‘I HAVE COME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL’ (Jn.10.10)
We are involved in Relationships and Sex Education precisely because of our Christian beliefs about God and about the human person. The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in our school. Our approach to RSE therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and presented in a positive framework of Christian ideals.
At the heart of the Christian life is the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit in communion, united in loving relationship and embracing all people and all creation. We teach the Christian belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God and that gender and sexuality are seen as God’s gift.
RSE is firmly embedded in the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education framework as it is concerned with nurturing human wholeness and integral to the physical, spiritual, emotional, moral, social and intellectual development of our pupils.
All RSE will be in accordance with the Church’s moral teaching. It will emphasise the central importance of marriage and the family. We will acknowledge and ensure that all our pupils are respected and treated as unique individuals in the eyes of God. We will respect the protected characteristics: age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs, sex, sexual orientation and ethnicity.
We teach RSE mainly through the Life to the Full programme devised by Ten:Ten. This is based on ‘A Model Catholic RSE Curriculum’ by the Catholic Education Service and has been highlighted as a work of good practice by the Department of Education.
Our RSE curriculum is a partnership between home, school and church and we aim to work in partnership so that our children are fully supported in their growth and understanding.
Our lessons are taught through creative resources that will engage, inform and inspire our children and parents. Our teaching includes the use of interactive video content, story-based activities, worship , music and accompanying prayers.
Our RSE curriculum is developmental and as children work through the programme, year-after-year, each stage builds on previous learning. Each module is taught in every year group and is explored at an age appropriate level. Within these modules there are units and these units will be visited twice in each Key Stage to recap and consolidate understanding.
Module One: Created and Loved by God
Created and Loved by God explores the individual. Rooted in the teaching that we are made in the image and likeness of God, it helps children to develop an understanding of the importance of valuing themselves as the basis for personal relationships.
In these sessions, we explore:
EYFS Children are introduced to the story of creation and they creatively explore that they are created by God out of love and for love. In ‘Me, My Body, My Health’, children will learn about their uniqueness in real terms, including celebrating differences and individual gifts, talents and abilities. In Emotional Well-Being, children will learn about likes, dislikes and self-acceptance. They will learn that actions have consequences; that when we make mistakes we should say sorry and ask for forgiveness.
Key Stage One (Y1 and Y2) Children learn that we are uniquely made by a loving God, that we have differences and similarities (including physical differences between boys and girls), key information about staying physically healthy, understanding feelings and emotions, including strong feelings such as anger, and the cycle of life from birth to old age.
Lower Key Stage Two (Y3 and Y4) Children develop their understanding of differences, respecting our bodies, puberty and changing bodies. There will be strategies to support emotional wellbeing including practicing thankfulness, and the development of pupils understanding of life before birth.
Upper Key Stage Two (Y5 and Y6) Children learn to appreciate physical and emotional differences, a more complex understanding of physical changes in girl and boys bodies, body image, strong emotional feelings, the impact of the internet and social media on emotional well-being, a more nuanced and scientific understanding of life in the womb and how babies are made, and menstruation.
Module Two: Created to Love Others
This module explores the individual’s relationship with others. Building on the understanding that we have been created out of love and for love, this unit explores how we take this calling into our family, friendships and relationships, and teaches strategies for developing heathy relationships and keeping safe.
This religious understanding is then applied to real-world situations relevant to the age and stage of the children:
EYFS – Children are taught that Jesus loves us and is a role model for us to copy in loving one another. In ‘Personal Relationships’ , children will expand their vocabulary by applying names to different family/friend relationships, consider positive/negative behaviour in relationships and learn to look to Jesus as their role model for a good friend. In ‘Keeping Safe’, children learn practical ways to stay safe inside and out, about bodily privacy (including the NSPCC PANTS message that ‘pants are private’) and the importance of talking to their ‘special people’ if anything troubles them.
Key Stage One – Children are taught to identify the Special People in their lives who they love and can trust, how to cope with various social situations and dilemmas, and the importance of saying sorry and forgiveness within relationships. In the unit ‘Keeping Safe’, we explore the risks of being online by incorporating the ‘Smartie The Penguin’ resources from ‘Childnet’ , the difference between good and bad secrets, and teaching on physical boundaries (incorporating the PANTS resource from the NSPCC ).
Lower Key Stage Two – The sessions here help children to develop a more complex appreciation of different family structures and there are activities and strategies to help them develop healthy relationships with family and friends; here, they are also taught simple techniques for managing thoughts, feelings and actions.
Upper Key Stage Two – Children are equipped with strategies for more complex experiences of relationships and conflict; this includes sessions that help children to identify and understand how to respond to spoken and unspoken pressure, the concept of consent and some practical demonstrations of this, and further teaching on how our thoughts and feelings have an impact on how we act.
Module Three: Created to Live in Community
Finally, Module Three: Created to Live in Community explores the individual’s relationship with the wider world. Here we explore how human beings are relational by nature and are called to love others in the wider community through service, through dialogue and through working for the Common Good. The children apply this religious understanding to real-world situations, such as the community we live in, and through exploring the work of charities which work for the Common Good.
Please see the outline of teaching in the link below.
Please note that parents will notified by e mail when sensitive content is going to be taught so that this can be discussed and prepared for at home.
We continuously assess the implementation and impact of our RSE curriculum in order to achieve the highest outcomes possible across all year groups and ensure we provide the support that is necessary for all children to have a good understanding of the complexities of relationships and sexual matters and a secure knowledge and skills base to navigate their way through these, now and in the future. Through our RSE curriculum, we believe we can enhance children’s education and help them to become confident individuals who have positive body awareness, an in-depth knowledge of how to keep themselves safe and healthy and who will, through respect, tolerance and understanding, forge and maintain positive relationships with a diverse range of family and friendship groups.
Please see this two page guide for parents –Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school
For more in depth guidance from the DfE please see the link below
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions please see link below
For further information on LGBTQ content in the Life to the Full scheme, please see the following: LGBT Content in the Life to The Full Scheme.
Please see the following mapping documents to see how RSE is covered through other subjects:
From September 2020, relationships education became compulsory in all primary schools, and relationships and sex education made compulsory in all secondary schools. Catholic schools, like all other schools in England, are required to produce a written policy following the guidance issued by the Department for Education on Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education. Catholic schools are also required to deliver RSE in accordance with the teaching of the Church. This approach is compatible with the guidance issued by the DfE.
Why is RSHE in Catholic schools important?
RHSE 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.
What does outstanding RSHE in Catholic school look like?
In order for Catholic RSHE to be fully effective it needs to:
- Be faithful to the Church’s vision of human wholeness whilst recognising the contemporary context in which we live today;
- Involve parents as they are primary educators of their child;
- Provide a positive view of human sexuality and dignity of the human person;
- Equip young people with the ability to make practical judgments about the right thing to do in particular circumstances;
- Explore and promote virtues which are essential to promoting respect and dignity;
- Be delivered in an age appropriate way which reflects the development of the child;
- Be part of the cross-curricular work in both primary and secondary schools;
- Be sensitive to the needs of the individual pupil and recognise the mix of pupils with different sexual orientations, genders and family backgrounds in each class;
- Be taken seriously by governors and teachers as an integrated part of the broad and balanced curriculum that Catholic schools offer;
- Be delivered by competent professionals who understand the Church’s teaching.
Every year, we host a parental consultation process for RSHE. Please click on the link below to read the Parent Consultation letter which gives details on how to take part in this important process.
Letters & Correspondence:
Please click on the links below to view the letters and correspondences that have been issued to parents in relation to RSHE:
Catholic Education Service
Please click on the links below to access useful guidance and resources from the Catholic Education Service.