Dear Parent/Carer,

PSHE & RSE Programme Year 6 to 8

We believe that as educators, promoting the health and well-being of our pupils is an important part of our role. We do this through our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE/Life) course which looks at many topics, including all kinds of relationships, physical/emotional health and living in the wider world. The aim of the PSHE/Life course is to help our pupils make safe and informed decisions during their school years and beyond. During this academic year, we will be developing and reviewing our RSE policy in line with the Department for Education’s new guidance and will be consulting parents throughout this process.

Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) is an important part of the PSHE/Life course. We will be teaching lessons about RSE in all three year groups. In Year 6, after October half term, pupils will study Friendships, Respectful Relationships, Online Relationships and Being Safe. In Year 7, after Easter pupils will study the Changing Adolescent Body. In Year 8, after October half term, pupils will look at respectful relationships in relation to families and in the final half term of the year, Intimate and Sexual relationships, Sexual Health and Being Safe.

Throughout the course, pupils will be able to ask their teachers questions which will be answered factually and in an age appropriate manner. The pupils’ privacy will be respected, and no one will be asked to reveal personal information. 

Some parts of RSE are compulsory - these are part of the National Curriculum for Science. The RSE lessons in Science will take place in the Autumn term of Year 6 and will include the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the ways their bodies function. In the Spring term of Year 7, pupils will be taught the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, the menstrual cycle, fertilisation, gestation and birth, and the effect of the maternal lifestyle on the foetus through the placenta.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all other parts of RSE if they wish to do so. However, we believe that the presentation of images in social and other media make it crucial for young people to have a place to discuss pressures, check facts and dispel myths. Even if a child is withdrawn, many pupils will discuss such issues with each other outside the classroom – so, rather than hear about the content second-hand, we hope all children will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.

You may find that your child starts asking questions about the topic at home, or you might want to take the opportunity to talk to your child about issues before the work is covered in school. If you have any queries about the content of the programme or resources used, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Yours sincerely

Ann Large
Head of School

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
  • Self-awareness
  • 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.