Sex Education Policy
1. What is sex and relationships education?
It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching. It has three main elements:
- Attitudes and values
- Personal and social skills
- Knowledge and understanding
2. Objectives of sex and relationships education.
At primary school level, sex and relationship education should contribute to the foundation of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship education by ensuring that all children:
develop confidence in talking, listening and thinking about feelings and relationships;
are able to name parts of the body and describe how their bodies work; can protect themselves and ask for help and support; and are prepared for puberty.
3. Providing sex and relationships education in Bottisham Primary School.
At Bottisham Primary School, sex and relationships education is seen as a part of the personal, social, health and citizenship education programme. This ensures that sex education is received in the wider context of relationships, and that children are preparing for the next step of their education and for the experiences of adult life. The four themes of the PSHE and citizenship programme are:
- Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of pupils’ abilities;
- Preparing to play an active role as citizens;
- Developing a healthier, safer life style; and
- Developing good relationships and respecting differences between people.
All teachers have a part of the programme to teach, as laid out in the scheme of work for PSHCE
published by The Cambridge Advisory Service. At years 3/4, 5 and 6 there are specific units of work which include the school nurse working with the teaching staff. Single sex groupings are occasionally used as appropriate.
Content of sex and relationships education
In year 3/4, 5 and 6 the children watch a series of videos, which cover the objectives stated above. Each programme is followed by discussion and support materials including games and activity sheets. The school nurse covers issues relating to periods in more detail and is available to answer questions
asked by the children. Children will be provided with the opportunity to ask questions in class and anonymously. The three units of work are within the PSHCE curriculum and the coverage is: Unit 1 (Y3/4)
- Differences between male and female
- Life cycles
- Growth of the foetus
- Growth and change
Unit 2 (Y5)
- How babies are made
- Friendships and feelings
- Roles and responsibilities
- Development of the baby in the womb
- How babies are born
Unit 3 (Y6)
- Physical and emotional changes at puberty
- Sexual intercourse
Many areas not directly covered by the videos may be covered during discussions and follow up activities. These will be approached with sensitivity and will include masturbation and contraception. Discussion of relationships may touch briefly upon homosexual relationships, when mentioned by the children. (See specific issues.)
4. National Curriculum Science.
The programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2 science provide for much of the factual background knowledge for sex education as follows: Key Stage 1
1b that animals, including humans, move, feed, grow, use their senses and reproduce
2a to recognise and compare the main external parts of the bodies of humans
4a to recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others and treat others with sensitivity Key Stage 2
1a that the processes common to humans and other animals include nutrition, growth and reproduction
2f about the main stages of the human life cycle Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from national curriculum science lessons.
5. Specific Issues.
Whilst these issues are more relevant to secondary education, it is helpful for us to be aware of them and how to manage them.
Pupils should be reassured that their best interests will be maintained. They should be encouraged to talk to parents / carers. Pupils should know that staff cannot give unconditional confidentiality. If there is any possibility of abuse, the school’s child protection procedures must be followed.
All members of staff should ensure that they are familiar with the school’s child protection policy, which includes the requirements of Child protection circular 10/95.
Sex and relationship education is established at primary level so that children can understand the changes that are or will take place in their growth and development. Pupils will have the confidence to manage these physical and emotional changes.
Pupil comments and questions
While staff are encouraged to respond to pupil questions honestly and with the correct vocabulary, staff must also be aware of what may be followed up on an individual basis, or referred to parents.
Progammes include preparation for menstruation. It is essential that girls are prepared. The school makes adequate and sensitive arrangements to help girls cope, and with requests for sanitary protection.
6. Parental Involvement.
Parents play a significant role in the education of their children, and it is therefore wise to work in partnership with school. Research shows that children want their initial sex and relationship education from their parents.
However, many parents find this difficult; in particular fathers with their sons. Parents should be able to:
- help their children learn the correct names for body parts
- talk about feelings and relationships
- answer questions about growing up, having babies, and relationships
The school will make every effort to inform and prepare parents to play their part. Publications and
videos used in the programme in school will be available for parents for viewing in school and wherever possible for home viewing. Parents can be assured that the personal beliefs and attitudes of staff will not influence the teaching of
sex and relationships education.
7. Right to Withdraw.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of the sex and relationship education provided at the school (but not national curriculum). The DfES offers a standard pack for such parents. Parents should discuss this with the Headteacher and then, if they still wish to withdraw their child,must put such a request in writing to the Headteacher.
8. Monitoring and Evaluation.
The Governors will consider this policy carefully, and suggest updates when necessary. The teaching of sex and relationships education is monitored by the PSHCE coordinator. The coordinator will make an effort to include the views of parents. The programme is evaluated by the senior management team. This policy will be periodically reviewed, and updated as necessary.
9. Working with Others.
The school values the contributions made by Governors, Parents, and Health Professionals. It should be noted also that this policy is given to Bottisham Village College so that our children should experience continuity in their education. In writing this policy, the coordinator has been pleased to draw on the guidance provided in ‘Sex and Relationship Guidance’ publication DfES 0116/2000, and ‘Sex and Relationships’ report no. 433 from HMCI.
Jan Pannell, Chrissy Barclay, Carol Meek March, 2003.