RSE and Health Policy
Cerne Abbas CE VC First School, Duck Street, Cerne Abbas, Dorset, DT2 7LA
‘The Small School with the Big Heart.’
Cerne Abbas CE VC First School Relationships, Sex and Health Education Policy
|Date of policy||Autumn Term 2022|
Date reviewed by the Governing Body
Member of staff responsible in
Cerne Abbas CE VC First School
|Review Date||Autumn Term 2023|
Our aims include creating a community based on trust, peace, friendship, joy, courage and friendship supporting children to be motivated and believe in themselves, celebrating everyone’s uniqueness and achievements, and to enable every child to be the best they can be. This policy was written with this in mind.
This policy is informed by existing DfE guidance on Relationships, Sex and Health Education These expectations are set out in the Department for Education’s guidance for schools on relationships education, RSE and health education. Because our school is a Church of England School within the Diocese of Salisbury, the Diocesian equivalent policy document (available at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/education-and-schools/church-schools-and-academies/relationships-sex-and-health-education
Links to government documents:
Keeping Children Safe in Education (statutory guidance)
Respectful School Communities: Self Review and Signposting Tool (a tool to support a whole school approach that promotes respect and discipline)
Behaviour and Discipline in Schools (advice for schools, including advice for appropriate behaviour between pupils)
Equality Act 2010 and schools
SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (statutory guidance)
Alternative Provision (statutory guidance)
Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools (advice for schools)
Preventing and Tackling Bullying (advice for schools, including advice on cyberbullying)
Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools (advice for schools)
The Equality and Human Rights Commission Advice and Guidance (provides advice on avoiding discrimination in a variety of educational contexts)
Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools (guidance for maintained schools on promoting basic important British values as part of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC)
SMSC requirements for independent schools (guidance for independent schools on how they should support pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development).
The Jigsaw Programme is aligned to the PSHE Association Programmes of Study for PSHE.
All schools must provide a curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils. Under section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010, a PSHE curriculum:
· Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
· Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School, we teach Personal, Social, Health Education as a whole-school approach to underpin children’s development as people and because we believe that this also supports their learning capacity.
We use a programme called ‘The Jigsaw Programme’ and this offers us a comprehensive, carefully thought-through Scheme of Work which brings consistency and progression to our children’s learning in this vital curriculum area.
The overview of the programme can be seen on the school website.
This also supports the “Personal Development” and “Behaviour and Attitude” aspects required under the Ofsted Inspection Framework, as well as significantly contributing to the school’s Safeguarding and Equality Duties, the Government’s British Values agenda and the SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural) development opportunities provided for our children.
Statutory Relationships and Health Education
“The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, made under sections 34 and 35 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, make Relationships Education compulsory for all pupils receiving primary education…They also make Health Education compulsory in all schools except independent schools. Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education(PSHE) continues to be compulsory in independent schools.”
DfE Guidance p.8
“Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, 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.”
“This is why we have made Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools in England…as well as making Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools.”
“In primary schools, we want the subjects to put in place the key building blocks of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy.”
“These subjects represent a huge opportunity to help our children and young people develop. The knowledge and attributes gained will support their own, and others’ wellbeing and attainment and help young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.”
Secretary of State Foreword DfE Guidance 2019 p.4-5
“Schools are free to determine how to deliver the content set out in the DfE guidance 2019 in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum. Effective teaching in these subjects will ensure that core knowledge is broken down into units of manageable size and communicated clearly to pupils, in a carefully sequenced way, within a planned programme of lessons.”
DfE Guidance p.8
“All schools must have in place a written policy for Relationships Education and RSE.”
DfE Guidance p.11
Here, at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School we value PSHE as one way to support children’s development as human beings, to enable them to understand and respect who they are, to empower them with a voice and to equip them for life and learning.
We include the statutory Relationships and Health Education within our whole-school PSHE Programme.
To ensure progression and a spiral curriculum, we use Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, as our chosen teaching and learning programme and tailor it to your children’s needs. The mapping document: Jigsaw 3-11 and statutory Relationships and Health Education, shows exactly how Jigsaw and therefore our school, meets the statutory Relationships and Health Education requirements.
This programme’s complimentary update policy ensures we are always using the most up to date teaching materials and that our teachers are well-supported.
What do we teach when and who teaches it?
Jigsaw covers all areas of PSHE for the primary phase including statutory Relationships and Health Education. The table below gives the learning theme of each of the six Puzzles (units) and these are taught across the school; the learning deepens and broadens every year.
Being Me in My World
Includes understanding my own identity and how I fit well in the class, school and global community. Jigsaw Charter established.
Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and understanding
Dreams and Goals
Includes goal-setting, aspirations, who do I want to become and what would I like to do for work and to contribute to society
Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices, sleep, nutrition, rest and exercise
Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills, bereavement and loss
Includes Relationships and Sex Education in the context of coping positively with change
At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School we allocate 1 hour to PSHE each week in order to teach the PSHE knowledge and skills in a developmental and age-appropriate way.
These explicit lessons are reinforced and enhanced in many ways:
Collective Worship, praise and reward system, Learning Charter, through relationships child to child, adult to child and adult to adult across the school. We aim to ‘live’ what is learnt and apply it to everyday situations in the school community.
Class teachers deliver the weekly lessons to their own classes.
What does the DfE statutory guidance on Health Education expect children to know by the time they leave primary school?
Health Education in primary schools will cover ‘Mental wellbeing’, ‘Internet safety and harms’, Physical health and fitness’, Healthy eating’, ‘Drugs, alcohol and tobacco’, ‘Health and prevention’, ‘Basic First Aid’, ‘Changing adolescent body’.
The expected outcomes for each of these elements can be found further on in this policy. The way the Jigsaw Programme covers these is explained in the mapping document: Jigsaw 3-11 and Statutory Relationships and Health Education.
It is important to explain that whilst the Healthy Me Puzzle (unit) in Jigsaw covers most of the statutory Health Education, some of the outcomes are taught elsewhere in Jigsaw e.g. emotional and mental health is nurtured every lesson through the Calm me time, social skills are grown every lesson through the Connect us activity and respect is enhanced through the use of the Jigsaw Charter.
Also, teaching children about puberty is now a statutory requirement which sits within the Health Education part of the DfE guidance within the ‘Changing adolescent body’ strand, and in Jigsaw this is taught as part of the Changing Me Puzzle (unit).
Again, the mapping document transparently shows how the Jigsaw whole-school approach spirals the learning and meets all statutory requirements and more.
Relationships and Sex Education
‘RSE is lifelong learning process of acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs and attitudes about sex, sexuality, relationships and feelings’ (Sex Education Forum, 1999).
Effective RSE can make a significant contribution to the development of the personal skills needed by pupils if they are to establish and maintain relationships. It also enables children and young people to make responsible and informed decisions about their health and well-being.
Current RSHE requirements
Maintained schools are legally obliged to have an up-to-date RSE policy that describes the content and organisation of RSE taught outside science in the National Curriculum. This RSE Policy is made available to parents on each school’s website. It is the Cerne Abbas CE VC First School Governing Body’s responsibility to ensure that this policy is developed and implemented.
The RSE Policy is based on DfE guidance.
Sex education is part of the personal, social and health education curriculum in our schools. As our school is a Church of England school, we teach RSE within a framework of Christian values and teach that Christians believe sex to be part of creation. Whilst we use sex education to inform children about sexual issues, we do this with regard to matters of morality and individual responsibility, and in a way that allows children to ask and explore moral questions. Sensitivity and respect is shown to all children when teaching about personal relationships and sex education and RSE is taught in a way to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home/personal circumstances.
Compulsory Aspects of RSE
The sex education contained in National Curriculum science (Key Stages 1–4) is compulsory in maintained schools. All state-funded schools must have ‘due regard’ to the Secretary of State’s guidance on SRE (DfEE, 2000). This states that:
- ‘All children, including those who develop earlier than average, need to know about puberty before they experience the onset of physical changes’ (1.13)
- Children should learn ‘how a baby is conceived and born’ before they leave primary school(1.16)
As a Church School, RSE is set in a context that is consistent with the school’s Christian ethos and values:
- It is based on inclusive Christian principles and values emphasising respect, compassion, loving care and forgiveness.
- It is sensitive to the circumstances of all children and mindful of the expressions of family life in our culture, yet it also upholds the Christian values regarding relationships and marriage.
- Issues regarding human sexuality are addressed sensitively and discussed within an adult context ie. with reference to men and women and not boys and girls.
- The exploration of reproduction and sexual behaviour within the science curriculum should stand alongside the exploration of relationships, values and morals and Christian belief.
Whilst pupils are given the opportunity to explore their own attitudes, values and beliefs and to develop an individual moral code that will guide their actions, this is exercised within an understanding of the right of people to hold their own views within a framework of respect for others.
RSE and Statutory Duties in school
We recognise that RSE plays a very important part in fulfilling the statutory duties all schools have to meet. RSE helps children understand the difference between safe and abusive relationships and equips them with the skills to get help if they need it. We understand that we have responsibilities for safeguarding and a legal duty to promote pupil well-being (Education and Inspections Act 2006 Section 38) and endeavour to follow government safeguarding guidance such as ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022’. Staff in our school are also alert to signs that young girls may be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). (Further information on this, if required can be found in the government’s Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation (2014) which includes a section for schools.)
The teaching of RSE has clear links with other policies aimed at promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. These include:
Single Equality Policy
Health and Safety Policy
ICT Policy and E-Safety Policy
Collective Worship Policy
Child Protection Policy
Jigsaw Relationships and Sex Education Content
The grid below shows specific Relationships and Sex Education learning intentions for each year group in the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle.
|Year Group||Piece Number and Name|
"Pupils will be able to..."
identify the parts of the body that make boys different to girls and use the correct names for these: penis, testicles, vagina
respect my body and understand which parts are private
recognise the physical differences between boys and girls, use the correct names for parts of the body (penis, testicles, vagina) and appreciate that some parts of my body are private
tell you what I like/don’t like about being a boy/girl
understand that in animals and humans lots of changes happen between conception and growing up, and that usually it is the female who has the baby
express how I feel when I see babies or baby animals
understand how babies grow and develop in the mother’s uterus and understand what a baby needs to live and grow
express how I might feel if I had a new baby in my family
understand that boys’ and girls’ bodies need to change so that when they grow up their bodies can make babies
identify how boys’ and girls’ bodies change on the outside during this growing up process
recognise how I feel about these changes happening to me and know how to cope with those feelings
identify how boys’ and girls’ bodies change on the inside during the growing up process and why these changes are necessary so that their bodies can make babies when they grow up
recognise how I feel about these changes happening to me and how to cope with these feelings
Having A Baby
Girls and Puberty
correctly label the internal and external parts of male and female bodies that are necessary for making a baby
understand that having a baby is a personal choice and express how I feel about having children when I am an adult
describe how a girl’s body changes in order for her to be able to have babies when she is an adult, and that menstruation (having periods) is a natural part of this
know that I have strategies to help me cope with the physical and emotional changes I will experience during puberty
As Church a school we follow the Church of England Guidelines which state that RSE should be based on the following principles: (these principles are upheld and taught age appropriately)
- The sanctity of marriage is an important belief in Christian teaching and practice.
- Children should learn the importance of marriage and families as key building blocks of community and society.
- Sex education includes learning about physical and emotional development.
- Children will be taught the cultural and religious differences about matters of sexuality
- Sex education is part of the wider social, personal, moral and spiritual development.
- Children should be made aware of the way in which advertising and the media influence their views about sexuality.
- Children should be made more aware of the spiritual dimensions and the joys of intimacy
- Children should be taught to have respect for their own and others peoples’ bodies
- Children should learn about their responsibilities to others, and be aware of the consequences of sexual activity.
- Children should learn that some people choose not to engage in sexual activity and that this should be respected and valued as a response to the gift of faith.
- Children should be taught to understand the power of sexual desire.
- Children should be made aware that sex can be used compulsively, competitively and destructively.
- Children need to learn the importance of protecting themselves and of self-control.
- Children should be made aware of God’s forgiveness and that there is always a way back.
- Children should learn that it is important to build positive relationships that involve trust and respect.
- Children need to learn how to keep themselves safe when using the internet and other forms of technology.
- Children need to be aware of responsible use of all forms of technology in order to respect the well-being and integrity of others.
Withdrawal from Relationships and Sex Education lessons
Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the Relationships and Sex Education provided at school, except for those parts included in statutory National Curriculum Science. Those parents/carers wishing to exercise this right are invited in to see the Headteacher who will explore any concerns and discuss any impact that withdrawal may have on the child. Once a child has been withdrawn they cannot take part in the RSE programme until the request for withdrawal has been removed. Materials are available to parents/carers who wish to supplement the school RSE programme or who wish to deliver these lessons to their children at home.
Working with Parents and Carers
The government guidance on RSE (DfE 2021) emphasises the importance of schools working in partnership with parents and carers. Parents/carers and staff were consulted on RSE provision and they were involved in developing this policy.
Under current legislation our school will enable parents to exercise their right to withdraw their children from any school RSE taught outside National Curriculum Science (Education Act 1996). Parents have a legal right to see the school RSE policy and to be given a copy of it (Education Act1 996). Parents should also be aware that schools are legally required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Sex and relationships topics can arise incidentally in other subjects, such as Science, and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions.
The Role of the Headteacher
It is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure that both staff and parents are informed about our RSE, and that the policy is implemented effectively. It is also the Headteacher’s responsibility to ensure that members of staff are given sufficient training, so that they can teach effectively and handle any difficult issues with sensitivity. The Headteacher ensures that all adults who work with children on these issues are aware of the school policy, and that they work within this framework. The Headteacher monitors this policy on a regular basis and reports to governors, when requested, on the effectiveness of the policy.
The DfE Guidance 2019 (p. 15) states, “Schools should ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Schools must ensure they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010 under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics. All schools need to ensure that teaching is accessible to all children and young people, including those with special educational needs and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). The teaching of RSHE will be fully inclusive and will foster good relations between all pupils, tackle all types of prejudice – including homophobia – and promote understanding and respect. This policy will inform the school’s Equalities Plan. At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School we promote respect for all and value every individual child. We also respect the right of our children, their families and our staff, to hold beliefs, religious or otherwise, and understand that sometimes these may be in tension with our approach to some aspects of Relationships, Health and Sex Education.
For further explanation as to how we approach LGBT relationships in the PSHE (RSHE) Programme please see:
‘Including and valuing all children. What does Jigsaw teach about LGBTQ relationships?’
Monitoring and Review
The Teaching and Learning Committee monitors our relationships and sex education policy every year. This committee reports its findings and recommendations to the full governing body, as necessary, particularly if the policy needs modification. The Governing Board gives serious consideration to any comments from parents about the sex education programme, and makes a record of all such comments. Governors require the Headteacher to keep a written record, giving details of the content and delivery of the relationships and sex education programme that we teach in our school. Governors should scrutinise materials to check they are in accordance with the school’s ethos.
RSHE is part of our subject evaluation cycle. This happens on a bi-annual basis and involves an in depth look into the delivery of RSE which includes pupil interviews, lesson observations and work scrutiny.
A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere