Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education
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.
The Government have released guidance making Relationships and Health Education statutory in all primary schools and Health Education statutory in all state-funded schools. This will come into affect at Coppice from September 2020 after guidance from the local authority of Redbridge together with consultation with parents and governors about how the new statutory aims will be delivered.
Currently at Coppice the aim of RSE is to provide children with age appropriate information, explore attitudes and values and develop skills in order to empower them to make positive decisions about their health related behaviour, enable them to build positive relationships and to keep them safe. This is taught through a fact and British Law led approach. Some elements of RSE are taught as discrete lessons while others are taught through PSHE, P4C, RE and Healthy Living lessons as well as through the general ethos of the school and assemblies. Parents currently have the right to withdraw their children from the Sex Education elements of RSE.
It is taught from Reception to Year 6 as follows:
Children learn about the concept of male and female and about young animals. In ongoing Personal, Social & Emotional Development (PSED) work, they develop their skills in managing feelings and behaviour, self-awareness and self-confidence and managing relationships.
Key Stage 1
Through work in science children learn about life cycles of some animals, understand the idea of growing from young to old and learn that all living things reproduce. They learn about the importance of personal hygiene to maintain good health. They learn the names for different body parts and that some body parts are private. In RE children reflect on family relationships, different family groups and friendship. They learn about rituals and traditions associated with birth, marriage and death and talk about the emotions involved. They begin to co-operate with others in work and play and begin to recognise the range of human emotions and ways to deal with them. They also learn about personal safety and healthy boundaries in relationships.
Key Stage 2
They will develop skills needed to form relationships and to respect other people’s emotions and feelings. They will consider how to make simple choices and exercise some basic techniques for resisting pressures. In RE and PSHE, they continue to develop an understanding of relationships within a family, between friends and the community and that there are different patterns of friendship. They will learn about differences and similarities between their own relationships and those of others. They enhance their understanding on keeping themselves safe, both on and offline, and what a healthy relationship is together with the importance of making good decisions to keep themselves safe. They begin to learn about their own mental well being an how to looks after this as well as their physical health.
In upper KS2, children are taught about the physical, emotional and social changes at puberty, which include personal hygiene. In science children build on their knowledge of life cycles and learn about the basic biology of human reproduction including the birth of a baby. They also recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents. Sex and relationship education should focus on the development of skills and attitudes as well as the acquisition of knowledge.