Sex and Relationships Policy.
This policy has been written as a statutory requirement and to:
- Give clear guidance to staff and outside visitors about the content, organisation and approach to teaching SRE;
- Give information to parents and carers about what is taught and when;
- Give a clear statement on what the school aims to achieve form SRE and why it thinks SRE is important;
- Clarify the content and manner in which SRE is delivered.
SRE is lifelong learning about sex, sexuality, emotions, relationships and sexual health. It involves acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs, values and attitudes. SRE has a key part to play in the personal, social, moral and spiritual development of young people. It begins informally in the home with parents and carers long before any formal education takes place at school. Young people’s entitlement to SRE is enshrined in the terms of the Education Act (1996).
The DfES Guidance 2000 offered this definition: “SRE is the lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity.”
The National Sex Education Forum highlighted that SRE also involves:
- Acquiring information;
- Developing skills;
- Forming positive beliefs and attitudes
We aim to:
- develop pupil confidence to talk, listen and think about feelings and relationships;
- address their concerns and correct misunderstandings to enable our pupils to protect themselves and ask for help;
- support them to develop their skills to make and maintain positive relationships;
- support them to develop positive attitudes and values and respect for differences in opinions;
- support them to develop a positive self-image and high self-esteem for all pupils;
- support them to develop accurate knowledge and understanding about sexuality and relationships;
- support them to develop personal responsibility for one’s actions;
- support them to know where to get confidential advice and support.
Moral and Values framework
SRE will be delivered within 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.
This will be delivered within the school’s agreed equal opportunities framework.
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) supports and guides children and young people in life-long learning about relationships, emotions, the human biology of sex, sexuality and sexual health. Along with parents and carers, we help our young people to understand and manage their physical and emotional development in adolescence and prepare for the decisions to be made in adult life.
We believe that pupils should have accurate information that relates to their needs. They need help to explore their own feelings and attitudes, and those of society, in order to develop values on which to base decisions about relationships. They need to learn the communication skills necessary to help them take increasing responsibility for their own sexual behaviour.
SRE will, as far as possible, 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.
Thinking about morals and values also includes:
- Respect for self and others
- Non-exploitation in relationships
- Commitment, trust and love within relationships• Honesty with self and others
- Exploration of rights, duties and responsibilities
- Understanding diversity regarding religion, culture and sexual orientation.
Content and Organisation of Sex and Relationship Education:
All state-funded schools are required to pay regard to statutory Department for Education guidance for sex and relationships education (2000). The PSHE Association have supplementary guidance, ‘SRE for the 21st century’, which provides advice on emerging issues like online pornography, and staying safe online that are not fully covered within the statutory guidance. In addition to this, the ME Programme is available for use. This programme has been developed locally for students with Students with Downs Syndrome.
Sex and relationships education are taught as part of PSHE education. To help our individual pupils develop the skills, knowledge and personal attributes they need to manage their lives, the teaching is done appropriate to the needs of our students. This is documented in our 3-wave strategy.
The National Curriculum recommends that SRE should start early; at Southgate we recognise that;
- Our students learn about their bodies and the names of the different body parts. Stranger Danger is very important, our students our taught about Public and Private and that if they feel uncomfortable/unhappy/scared in a situation they are taught to tell a trusted adult.
- Lots of students start puberty whilst of a primary age, it is important that these students know what to expect before it happens.
- The knowledge provided helps the students learn progressively as they mature, often topics are revisited to reinforce the learning and provide opportunities for clarification.
Southgate’s aim is to have a whole school approach, where our school’s nurture values are taken into account.
Groupings: a combination of mixed gender, and single sex sessions, depending on content and student need.
Pupils up to 11 years of age follow a curriculum focused on relationships.
Pupils from the age of 12 onwards follow a curriculum on sex and relationships.
Southgate School recognise that pupils differ developmentally, and learning will be appropriate to pupil need.
SRE links with other subjects across the curriculum, e.g. Science, ICT and embedded assembly themes.
In 2010, DfE published Sex and Relationship Education guidance for 5 to 16-year olds. (Brook & PSHE Association and the sex Education Forum have worked together to produce advice for schools which supplements that guidance).
Students are naturally curious about growing up, how their bodies work and how we reproduce. Their questions need to be answered honestly, communicating the information at the appropriate level for their age and cognitive development in the hope to avoid any confusion or embarrassment and perhaps shame. The (NATSAL, 2013) document showed links between school-based SRE and the
reduction of teen pregnancy.
Teachers will set a group agreement with pupils to ensure that an atmosphere is created where pupils feel able to discuss concerns, feeling and relationships. It should be recognised that questions from pupils will be addressed and dealt with in the most appropriate manner and not disregarded. The form in which these questions are addressed may be in group activities, or on a one-to-one basis, as appropriate.
Resources will be assessed to ensure that they are appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils. They will take into account equality of opportunity through their use of language, cultural attitudes and images, avoiding stereotyping, racism and sexism.
A variety of teaching and learning styles are used including videos, information sheets, pamphlets, textbooks, visual aids and models, games, role-play, interactive CD ROMS, the Internet and visits by professional organisations and theatre groups.
The Wave System
We have a 3-wave strategy that consists of whole class delivery by the teacher, individual or small group delivery by a member of the class team and individual or small group delivery by a member of the intervention team (this can include pupils from different class groups). This enables the school to deliver slightly different content to individuals based on individual need, for example, those pupils who repeatedly make mistakes using social media can have regular interventions to support them to use social media safely.
The school will ensure that pupils know that teachers cannot offer unconditional confidentiality and are reassured that their best interests will be maintained. They will be reminded that if confidentiality must be broken, they will be informed first and then supported as appropriate. They are encouraged to talk to their parents or carers and are provided with support to do so.
The school will ensure that staff understand that they cannot offer unconditional confidentiality to pupils. They will work within the school’s confidentiality policy agreed procedure for recording and reporting disclosures and the nature of access to this information.
Assessing SRE and Monitoring the Programme
The SRE Lead will be responsible for:
- Ensuring the policy and programmes are implemented as agreed
- Supporting staff to assess pupils progress
- Recommending targets for whole school development
Evaluation of the programme will be made through continuous pupil assessment, the attitudes of the pupils, the development of their personal skills and the knowledge and understanding they have gained. Review forms part of the content and is an ongoing process.
To reassure parents/carers, pupils and governors that the personal beliefs and attitudes of teachers will not influence the teaching of SRE, all those contributing to the programme are expected to work within the aims listed.
Training staff to deliver SRE
It is important that staff delivering SRE work within the values framework of this policy and feel confident, skilled and knowledgeable to deliver effective SRE. Continuing professional development will be provided through a range of options: individual study and development/ in-house CPD/external training courses. Training could include:
- What to teach and when
- Leading discussions about attitudes and values
- Information updates
- Practicing a variety of teaching methods
- Facilitating group discussions
- Involving pupils in their own learning
- Managing sensitive issues
Working with Parents/Carers and Child Withdrawal Procedures
All parents are invited to read the SRE policy, which is available to read on the website. This helps to establish consultation and a partnership with parents, which reinforces the dual responsibility for SRE learning.
We place the utmost importance on sharing equal and joint responsibility with parents/carers for their children’s education, including sexual matters. We do our best to find out from them any religious or cultural views they may have which may affect the PSHE they wish to be given to their children, although we would consider carefully any request that compromised our equal opportunities policy.
We will take every opportunity to inform and involve parents/carers:
- By making our commitment clear on the school website
- By inviting parents/carers to discuss personal development, with the Class Teacher, when attending their child’s Annual Review and/or Parents’ Evening enters the school.
Parents have a right to withdraw their children from SRE lessons, although not those elements included in the National Curriculum Orders for Science, or any other part of the National Curriculum. If a parent wishes to withdraw their child from SRE lessons, we ask that they discuss it with the Head Teacher, to be clear about what their child will do when they are withdrawn from the lessons.
We should like to make clear that even when a pupil has been withdrawn from SRE lessons, if the pupil should ask questions at other times, these questions would be answered honestly by staff.
Working with the Wider Community
The following were consulted in the development of this policy:
Brook, PSHE Association, PSHE Consultancy.
Disseminating and Monitoring the SRE Policy
A copy of this policy is available to all staff and governors. A full copy will be made freely available to parents on request and if appropriate. Copies will also be supplied to other professionals whose work relates to SRE or who may be involved in its delivery.