
• making sound judgements and good choices which have integrity, and which are respectful of the individual’s commitments;
• loving and being loved, and the ability to form friendships and loving, stable relationships free from exploitation, abuse and bullying;
• managing emotions within relationships, and when relationships break down, with confidence, sensitivity and dignity;
• managing conflict positively, recognising the value of difference;
• cultivating humility, mercy and compassion, learning to forgive and be forgiven;
• developing self-esteem and confidence, demonstrating self-respect and empathy for others;
• building resilience and the ability to resist unwanted pressures, recognising the influence and impact of the media, internet and peer groups and so developing the ability to assess pressures and respond appropriately;
To know and understand:
• the Church’s teaching on relationships and the nature and meaning of sexual love;
• the Church’s teaching on marriage and the importance of marriage and family life;
• the centrality and importance of virtue in guiding human living and loving;
• the physical and psychological changes that accompany puberty;
• the facts about human reproduction, how love is expressed sexually and how sexual love plays an essential and sacred role in procreation.
Inclusion and Differentiated Learning
We will ensure RSE is sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils in respect to pupils’ different abilities, levels of maturity and personal circumstances; for example, their own sexual orientation, faith or culture and is taught in a way that does not subject pupils to discrimination. Lessons will also help children to realise the nature and consequences of discrimination, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours (including cyber-bullying), use of prejudice-based language and how to respond and ask for help. (In looking at these questions, it is important to draw links to the school’s inclusion policy).
The governing body have wider responsibilities under the Equalities Act 2010 and will ensure that our school strives to do the best for all of the pupils, irrespective of disability, educational needs, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, pregnancy, maternity, sex, gender identity, religion or sexual orientation or whether they are looked-after children.
Broad Content of RSE
Three aspects of RSE – attitudes and values, knowledge and understanding, and personal and social skills – will be provided in three inter-related ways: the whole school / ethos dimension; a cross-curricular dimension and a specific relationships and sex curriculum. Our RSE curriculum covers EYFS, KS1 and KS2, and is based on three core themes within which there will be broad overlap. It is adaptable to the age and ability of the pupils. The three themes are:
• Created and loved by God
• Created to love others
• Created to live in community – local, national and global.
Each theme covers the core strands of ‘Education in Virtue’ and ‘Religious Understanding’, as well as strands which cover the PSHE content of the theme.
Appendices to this policy provide further information about the programme and resources for suggested use.
Teaching strategies will include:
• establishing ground rules
• distancing techniques
• project learning
• film & video
• group work
• trigger drawings
• values clarification
Learning builds on children’s prior knowledge, and assessment will show progression in RSE learning, not literacy learning.
Parents and Carers
We recognise that parents/carers are the primary educators of their children. As a Catholic school, we provide the principal means by which the Church assists parents/carers in educating their children. Therefore the school will support parents/carers where appropriate by providing material to be shared with their children at home and workshops to help parents/carers to find out more. Parents/carers will be informed by letter when the more sensitive aspects of RSE will be covered in order that they can be prepared to talk and answer questions about their children’s learning.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education except from those elements which are required by the National Curriculum for science. Should parents wish to withdraw their children they are asked to notify the school by contacting the headteacher.
Whilst promoting Catholic values and virtues and teaching in accordance with Church teaching, we will ensure that pupils are offered a balanced curriculum by providing an RSE programme that offers a range of viewpoints on issues.
Pupils will also receive clear scientific information. Knowing about facts and enabling young people to explore differing viewpoints is not the same as promoting behaviour and is not incompatible with our school’s promotion of Catholic teaching. We will ensure that pupils have access to the learning they need to stay safe, healthy and understand their rights as individuals.
Our school will often call upon help and guidance from outside agencies and health specialists to deliver aspects of RSE. Such visits will always complement the current programme and never substitute or replace teacher led sessions. It is important that any external visitor is clear about their role and responsibility whilst they are in school delivering a session. Any visitor must adhere to our code of practice developed in line with CES guidance ‘Checklist for External Speakers to Schools’. Health professionals should follow the school’s policies, minimising the potential for disclosures or inappropriate comments using negotiated ground rules and distancing techniques as other teachers would. They will ensure that all teaching is rooted in Catholic principles and practice.