RSHE Parent Consultation
RSHE Curriculum Intent Statement
The Adeyfield Academy believes that relationship and sex and health education is an educational entitlement for all pupils and an integral part of each pupil’s emergence into adulthood. RSHE provides knowledge, and encourages the acquisition of skills and attitudes that will allow pupils to manage their lives in a responsible and healthy way. RSHE is provided with due regard to the importance and value of family life, and within the framework of spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical development.
The aim of RSHE is to enable pupils to make informed decisions about personal relationships from a basis of knowledge and a recognition of their responsibilities. RSHE is a crucial part of preparing our pupils for their lives now and in the future as adults and parents; it calls for careful and sensitive treatment. Parents are key figures in helping their children cope with the physical and emotional aspects of growing up. Our teaching should be complementary and supportive of the role of the parents of our pupils.
- To develop students’ social and decision-making skills to help them make sensible and informed choices with regard to their own behaviour, including sexual behaviour
- To provide students with up-to-date, reliable and accurate knowledge and understanding about matters related to sex and sexuality appropriate to the needs and levels of maturity (physical, intellectual, emotional and social) of the student.
- To provide students with the opportunity to examine and discuss the implications of the issues involved within an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect in a stimulating and supportive learning environment in which students can develop their feelings of self-worth and confidence, especially in relationship with others
Aims of the consultation
The Department for Education statutory guidance states: ‘Parents should be given every opportunity to understand the purpose and content of Relationships Education and RSE. Good communication and opportunities for parents to understand and ask questions about the school’s approach help increase confidence in the curriculum.’
Therefore, we aim to:
- Communicate with our parents/carers about Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) at The Adeyfield Academy to highlight the new 2020 guidance and give you the opportunity to comment and feedback on our intended delivery of mandatory topics to our students.
- Provide an overview of the draft mandatory Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) curriculum at The Adeyfield Academy
- Give parents and staff the opportunity to consult on the RSE Policy.
- Hold a Parent event to support parents’ or carers’ understanding of RSE, provide opportunities to raise any questions and concerns and host a forum in which we can show you lesson resources that we will use in our delivery of lessons.
- Provide an overview of the statutory PSHE Education curriculum.
What does age-appropriate mean?
The Statutory Guidance gives content for primary and secondary, but not by key stage or year.
- This is because the ‘age and developmentally appropriate’ judgement will vary by school and context.
- The use of the PSHEE Association Programme of Study is supportive of guidance towards age-appropriate delivery.
- This means that we consider the guidance and teach topics that we believe, through our experience with our students, is appropriate for them.
- In addition, the parent/carer voice will offer an opportunity to agree or disagree with our topic delivery.
What does LBGT inclusive mean?
- The Equality Act (2010) requires schools to prevent discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relation between different groups. The protected characteristics that apply to The Adeyfield Academy students are disability, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
- Statutory Guidance says “schools should ensure that all of their teaching is sensitive and age appropriate in approach and content. At the point at which schools consider it appropriate to teach their students about LGBT, they should ensure that this content is fully integrated into their programmes of study for this area of the curriculum rather than delivered as a stand-alone unit or lesson. Schools are free to determine how they do this, and we expect all students to have been taught LGBT content at a timely point as part of this area of the curriculum”.
- The statutory guidance states that all students should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. The guidance is clear that secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching.
How do we make students feel safe to discuss sensitive issues?
Students know they have a bi-weekly lesson as part of their timetable.
We understand that many of the topics in PSHEE are sensitive for a number of different reasons.
We want to ensure that students feel safe and confident within lessons.
Currently we take the following steps to support our students during these lessons:
KS3 students know they have a weekly lesson as part of their timetable.
They have the opportunity to raise any concerns they have about any particular topics with their: class teacher, form tutor and Head of Year.
We have a blended approach to these lessons and the PSHEE co-ordinator plans the scheme of learning which is reviewed by their line manager, annually. This means that we know what content is being delivered. This helps our monitoring processes and ensures that there is consistency when teaching each topic.
PSHEE teachers adapt the lessons, in order to meet the needs of their learners, but the content of each topic remains the same for all teaching groups.
How do we teach sensitive issues?
Teachers establish clear parameters of what is appropriate and inappropriate in a whole class setting. It is a matter of common practice that:
- nobody (teacher or student) is required to answer a personal question;
- nobody is forced to take part in a discussion;
- the correct names for body parts are used;
- sensitivity will be shown towards different faiths and
- nothing should be said that could be construed as embarrassing or offensive to other students.
If a question is too personal or inappropriate, the student will be reminded of the ground rules. Any concerns for students will be raised to the Safeguarding team.
It is important to recognise the power and confusion of informal learning from, for example, television, magazines, newspapers, gossip, jokes and the wider community. Teachers can do much to dispel myths, reduce fear and anxiety, clarify understanding and counteract prejudice.
How do we manage class discussions on sensitive issues?
- Occasionally teachers may find that managing a whole class discussion is a useful stage in the teaching of a particular topic.
- Whole class discussions can be a useful way to model listening respectfully to the views of others and turn-taking, though in a class of 30, only one person can speak at a time so, these discussions will not be over-used.
- Anonymous question boxes can be provided for topics with sensitive content so students are not embarrassed to ask important questions. This will allow a teacher to review questions prior to discussing answers with the class..
- While ‘distancing techniques’ (using a third-party example) can be useful in some cases for sensitive or potentially personal issues, in general, it is not helpful to invite students to ‘act’ roles which may be controversial in such discussions – it is better to allow them to ask their own genuine question or express their own genuine views.
- The teacher is in charge of class discussions. They will always aim to manage and lead discussions attentively. If the discussion is at risk of straying, the teacher is prepared to redirect it back to intended topics.
- Though we value student leadership, no student will be asked to lead or chair discussions on sensitive topics as there can be a greater risk of going off topic.
Can I withdraw my son/daughter from RSE lessons?
Starting September 2020
- Parents will not be able to withdraw their child from any aspect of Relationships Education or Health Education.
- Parents will be able to withdraw their child (following discussion with the school) from any or all aspects of Sex Education, other than those which are part of the science curriculum, up to and until three terms before the age of 16.
- After that point, the guidance states that ‘if the child wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements to provide the child with sex education during one of those terms.’
- Where students are withdrawn from sex education, schools should document the process and will have to ‘ensure that the student receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.’
Please see below withdrawal form for you to fill in and return to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the Policy agreed?
Why does the government say our children have to learn this at school?
The Department for Education has published Understanding Relationships, Sex and Health Education at your child’s secondary school: a guide for parents.