Relationships and Health Education
Catholic Schools, like all other schools in England are required to produce a written policy following the guidance issued by the Department of Education on Relationship Education, Relationships and Sex education (RSHE). Catholic schools are required to deliver RSHE in accordance with the teaching of the Church. This approach is compatible with the guidance issued by the DfE.
RSHE is part of the mission of Catholic schools to educate the whole person. It should be carried out as part of the holistic education which seeks to form as well as inform young people in preparation for adult life.
Life to the Full, will teach Relationships Education and Health Education within the context of a Christian understanding of human sexuality rooted in the wisdom and teaching of the Catholic Church.
Given that RSHE (Relationships and Health Education) is now a statutory subject for all schools from September 2020, we are embracing “the challenges of creating a happy and successful adult life” by giving pupils knowledge “that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships” (DFE Statutory Guidance).
We will deliver this teaching through the prism of Catholic RSHE. The framework of our programme is taken from the Model Catholic RSE Programme by the Catholic Education Service, which has been highlighted by the Department of Education as a work of good practice.
Our teaching of RSHE is based on our children understanding the importance of stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. Our implementation of RSE will ensure sufficient attention is paid to developing the self-esteem of children in order that they can make informed choices in the future. The children will also be provided with sufficient factual knowledge related to their age. Although RSE is taught through different aspects of the curriculum it will be rooted in the RE, PSHE and the Ten Ten RSE scheme ‘Life to the Full’
Life to the Full is much more than a series of lessons. It is an entire platform of creative resources that will engage, inform and inspire our children and, indeed, you as parents. This includes interactive video content, story-based activities, employing a wide range of teaching tools, original worship music and an accompanying programme of classroom prayers.
Can I withdraw my child from Relationship and Sex Education ?
Relationship Education is a statutory part of the school’s curriculum and all pupils will be expected to take part and engage in the curriculum content delivered at Holy Family.
However, some elements of our curriculum are not statutory, these elements only appear in Key Stage Two and are clearly outlined in the programme of study link and in the topic overview. Please inform the school by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish for your child to be withdrawn from those particular sessions of the programme.
How does the programme deal with sensitive issues around family and relationships ?
The following notes should help you to understand and articulate the position that the programme takes on this subject:
- Life to the Full is inclusive of all children, families and teaching staff;
- From the very start, the programme acknowledges that families are made up differently (including single-parent families, blended families, step-parents, carers, etc) and it celebrates the family unit in whatever form it takes;
- The school will build on this teaching, depending on the cohort, to ensure that every child is assured and their family background is affirmed;
- In Upper Key Stage Two, the presenters on film say that some children have ‘two Mums and two Dads’ as part of a list of different family set-ups – this is the only explicit reference to same-sex relationships in the programme;
- The programme emphasises very strongly the dignity of every person as being created and loved by God – it examines difference and bullying;
- The only reference to sexual intimacy is in the optional UKS2 session ‘Making Babies: Part 2,’ as discussed in the section of this document, ‘Key Decision’. In this session, sexual intimacy is discussed within the context of a heterosexual marriage and the Catholic-Christian point of view is clearly stated.
- The teaching is in line with the statutory guidance from the Department of Education
In addition to the lessons taught in school, an online ‘Parent Portal’ is available so that you as parents and carers can engage with the teaching and deepen the experience for your child.
It also provides clear information as to the content being taught in lessons and the information your child is receiving.
To access the TenTen Parent Portal, click here: www.tentenresources.co.uk/parent-portal
You will need the following login credentials for our school:
School Username: st-marys-dn32
School Password: mother-all
Top Tips for Talking to your child
Talking to your child about their feelings, relationships and changing body is important. Building good channels of communication throughout childhood can help your child to communicate with you as future issues of increasing seriousness arise.
Your child needs to know that it is OK to talk and that you are happy to talk. They will learn this through your body language, tone and manner when you talk, so try to behave as you would in any other topic of conversation.
Below are simple strategies to make talking about feelings, relationships and the body more comfortable:
Start by talking about something that you both find comfortable, such as feelings and emotions.
Ask your child what they think their friends know/think about the topic, as this provides a way to talk about your child’s views indirectly.
Avoid ‘The Chat’. Talk about these topics little and often over everyday events like playing, drawing, whilst driving in the car or watching TV. This can help to normalise the conversation, easing uncomfortable feelings.
Reading a story book containing relevant content is a helpful way to stimulate discussion with your child.
Don’t leave it too late. Start talking about relevant topics before you feel your child is approaching a level of curiosity about it, so you can establish strong channels of communication in readiness.
Be prepared to listen. Your child will want to have their voice heard without feeling judged. Feeling listened to will encourage your child to talk about issues in the future.
If you child asks you a question you are not sure how to answer, don’t panic ! Let them know that you will answer it at another time, making sure you remember to. Sometimes a simple answer can provide a sufficient response.
Try to listen calmly, even if what they say surprises or concerns you. Remember that it is good that they are comfortable to discuss issues with you. They need to trust that you will not respond negatively.
Make sure that your child knows they can always talk to you anytime about anything.
Please see link for RSHE Impact