Sex and Relationships Education
Effective sex and relationship education is essential if young people are to make responsible and well informed decisions about their lives.
What is sex and relationship education?
Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is designed to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development so that they learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood through adolescence into adulthood.
It has three main elements:
Attitudes and values
- Learning the importance of values and individual conscience and moral considerations;
- Learning the value of family life, marriage, and stable and loving relationships for the nurture of children;
- Learning the value of respect, love and care;
- Exploring, considering and understanding moral dilemmas; and developing critical thinking as part of decision-making.
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; and
- Learning how to recognise and avoid exploitation and abuse.
Knowledge and understanding
- Learning and understanding physical development at appropriate stages;
- Understanding human sexuality, reproduction, sexual health (including Sexually Transmitted Infections and Well man, well woman issues), 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 from such delay; and
- The avoidance of unplanned pregnancy.
Through our programme of sex and relationship education we seek to prepare young people for an adult life in which they can:
- Develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgments and behaviour;
- Be aware of their sexuality and understand human sexuality;
- Understand the arguments for delaying sexual activity;
- Understand the reasons for having protected sex;
- Understand the consequences of their actions and behave responsibly within sexual and pastoral relationships;
- Have the confidence and self-esteem to value themselves and others and respect for individual conscience and the skills to judge what kind of relationships they want;
- Communicate effectively so that they can assert themselves and negotiate relationships and safer sex.
- Have sufficient information and skills to protect themselves and, where they have one, their partner from unintended/unwanted conceptions, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV;
- Explore issues of peer pressure and other risk-taking behaviour such as drugs and alcohol and how they relate to sexual activity and a variety of consequences
- Avoid being exploited or exploiting others;
- Avoid being pressured into unwanted or unprotected sex;
- Access confidential sexual health advice, support and if necessary treatment; and
- Know how the law applies to sexual relationships.
Entitlement and Equal Opportunities
SRE is provided for all students at Rossett School from Year 7 – 13. It is delivered as an integral part of the Health Education programme within PSHEE and as part of the post 16 course. Particular care is taken to address issues for boys as SRE as well as girls. Due attention is also paid to ethnic, religious and cultural issues that could affect the delivery of SRE in the normal mixed gender groupings. Students with Special Educational Needs are part of the mixed gender groupings; however, provision can be made for extra support as necessary. Students receiving additional tuition are not to be withdrawn from SRE lessons.
SRE is regarded as a positive and natural aspect of human development. However, it is complex in that it has moral, legal, religious and cultural considerations. The style of teaching thus involves not only the imparting of factual knowledge but also consideration of wider social and moral issues at the appropriate age of development. Students are given opportunities to reflect on personal values and are encouraged to develop responsible attitudes based on the values of family life.
In Key Stage 3 and 4 provision of SRE is the responsibility of the PSHEE Coordinator. The Form Tutors deliver SRE with support from health care professionals as appropriate. (See Guidelines for working with outside providers.) For post 16 it is the responsibility of the Director of Sixth Form and Deputy Director of Sixth Form.
In Key Stage 3 and 4 SRE is delivered to mixed gender groups with the exception of one Year 11 Well Man/Well Woman session.
Working with Parents
Parents are informed by letter of the timing and content of sex and relationship education lessons and their right to withdraw their child.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the sex and relationship education provided at school except for those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum. The National Curriculum Science:
Key Stage 3 covers
- That fertilisation in humans… is the fusion of a male and a female cell
- About the physical and emotional changes that take place during adolescence
- About the human reproductive system, including the menstrual cycle and fertilisation
- How the foetus develops in the uterus
- How the growth and reproduction of bacteria and the replication of viruses can affect health
Key Stage 4 covers
- The way in which hormonal control occurs, including the effects of sex hormones
- Some medical uses of hormones, including the control and promotion of fertility
- The defence mechanisms of the body
- How sex is determined in humans
Parents are encouraged not to withdraw their child from the SRE programme within PSHEE as this provides the spiritual, moral and relationship context in which this scientific information can best be made sense of.
Advice and information
Teachers would not presume or be expected to offer advice on contraception or sexual health matters, but information on contraception and sexually transmitted illnesses including HIV would be disseminated as part of the PSHEE programme.
Outside the teaching situation, health professionals such as school nurses can:
- Give one-to-one advice or information to a student on a health-related matter including contraception; and
- Exercise their own professional judgment as to whether a young person has the maturity to consent to medical treatment including contraceptive treatment.
(The criteria for making such a decision are based on both the ‘Fraser guidelines’ (1994) and the revised guidelines for directors and other health professionals on the provision of advice and treatment to young people under 16 on contraception, sexual and reproductive health (July 2004). Both are available on www.BMA.org.uk and can be found in guidance issued jointly by the Health Education Authority, the British Medical Association, Brook Advisory Centres and others. Any competent young person, regardless of age, can independently seek medical advice and give valid consent to treatment).
Confidential sexual health advice and advice on contraception and emergency contraception can be given by the school nurse (Mrs McIntosh). This may result from a referral by the school’s First Aid & Health Manager.
Individual confidentiality should be respected at all times and an atmosphere of trust engendered. However:
If a teacher is aware that a student is going to give confidential information, they should explain to the student that it may well be in their interest that this information be ultimately shared with others on a “need to know” basis. This should be done in a sensitive and professional manner ensuring that students know that teachers cannot offer unconditional confidentiality. It is important to reassure students that their best interests will be maintained and that, if confidentiality has to be broken, they will be informed first and then supported as appropriate;
If the wishes to divulge information relating to a potential “child abuse” complaint the teacher should inform the student that they cannot act in confidence as by law they must follow the school’s child protection procedure;
In all cases the students should be reminded that confidentiality is a two‑way process.
Dealing with sensitive issues
The school First Aid & Health Manager keeps an “emergency” supply of sanitary materials that can be made available to female students on request.
Adopted by Governors: July 2011
Reviewed July 2015
Next review: July 2017