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Sex and Relationships Policy

This policy can be downloaded as a Word document here.

Setting

Black Horse Hill Junior School, West Kirby currently has about 195 children on roll. The boys and girls are aged between 7 and 11, most having transferred straight from Black Horse Hill Infant School. The vast majority of children are white European. About 22% of children are on the SEN register and 23% are entitled to free school meals.

Policy Production

The PSHE co-ordinator is responsible for policy development, along with the head teacher. Staff were consulted on policy content in staff meetings. The school developed the policy in conjunction with the Advisory Teacher for Health Promoting Schools.

What is Sex and Relationship Education?

At Black Horse Hill Junior School, we define SRE as “a lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It emphasises the importance of family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. SRE is also about the teaching of sex and sexual health.” Our definition of SRE is based on DCSF guidance.

SRE Aims:

  • To complement and support the work of parents.
  • To prepare pupils to cope with the physical and emotional changes of growing up.
  • To give pupils an elementary understanding of human reproduction.
  • To support the personal and social development of all pupils.
  • To offer balanced and factual information (appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils) acknowledging the moral and ethical issues involved.

School Ethos and Environment

Black Horse Hill Junior School believes that by creating a welcoming and supportive environment for our pupils and by actively seeking to foster good home/school links, we create an ethos of open dialogue and trust, where parents feel they can discuss all aspects of their children’s education. We recognise that there will be a wide variety of home experiences and situations, and that all children and their families have a right to privacy, respect and acceptance and our approach to teaching SRE will be non-judgemental and respectful. By producing a written SRE policy, we are clarifying the position of the whole school community, and supporting relationships as we all work towards shared goals.

Curriculum:

SRE is taught primarily through PSHE lessons, which are supported by the PSHE and Citizenship resource files, and within the Humans aspect of the National Curriculum Science orders. Opportunities are planned into the whole curriculum for the delivery of aspects of SRE in different contexts, for example, exploring the role of families and friendships through RE themes, and providing opportunities for pupils to discuss feelings through the SEAL programme. Teachers will be responsible for the delivery of SRE with their own classes. In Years 5 and 6, the curriculum is supported by the school nurse, who delivers a programme on puberty with all pupils using a range of materials which support the school’s agreed aims.

Teaching:

A programme of delivery for SRE is planned into the PSHE curriculum, which builds on pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding year on year using resources which are appropriate to the age, ability and maturity of pupils. Teachers use a range of teaching strategies and approaches to ensure pupils have opportunities to discuss and reflect, share their attitudes and opinions and exchange ideas. Teachers also give consideration to the organisation of pupils, whether in pairs or groups, including single sex groups where appropriate, to demonstrate sensitivity to pupils’ needs.

Teachers have developed clear Ground Rules in conjunction with the pupils in their class, in order to maintain a safe and trusting environment, where pupils listen to each other and respect each other’s opinions. Pupils are dissuaded from asking personal questions and to respect each other’s right to privacy. Teachers ensure that pupils are aware that the teacher cannot promise confidentiality. If a child discloses information which could pose a threat to his/her safety, then the matter must be reported as a safeguarding issue, using the procedures outlined in the school’s safeguarding policy. Teachers will ensure that their responses to pupils’ questions will be as honest, factual and open as possible whilst being appropriate to the pupils’ age and maturity levels. Where discussions may be of a particularly sensitive nature, staff may use distancing techniques, such as anonymous question boxes. This ensures that the teacher can choose to respond to questions in a class setting without causing embarrassment to individual pupils, or choose not to respond to inappropriate questions. Where appropriate, the teacher may contact an individual child’s parents so that they have the option of responding to the child’s question.

Staff training needs are identified through professional development interviews and through the curriculum review programme. The PSHE co-ordinator attends relevant training, including PSHE cluster meetings, and disseminates information to staff at regular staff meetings. In this way, the school is able to keep abreast of changes in the law and new initiatives and updates the policy and practice accordingly.

SRE is assessed within the context of PSHE, using assessment for learning strategies, where pupils are expected to reflect on their own learning and be involved in setting targets for future learning. Pupils’ progress in SRE is recorded and reported to parents as part of the PSHE programme.

Resources

The resources used conform to the legal requirement for SRE. They portray positive images of young people and avoid racist, sexist, gender and homophobic stereotyping.

The co-ordinator ensures that the resources used are factual and up to date and contribute to a broad and balanced PSHE programme. The resources support the school’s agreed aims, the aims of lessons and the objectives and values framework for SRE. When planning lessons, teachers ensure that the resources they select encourage active and participatory learning methods, and adapt resources for use with all pupils in their class.

Parents have the opportunity to view the school’s SRE resources, including videos, at curriculum meetings, supported by the school nurse.

Equal Opportunities

All pupils will have equal access to Sex and Relationship Education, unless specifically withdrawn from this provision by their parents. Extra care will be taken to ensure sensitivity is shown towards children whose maturity, experience of family life sexual knowledge and moral framework is a cause for concern. The school is also sensitive to cultural perceptions of SRE.

Evaluation

The PSHE co-ordinator is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the SRE policy, as part of the PSHE review process. The review and evaluation process will involve discussion of the policy with a working party consisting of representative members of the whole school community. The opinions of the wider community may be sought via questionnaires, discussions in staff meetings and PSHE lessons. The school council will play an active role in this process. The policy will be reviewed annually and updated accordingly

Parental Involvement

  • Parents are kept informed of the school’s policy and practice with regard to SRE via newsletters and a paragraph in the school’s prospectus, which makes reference to the parents’ right to withdraw their children from the PSHE strand of SRE lessons. Parents in Years Five and Six are invited to attend a meeting with a member of the teaching staff and the school nurse. At this meeting, the SRE programme content is outlined. Parents have the opportunity to view the materials to be used and ask questions prior to the introduction of the programme.
  • According to Section 405 of the 1996 Education Act, parents have the right to withdraw their children from the PSHE strand of SRE lessons, although this does not apply to the biology content of the National Curriculum orders to Science. Parents are informed of these details in the school prospectus. If a parent requests that their son/daughter be removed from SRE lessons, they will be invited to discuss their concerns with the PSHE co-ordinator and or head teacher. Alternative arrangements will be made for the education of the pupil during SRE lessons.

Specific Issues

  • Confidentiality: Staff have been made aware of the school’s position with regard to confidentiality and child protection issues at staff meetings and child protection training sessions. Where teachers have cause for concern regarding a child’s welfare, they must inform the child protection co-ordinator, who will act according to the agreed child protection protocol. Pupils are informed of the school’s position on confidentiality in PSHE lessons, where they are involved in the development of Ground Rules. Teachers inform pupils that they cannot promise confidentiality.
  • Parents right to withdraw pupils from SRE lessons: The school informs parents of their right to withdraw their children from SRE lessons in the school prospectus, and at curriculum meetings. In such cases, alternative arrangements will be made for the child’s education.
  • The use of Outside Visitors: Where outside visitors, including the school nurse, are involved in the support and/or delivery of SRE lessons, teachers must ensure that they are clear of their remit before the lesson. Outside visitors will be asked to abide by the school’s child protection and confidentiality policies. The programme content of outside visitors should complement and contribute to the school’s SRE programme. Under no circumstances should an outside visitor be left alone with a class or individual children, as this may compromise the school’s position with regard to child protection and confidentiality issues. All outside visitors must have an up to date CRB check.

Links with other School Policies/Documents

The school’s Sex and Relationships policy has been developed with reference to the following:

  • DfEE Sex and Relationship Guidance Document 0116/2000
  • Wirral LA Sex and Relationship Guidance Document 2003
  • Equal Opportunities Policy/Inclusion Policy
  • Safeguarding / Child Protection policy
  • Visitors Policy
  • PSHE policy
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