Sex & Relationship Education Policy
Meadow High School
Sex and Relationship Education Policy
At Meadow High school we value the importance of Sex and Relationship Education to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development. Effective sex and relationship education is essential if young people are to make responsible and well informed decisions about their lives. It should not be delivered in isolation. It should be firmly rooted within the framework for PSHE, The National Healthy School Standard Guidance and the National Curriculum including Science Curriculum 2000. It also links with other areas in the curriculum like Drama, Literacy and RE. This policy follows DfES Sex and Relationship Education guidance 0116/200.
We recognise the partnership of home and school, of parent/carer and teacher, in this important area of personal development.
Sex education is a continuing, developmental process, which includes the exploration of attitudes and values and the development of skills, as well as the presentation of factual knowledge. As with all other learning, it should be gradual and matched to the child’s maturity and stage of development.
Sex education teaches children to develop an awareness of, and respect for, themselves and others. It aids the development of positive self-esteem, which will help children to cope with the challenges of personal growth. It enables children to be aware of the personal choices they can make and prepares them to make responsible decisions. It is about exploring feelings and emotions and enjoying confidence in one’s own ability.
As part of the sex and relationship education framework, pupils are taught about the nature and importance of family life and bringing up children. Pupils will learn about the significance of marriage and stable relationships. Care is taken that no child is stigmatised because of his or her home circumstances.
Sex and relationship education is lifelong information about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of family life, relationships, consent, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health.
Sex and relationship education has three main elements:
Attitudes and values:
- Learning the importance of values and moral considerations
- Learning the value of family life and stable relationships for the nurture of children
- Learning the value of love, respect, consent and care
Personal and social skills:
- Learning to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively
- Developing empathy for others and self-respect
- Learning to make choices without prejudice
- Appreciating the consequences of choices made
- Managing conflict
- Recognising and avoiding exploitation and abuse
Knowledge and understanding:
- Learning about and understanding physical development at a level appropriate to the children’s age and maturing
- Understanding human emotions and relationships
The sex education programme is tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the children. Both boys and girls know about puberty and how a baby is born. All children need to know about puberty before they experience the onset of physical changes. The transition year before moving to secondary school should support pupils’ ongoing emotional and physical development.
There are clear parameters on what children are taught before moving to secondary school. These include:
- changes in the body related to puberty such as periods and voice breaking
- when these changes are likely to happen and what issues may cause young people anxiety and how they can deal with these
- how a baby is conceived and born.
3. Aims and Values
Aims and Objectives of the Policy
- To reassure children of their value and self-worth, including aspects of dignity and self-respect
- To nurture a responsible attitude towards personal relationships, such as aspects of mutual respect and care, and to develop sensitivity towards the needs of others
- To foster the ability to manage relationships in a responsible and healthy manner
- To promote the value of loving relationships and of family life
- To recognise that marriage is an important, but not exclusive, context for family life
- To provide knowledge of human reproductive processes at a level suitable to the children’s level of maturity and understanding
- To inform children on matters of personal hygiene and related health issues
- To encourage exploration of values and moral issues, taking into account the physical and moral risks associated with certain behaviour
- To enable pupils to understand the influence of the media and peer groups and remain independent decision makers.
- To enable pupils to know what is and what is not legal in matters relating to sexual activity.
- To inform pupils where they can access further information and advice.
- To educate against discrimination and prejudice
4. Policy Development and Consultation Process
Originally a group of Governors from the Curriculum Committee agreed a draft policy in consultation with teachers. The draft policy was presented to the teachers for their views. The parents or guardians are to be consulted, and given the opportunity to ask questions of the teachers / Health Champions, Governors and others within the community involved with sex and relationship education. The full Governing Body finally agreed the policy. The policy is now updated and placed on the website annually.
5. Monitoring and Review Procedures
This policy will be formally reviewed every 2 years. The Senior Leadership Team and Governors will consider this policy carefully and suggest updates when necessary. Parents will be consulted as part of this process (through a newsletter item or at a parents’ forum meeting). The teaching of SRE will be monitored by the PSHE Co-ordinator.
6. Links to other Policies
This policy supports the following School Policies:-
- Equal Opportunities
- School Behaviour
- Mission Statement, Aims and Objectives
- Health & Safety
- Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
- Child Protection
7. Areas of Responsibility
There is a named member of staff for overall responsibility for SRE
There is a named governor with designated responsibility for SRE
- To ensure the legal framework is followed
- To consult with parents on the determination of the school’s sex and relationship education policy
- To implement the sex and relationship education policy through the Head Teacher
- To carry out an annual review of the policy
- To make, and keep up to date, a separate written statement of the school’s policy with regard to Sex Education
- To make copies of this statement available for inspection by parents of pupils registered at the school and provide a copy free of charge to any parent who requests one
- To include a summary of the content and organisation of sex education in the School Prospectus
- To implement the Sex and Relationship Education Policy
- To ensure the policy is followed
- To liaise with the Governors on the teaching in school
- To liaise with parents
- To ensure the policy is reviewed annually
- To disseminate information to staff
- To respond to individual problems experienced by children, enlisting external agency support if appropriate
- To prepare long and short-term plans to include Sex and Relationship Education in the Curriculum
- To ensure the correct resources are available
- To respond to the individual needs of children
School/Health Service Specialists
- To give support throughout the school, when appropriate
- To assist in the development of the school’s policy concerning the welfare and educational needs of all children at the School
- To take advice from all appropriate sources and, where necessary, adapt the policy to meet each individual child’s needs
8. Methodology and Approach
All teaching staff (class teachers) will teach sex and relationship education as part of the Science and the PSHE Curriculum.
The subject will be taught in a cross-curricular way, encompassing all the elements within Personal, Social and Health Education topics, as well as expanding on human relationships. Active approaches, group work, discussion and project work are used as these encourage learning and are enjoyable for pupils. Lessons have specific learning outcomes. When planning lessons, teachers should consider appropriate grouping in respect of pupil experience and need. Pupils are usually taught in mixed-gender classes.
The content needs to include:-
- discussion of morals and values
- practising skills
Sex and relationship education is delivered within the Science Curriculum and the four broad themes within PSHE including:-
- Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities
- Developing a healthy, safer lifestyle
- Developing good relationships and respecting differences between people
Within the Science Curriculum, the children should be taught about:-
Key Stage 3
- fertilisation in humans... the fusion of a male and a female cell
- the physical and emotional changes that take place during adolescence
- the human reproductive system including the menstrual cycle and fertilisation
- how the foetus develops in the uterus
- how the growth and reproduction of bacteria and the replication of viruses can affect health
Key Stage 4
- about the way in which hormonal control occurs, including the effects of sex hormones
- some medical uses of hormones, including the control and promotion of fertility
- the defence mechanisms of the body
- how sex is determined in humans
At secondary school level, sex and relationship education should prepare young people for an adult life in which they can:-
- develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgements and behaviour;
- be aware of their sexuality and understand human sexuality;
- understand the arguments for delaying sexual activity;
- understand the reasons for having protected sex;
- understand the consequences of their actions and behave responsibly within sexual and pastoral relationships;
- have the confidence and self-esteem to value themselves and others and respect for individual conscience and the skills to judge what kind of relationships they want;
- communicate effectively;
- have sufficient information and skills to protect themselves and, where they have one, their partner from unintended/unwanted conceptions, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV;
- avoid being exploited or exploiting others; understanding FGM
- avoid being pressured into unwanted or unprotected sex;
- access confidential sexual health advice, support and if necessary treatment;
- know how the law applies to sexual relationships.
10. Resources and Criteria Used for their Selection
Through Lesson and Resource Assessment sheets the resources used are annually reviewed to ensure that they are age, gender and culturally appropriate, and that special needs of pupils are accommodated.
The Sex Education Co-ordinator in consultation with teachers and Governors chooses all resources. Advice is taken from appropriate sources. Parents’ comments are taken into consideration.
11. How Pupil Progress is Assessed and Reported
Pupil’s work in PSHE is assessed in line with the PSHE policy and school assessment policy. Achievement in PSHE is reported on in the full annual report to parents.
12. How Pupils Catch Up on Missed Lessons
There is provision for those who miss SRE lessons to receive this information in a pack which can be delivered individually or at home.
13. Equal Opportunities
In support of the Equal Opportunities Policy, all pupils at Meadow High School, regardless of age, ability, gender or race, have the same opportunity to benefit from the sex education resources and teaching methods.
14. How the Programme is Monitored and Reviewed
Topics are reviewed each term through long-term plans. Staff and Governors review the Sex and Relationship Education Policy annually. The PSHE co-ordinator monitors SRE through the cycle of lesson observations and the Lesson and Review sheets.
15. Dealing with Sensitive Issues
SRE needs to be taught in an atmosphere where questions can be asked and answered without embarrassment and trust and confidentiality are ensured.
Governors and teachers are in agreement that teachers should answer all children’s questions relating to sex and relationship education in an open and factual way, taking into consideration the family background, culture, religious beliefs, and pupil’s differing experiences. The Governors expect teachers to use their professional judgement and discretion when faced with, or answering, questions which they deem to be of a sensitive nature.
16. Teaching Strategies
- Establish clear ground rules with pupils:-
- no one will have to answer a personal question
- no one will be forced to take part in a discussion
- only the correct names for body parts will be used
- meanings of words will be explained in a sensible and factual way
- Use a distancing technique:-
- always depersonalise discussion
- use case studies with invented characters or use appropriate videos
- always depersonalise discussion
- Dealing with questions
- Use a question box so the teacher has time to prepare answers and seek support from other members of staff
- Use a question box so the teacher has time to prepare answers and seek support from other members of staff
17. Confidentiality Statement (in line with Child Protection)
Teachers conduct sex education lessons in a sensitive manner, and in confidence. However, if a child makes a reference to being involved (or being likely to be involved) in sexual activity, then the teacher will take the reference seriously, and deal with it as a matter of child protection. Teachers will respond in a similar way if a child indicates that they may have been a victim of abuse. They will not try to investigate, but will immediately inform the named person for child protection issues about their concerns. The head teacher will then deal with the matter in consultation with health care professionals (see also our policy on Child Protection). Pupils are made aware of this when ground rules are set at the start of the SRE lessons.
18. Staff Training
Two staff are receiving training to be Health Champions. Staff receive training on SRE in faculty group meetings and through peer observation, shadowing and team teaching. Observations of these lessons are undertaken by senior staff
19. Procedures for the Involvement of Health Professionals and Visitors
Visiting Health Professionals are involved in the implementation of the Sex Education policy only after detailed consultation concerning lesson content and method of teaching. The class teacher remains in the lesson throughout. The visitor is made aware of school policies relevant to their visit.
20. Working with Parents
Meadow High School seeks to work in partnership with parents through consultation and support. Parents are vital in teaching children about sex and relationships, maintaining the culture and ethos of the family, helping children to cope with the emotional and physical aspects of changes to their bodies and personalities.
The school is to provide support to parents in helping children learn the accepted names of the body, talking with the children about their feelings and relationships, and answering questions about growing up, having babies and relationships through the Health Champions
Parents are to be consulted after the review of the assessed lessons has taken place. Local Health Care Professionals as part of the Healthy Hillingdon are invited to comment on the content of the policy through the Health Champions.
The policy is available in school for all parents to inspect and details of the policy are published in the School Prospectus, so that parents of potential pupils are fully aware of the school’s policy in this matter.
21. Parents Support and Consultation
Meadow High hopes in for the start of Sept 2012 to invite Parents of children in KS3, KS4 and KS5 to an annual meeting to outline the SRE policy, the taught programme, resources used and discuss the issues which arise.
22. Specific Issues
Lessons should be differentiated to take account of the SEN of the pupils
23. Parental Right to Withdraw Children
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the sex and relationship education at Meadow High School. Parents should be aware that children cannot be withdrawn from those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum Science lessons. In the event of a child being withdrawn from a lesson, alternative arrangements will be made ie that child is provided with appropriate, challenging work until the sex education lesson is over.
Parents will be offered support to avoid this or alternatively given guidance to assist parents to teach their own children.
24. Complaints Procedure
If a parent or guardian has any cause for concern about the Sex Education Policy, they should approach the Head Teacher and staff. If the concern cannot be resolved, the Governors can be contacted.
25. Dissemination of the Policy
The policy is sent home for parents and guardians. A copy is sent to those parents and guardians who request one. Every parent or guardian receives a copy of the policy. A copy is kept in or can be obtained from the Head Teacher.
The policy is presented to all staff and a copy made available to them.
Useful Documents and Resources
DfES Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (Circular 0116/2000)
DfES National Healthy Schools Standards Guidance 1999
QCA The National Curriculum Handbook 2000 for Primary Teachers in England
OfSTED Sex and relationships HMI 433
Approved by Governors: May 2018
Review: 2 years