Relationships and Sex Education Policy
The aim of this policy is to set out a clear framework within which Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) can effectively be delivered at The Warriner School. This policy aims to clarify the school’s vital role in educating young people about the choices they face in leading healthy lifestyles in the 21st Century. It also aims to make clear the procedures the school will follow in relation to relationships and sex issues and therefore provide clear guidance to teachers, school staff and visitors. RSE is underpinned by the ethos and values of our school and we uphold it as an entitlement for all our students. We recognise the need to work with parents and carers to ensure a shared understanding of RSE and to deliver an effective programme that meets the needs of our students. Full details of the policy are outlined in appendix 1.
- To ensure that when planning, designing and delivering its curriculum of RSE, the School will act in compliance with the current guidance.
- To ensure the delivery of an appropriate programme of RSE in the context of its students’ lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development.
- To ensure specific issues in RSE are taught when it is appropriate for the age group, i.e. according to their emotional and physical stage of development.
- Confidentiality Protocol
- Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
- Anti-Bullying Protocol
- Health and Safety Policy
Monitoring and Evaluation
The application of the procedures described in this policy will be regularly monitored to ensure that the needs of our students are met. The subject leader for PSHE is responsible for this monitoring, which will include lesson observations and consultation with teachers and students.
Reviewed: January 2020 By: Head of PSHE
Consultation completed: March 2021 Next Review: January 2023
This policy was approved by the Academy Committee (Governing body) on Thursday 22nd April 2021
The current curriculum has three main elements:
1) Attitudes and Values
- learning the importance of positive self-esteem and respect in healthy decision-making
- learning the importance of values and individual conscience and moral considerations
- learning the value of family life (including all family structures), marriage, and stable and loving relationships, inside and outside of marriage, for the nurture of children
- learning the value of respect, love and care
- exploring, considering and understanding moral dilemmas
- developing critical thinking as part of decision-making.
2) Personal and Social Skills
- learning to manage emotions and relationships confidently and sensitively
- developing self-respect and empathy for others
- learning to make choices based on an understanding of difference and with an absence of prejudice
- developing an appreciation of the consequences of choices made
- managing conflict
- learning how to recognise and avoid exploitation and abuse
- learning how to avoid being pressurised into unwanted or unprotected sex
3) Knowledge and Understanding
- learning and understanding physical development at appropriate stages
- understanding human sexuality, the purpose and process of reproduction (linking to biology and evolution), sexual health, emotions and relationships
- learning about contraception and the range of local and national sexual health advice, contraception and support services
- learning the reasons for delaying sexual activity, and the benefits to be gained for such delay
- the avoidance of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV
- know how the law applies to sexual relationships
- understanding the reasons for having protected sex.
Parents’ Right to Withdraw
Parents will continue to have a right to request to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, should be granted up to three terms before their child turns 16. At this point, if the child themselves wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements for this to happen in one of the three terms before the child turns 16 - the legal age of sexual consent.
Parents who wish to exercise this right contact the subject leader for PSHE. The issue of withdrawal will be handled as sensitively as possible and alternative arrangements will be made for any student withdrawn from this aspect of the curriculum.
How is RSE Taught?
The majority of RSE is delivered within PSHE or LMB (Life in Modern Britain) lessons by a designated team of teachers. The subject leader for Philosophy & Ethics and PSHE has the responsibility for developing, monitoring and evaluating this programme. Philosophy & Ethics and Science contribute to RSE. Both subjects are taught by specialist teachers and the relevant Heads of Department are responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating it.
Students in Key Stage 3 are taught in mixed ability groups and receive one lesson a fortnight in year 9 and two in year 7 & 8. There are dedicated Careers lessons throughout the year; the rest of the time is dedicated to PSHE themes. Year 10 and 11 PSHE is delivered as part of the Life in Modern Britain course. Additional opportunities to discuss key themes are covered in tutorial sessions.
At the start of each year/course ‘Ground Rules’ are drawn up by the class. These are displayed every lesson and re-visited when needed. Activities are designed to ensure students feel safe and secure in discussing sensitive issues. Additionally support networks are shared with students to access extra support from specific organisations where needed.
Distancing techniques are used to avoid embarrassment and protect students’ and teachers’ privacy. This involves depersonalising discussions. When dealing with students’ questions or comments teachers need to establish clear parameters of what is appropriate and inappropriate in a whole class setting. For example:
- If a question is too personal, the teacher should remind the student of the ground rules (no personal questions/the right to pass).
- If the teacher does not know the answer to a question, it is important to acknowledge this, and to suggest that the student or teacher research the question later.
- If a question is too explicit, feels too old for a student, is inappropriate for the whole class, or raises concern about sexual abuse, the teacher should acknowledge it and promise to attend to it later on an individual basis. In this way, the student will feel they have been treated with respect, but the rest of the class will not have to listen to personal experience or inappropriate information. To maintain trust and respect the teacher must remember to talk to the student later.
- If a teacher is concerned that a student is at risk of sexual abuse, they should follow the Safeguarding Procedures.
In teaching RSE we are realistic and recognise that some of our students will be making decisions for themselves about relationships and sex. We also recognise that some of our students may be more vulnerable than others. Therefore some students may need more RSE than others. Teaching RSE can raise many questions of confidentiality. This is especially important given our belief that it is better for us to be seen as a source of support for students than to encourage our students to be secretive.
From time to time visitors are invited in to school to contribute to the RSE programme. These sessions always form a part of the planned programme. All visitors’ sessions must match the philosophy, ethos and practice of RSE at The Warriner. The Subject Leader will seek guidance from Oxfordshire Advisory Teacher where appropriate. The teacher of the class should always be present throughout the visitor session.
All Courses (nearly every lesson) have an element which highlights appropriate available services the students can access (Listed below are a few we direct students towards):
Internally – Tutors, WLC, School Nurse
Externally – NHS helplines, support services such as ChildLine, Samaritans, and Drug Support groups such Aquarius
Programme of Study
- Science Curriculum: Human Reproduction
- PE Curriculum (Girls): Menstruation
Healthy choices and how to make these
Bullying including cyber bullying/Sexting
The Age of Consent
Gangs and the dangers of knife crime
The Responsibility of Parenthood
Sex and the Law
Media influence on attitudes toward relationship and sex
Relationships and age appropriate behaviour in relationships
Child Sexual Exploitation
How to say ‘No’
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Year 10 & 11 LMB:
Multi-culturalism and diversity
Prejudice and Discrimination
Media and its influence on modern day life
Sex and the Law
Healthy relationships and age appropriate behaviour
Sexually Transmitted infections
Making healthy lifestyle choices
DETAILED SCHEMES OF WORK ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Dealing with Specific Issues:
Specific issues in RSE may be considered sensitive or challenging. Whilst it is important to respect the varied beliefs and values held by our school community personal beliefs and attitudes will not influence the teaching of RSE. Teachers and all those contributing to RSE are expected to work within our agreed framework as described in this policy and supported by current legislation and guidelines.
Students are provided with precise information about different types of contraception, including emergency contraception, and their effectiveness. They also are given information about where they can receive confidential contraceptive information, advice and services.
Students are made aware of the moral and personal dilemmas involved in abortion and how to access a relevant agency if necessary.
Students are made aware of the risks of STIs including HIV and are taught about prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Students are provided with information on what safer sex is and why it is important and how to negotiate it with a partner.
It is important that RSE should focus on boys as much as girls. A variety of activities are used to help engage boys as well as girls, matching their different learning styles. Where possible, single sex groups may be used on occasion for certain topics.
All students, whatever their developing sexuality, need to feel that RSE is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs. Teachers should be able to deal honestly and sensitively with transgender and sexual orientation, answer appropriate questions and offer support.
RSE is an entitlement for all our students including those with special educational needs.
RSE should take place within a safe and supportive environment that facilitates relevant discussion. However students need to be made aware that teachers cannot offer or guarantee confidentiality when there is a concern for the safety of the student or another student. When a student makes a disclosure of this sort then the teacher should follow the school’s Safeguarding Procedure. Teachers will respect a student’s confidentiality and not make information available to those who do not need to know it.
Disclosures from students may take place at an inappropriate place or time. If this happens then the teacher should talk again to the student before the end of the school day when it is practicable to do so.
Effective RSE should enable and encourage students to talk to a trusted adult if they are having sex or contemplating doing so. It is desirable, although not always possible, that that person should be their parent or carer.
If a teacher learns from an under 16 year old that they are having, or contemplating having sex, then the following steps should be taken:
- All possible steps should be taken to persuade the student to talk to their parent or carer
- Any child protection issues should be addressed
- The issues will be discussed with the student who should be informed about contraception, including precise information about where young people can access contraception and advice services. These conversations will be non-judgemental and be consistent with the ethos and the objectives of the PSHE programme.
From time to time a teacher may be approached by a student experiencing a crisis. This could be that they have had unprotected sex or that they fear they could be pregnant.
As with all disclosures, the confidentiality policy (see section above) should be followed. The student should be provided with the relevant information about where they can seek professional health advice and services. They should NOT be allowed out of school during a school day to seek this advice, unless it is with their parents’ or carers’ knowledge and consent.