Sex and Relationships (SRE) Policy
SRE at St. Ebbe’s School is embedded in the PSHE curriculum and aims to help children to
develop an understanding of growing up physically, socially and emotionally. Through the teaching of sex and relationships education, children will learn about attitudes and values, personal and social skills and will develop their knowledge and understanding. Children are also taught about personal space and privacy.
In writing this policy, we have taken account of the general requirement in the Education Reform Act 1988: It helps prepare children for “the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.” SRE gives pupils accurate information about sex and relationships, and allows them the opportunities to develop life skills and an individual moral framework that aims to enable them to make positive use of that information.
In a world where children receive information about sex and relationships from a variety of sources, many of which are inaccurate or ‘unhealthy’, primary school SRE aims to counterbalance these messages by providing accurate information as part of a supportive programme.
SRE is about helping children to develop and maintain successful relationships. It is about providing them with information that will support them with the process of puberty and help them to understand issues relating to sex and reproduction.
Primary school SRE needs to happen at a time when many children start to experience puberty and show an increased awareness of matters relating to the body and sex.
Primary school SRE is about demonstrating to children that matters relating to the body and sex can be spoken about in a sensitive and positive way. This helps children to feel more comfortable about communicating about these matters. This therefore will undoubtedly increase the likelihood of them behaving responsibly in any sexual relationship they go on to have, as such responsibility usually requires some kind of communication – with a partner and/or sexual health services.
Our SRE programme aims to provide children with:
- the skills needed for successful relationships;
- a moral framework that will guide their decisions and behaviours;
- opportunities to understand and celebrate difference and diversity;
- an understanding of their own bodies;
- the confidence and know-how to seek help and advice;
- self-esteem, self-awareness and emotional health;
- an awareness of the right they have over their own body;
- good communication skills – including assertiveness;
- the skills and knowledge to make positive informed choices;
- the ability to respect the rights of others to hold opinions that differ from their own as long as these views do not impact on the rights of anyone else;
- the ability to take responsibility for, and accept the consequences of, their own actions;
- the knowledge to reduce the risks to their own health and the health of others.
Moral and Values Framework
Our primary school teaches SRE within a moral and values framework consistent with our Christian ethos. We promote:
- self-respect and respect for others;
- empathy, mutual support and cooperation;
- responsibility for personal actions;
- an awareness of the uniqueness of individuals;
- respect and acceptance towards others who may have different backgrounds, cultures and sexuality;
- an awareness of not making assumptions about others;
- the right of people to hold their own views (as long as these views do not impact negatively on the rights of others);
- the right not to be abused or taken advantage of by other people;
- the right to accurate information about sex and relationship issues.
Our primary school is committed to the provision of SRE to all of its pupils. Equal time and provision will be allocated to all pupils with the exception of pupils with special educational needs, who will be given extra support if required.
Our SRE programme is inclusive and acknowledges and accommodates the diversity within any group of people in terms of gender, religion, language, race, social background, culture, appearance, family set-up, special needs, ability or disability.
Children in the EYFS are presented with relevant learning opportunities within the Prime Area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development under the headings 'Making Relationships, Self-Confidence and Self-awareness, Managing Feelings and Behaviour'.
The legal Requirements of Sex Education Provision are National Curriculum Science at Key Stage 1 and 2. As of September 2013, these areas are statutory for Years 1, 2, 5 and 6.
Key Stage 1
- That animals including humans move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce.
- Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense.
- To recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others and treat others with sensitivity.
Key Stage 2
- That the life processes common to humans and other animals include nutrition, growth and reproduction.
- About the main stages of the human life cycle.
Non-statutory Provision of SRE (PSHE and Citizen Frameworks)
Key Stage 1
Pupils learn to
- recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others
- Identify and share their feelings with each other
- Recognise safe and unsafe situations
- Identify and be able to talk to someone they trust.
Key Stage 2
- Pupils learn to express their opinions about relationships and bullying and to listen to and support others, including respecting other people’s viewpoints and beliefs. They learn to recognise their own worth and identify positive things about themselves and try to balance the stresses in life in order to promote their own mental health and the well-being of others.
- Life processes are discussed including the physical changes that take place at puberty, why they happen and how to manage them. We traditionally teach puberty-based topics in Year 5, but teachers must use their discretion as to when is an appropriate time to introduce the subject to some, or all of the pupils in their care.
- Sexuality and reproduction are discussed in Year 6 (sessions delivered by a school nurse and followed up by the class teachers).
SRE resources are chosen and checked for:
- positive, healthy and unbiased messages
- age appropriateness
- promoting positive values
- being up-to-date.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The SRE programme is monitored and evaluated through
- Discussions amongst staff
- Teacher assessments
- Pupils’ self-assessment and evaluations
The Role of Parents and Carers within the SRE programme
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from receiving sex education from a PSHCE perspective at school, but not to withdraw them from the teaching of the science national curriculum: Sc2 Life Processes and Living Things - Sc2f: The Main Stages of the Human Life Cycle. Before Year 6 embarks upon its SRE programme, parents and carers are informed by letter of their right to withdraw their child from SRE lessons. They are given an overview of the topics the child will be covering.
Safeguarding children and SRE
SRE may bring about disclosures of safeguarding children issues and all staff are familiar with the procedures for reporting their concerns. In these cases, the school’s Safeguarding Children policy needs to be referred to.
Confidentiality and SRE
As a general rule, a child’s confidentiality is maintained by the teacher or member of staff concerned. However, if this person believes that the child is at risk or in danger, they talk to the named child protection coordinator who may or may not confer with the head teacher before any decision is made. (This is generally considered good practice.) Our school will offer absolutely no confidentiality in such circumstances – and make it clear to both pupils and parents that this is the case. For example, we would pass on information about a parent/carer breaking the law if it were disclosed to us – even if the child was at no risk from harm.
How our school deals with sexually explicit questions
Our school will:
- Respond appropriately to all questions asked;
- encourage pupils to ask their parents/carers any question outside the planned programme;
- make it clear, through ground rules, that nobody should ask personal questions and no-one, teacher or pupil, will have to answer a personal question;
- allow individual staff to use their professional judgement to answer questions in front of the whole class or individually;
- with the pupil’s permission, inform parents/carers about questions their child has asked.
Acceptable and appropriate language for use in SRE lessons
All staff will:
- use the correct terms for all body parts as this is deemed good practice;
- openly teach pupils what ‘slang’ words mean and that some are offensive;
- avoid the use of any slang.
Ground rules specific to SRE
- Respect will be shown at all times.
- No personal questions are acceptable in SRE lessons.
- If it is perceived that anyone is at risk from harm, another adult will need to be told.
Single- and mixed-sex groups
All pupils will learn about both sexes. However, where possible, opportunities will be made for older pupils to discuss matters in single-sex groups or individually though sex education at the school.