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Relationships and Sex Education Policy

This Policy was approved by the Governing Body: Jan 202

Review Date: January 2023

Signature ………………………………………… (Chair of Governors) Signature ………………………………………… (Headteacher) Date: …………………………….

Relationships and Sex Education Policy 

RSE Policy Contents

1. Outline of Policy Guidance

∙ What is RSE?

∙ Rationale

∙ Aim of the Policy

∙ Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

2. The RSE Curriculum

∙ Aims of the RSE Curriculum

∙ The RSE Curriculum at Co-op Academy Portland

∙ Key Skills within RSE

∙ Teaching and Learning Styles and Techniques

∙ Organisation of the RSE Curriculum

∙ Circle Time

3. Teaching Guidance Specific to the RSE Curriculum

∙ The Teaching and Curriculum Management Methods for Specific Sex-Education Lessons (e.g. Puberty, Sexual Behaviour etc).

∙ Mixed and single gender groups.

∙ How the resources were selected

∙ Evaluation of the RSE Curriculum

∙ Dealing with sex-related pastoral incidents

4. Specific Issues Statements

∙ Language

∙ Using visitors to deliver RSE

∙ Confidentiality

∙ Informing parents/carers and parents right to withdraw their child

∙ Procedures for pupils who are withdrawn from sessions

∙ Child Protection Procedures

∙ Pupils’ Access to Help and Support

∙ Female Pupils Who Begin Periods Whilst At Co-op Academy Portland

∙ The approach to potentially controversial and sensitive issues.

∙ Dealing with sexually explicit questions

5. Policy Management and Monitoring and Evaluation Procedures

∙ Dissemination of the policy

∙ Arrangements for Monitoring and Evaluation

Outlines of Policy Guidance 

What is RSE?

∙ Relationships and Sex Education aims to give children and young people:

o self esteem

o skills for successful relationships

o emotional literacy

o the ability to make informed choices and minimise risk

o the ability to keep themselves and other people safe

o the opportunity to explore their own attitudes, values and beliefs and develop an individual moral code that will guide their actions.

o a discerning eye for the messages they receive from the media

o the ability to access help and support

o a positive attitude towards their body and sexuality

∙ Effective RSE is embedded in the school curriculum (particularly PSHE) and ethos. Rationale

For the pupils that pass through Co-op Academy Portland, we make it a priority to give a broad and balanced education about relationships and sex. We do not teach RSE in isolation unless there are specific objectives that require more of a focus, and the focus on relationships is at the forefront of our minds when planning. We recognise the value of enabling the children to get a base-line of skills and attributes, such as self-esteem, assertiveness and self-beliefs, which will empower them to make informed life choices as they are faced with life’s challenges. This, in turn with high-quality, unbiased and factual teaching about issues of relationships and sex means our children are given the tools they need to inform their future decisions. As a school, we are committed to the safeguarding of all of our pupils and are a fully inclusive school.

Aim of the Policy

The aim of this policy is to provide a working document that gives clear framework within which staff will feel secure to work in. It is designed to ensure that the messages about high quality Relationships and Sex Education are clear to all stakeholders of Co-op Academy.

Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

Our RSE Curriculum aims to ensure that we remain a fully inclusive school. We believe that inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment or background. Delivery of the RSE curriculum will be differentiated appropriately. Our RSE curriculum responds to the needs of individual pupils and takes pupils, cultures, faiths and family backgrounds into consideration. Pupils with individual needs are given additional RSE support by staff where needed, including the class teacher and teaching assistants. Resources etc. are sensitive to the needs and backgrounds of the children and will not reflect gender or cultural stereotypes. Resources are monitored regularly to ensure that sensitivity is maintained.

The RSE Curriculum 

Aims of the RSE Curriculum at Co-op Academy Portland follow PSHE Jigsaw Scheme ( designed by Jan Lever):

The RSE Curriculum objectives delivered at Bridgewater ensure that pupils will revisit topics so they build upon their existing knowledge and skills throughout the school. It is aimed that RSE is taught through active learning activities as often as possible. Wherever possible, parental involvement in RSE is to be encouraged.

The RSE Curriculum at Co-op Academy Portland 

∙ The comprehensive PSHE Jigsaw Scheme, designed by Jan Lever, encompasses the RSE curriculum so that the knowledge and skills are progressive from the Early Years to Y6. This document is on the Google Shared Drive on the Co-op Academy Network, as well as the paper copy for each Year Group which is kept in individual classrooms.

∙ Throughout the Curriculum, pupils ‘practice’ life skills such as assertiveness, self awareness, decision making and consider all aspects of relationships and what affects them and also provides many opportunities for pupils to explore their own and others’ attitudes, values and opinions on a variety of issues.

Coverage within RSE

RSE is covered in Summer 2 across Year groups during the PSHE unit Changing Me.

Organisation of the RSE Curriculum.

RSE is delivered predominantly in PHSE lessons following the Jigsaw scheme of work in Summer 2 to ensure a comprehensive coverage. However, consolidation and extension of RSE is found in science, (see appendix 1 for Science objectives) RE, Literacy and during assemblies. Circle time is also used to deliver RSE (and PSHE) and this occurs in all classes once a week within the PSHE lesson.

Circle Time

∙ Circle Time is a time for children to gather together to share their personal feelings and ideas about anything that is significant to them, thus being a good way of delivering RSE objectives. By showing children that their opinions count, encouraging them to safely express feelings and make real choices, self-esteem will be enhanced and children will become more accustomed to managing their feelings in a controlled and positive way.

∙ In order to feel comfortable and confident to talk, ground rules should be outlined before the start of each Circle Time, where children should be reminded of the need for action should you feel that they are “at risk”.

N.B. Staff should all follow the procedures for dealing with disclosures in accordance with the Child Protection policy.

Teaching Guidance Specific to Relationships and Sex Education 

The Teaching and Curriculum Management Methods for Specific Sex-Education Lessons (e.g. Puberty, Sexual Behaviour etc).

∙ Ground rules will be developed during RSE lessons based on respect. The only additional considerations specific to RSE ground rules (as opposed to basic class rules) will be a need to prevent personal questions and the need to explain to children that if a teacher suspects that they or anyone else is at risk from harm, then they will need to tell another adult, again in line with the procedures for dealing with disclosures in accordance with the Child Protection Policy.

∙ Active learning techniques such as circle time, role play, games, prioritising exercises, paired and group discussion, interviewing and presentations, are used in the teaching of RSE as much as possible. Pupils will also be given many opportunities to reflect on what they have learnt in RSE lessons.

∙ As far as possible, to prevent stigmatisation of any group of people or any life choices, the prochoice approach to PSHE and RSE is adopted. This means that every issue is presented in terms of, ‘some people and others let’s explore the effect these choices might have on a person’s life.’

Mixed and single gender groups.

Most of RSE is delivered in mixed sex groups. However during lessons on puberty at Yr 4, 5 and 6, both boys and girls cover the same material but are then given opportunities to discuss what has been covered in single sex groups where they might feel more comfortable doing so. Pupils should be given this option and teachers should be prepared to adopt other means of delivering the curriculum (e.g. School Nurses) to ensure that this is possible.

How the resources were selected

The PSHE co-ordinator thoroughly reviews any potential resource to ensure that there is no stereotyping, bias or prejudice and that they are suitable for the age group of the audience.

Evaluation of the RSE Curriculum

RSE lessons must be evaluated by both the teachers and pupils to ensure that the needs of our pupils continue to be met.

Dealing with sex-related pastoral incidents In dealing with sex-related pastoral incidents, staff: ∙ Don’t rush into anything and don’t panic

∙ Assess the seriousness of the situation sensitively and sensibly, take everything into account but don’t exaggerate or overreact.

∙ Keep the welfare of the children as the focus.

∙ Consider the full range of options

∙ Consider and anticipate both the positive and negative consequences of the teachers actions. ∙ Consult, and get support from, other colleagues.

∙ If necessary, refer to experts such as education welfare officers, social workers, school nurse or educational psychologists.

∙ Challenge any homophobic or sexist comments immediately.

Specific Issues Statements 


During all RSE lessons, the correct terms for all body parts and functions will be used. Staff should consider the children’s understanding of such words and the meanings of all words should be clarified in a factual way. It should be made clear to pupils which words are potentially offensive and that from this point onwards, the correct terms will be used. This aims to prevent bullying of children for not knowing definitions and overtly points out the offensive nature of some words – which also empowers staff to challenge the use of offensive words explicitly.

Using visitors to deliver RSE

∙ External staff are occasionally used to deliver aspects of RSE but as their availability cannot be relied upon, the RSE Curriculum is taught with no assumption of support from external speakers.

∙ Whenever an external visitor is going to deliver a lesson or activity that is related to RSE, a planning session with the speaker and a member of the teaching staff should be encouraged to ensure that the input will be worthwhile and also to check the suitability of the content. All visitors are made aware of the RSE policy and staff and pupils evaluate all lessons.

∙ A member of staff will also supervise the visitor at all times in accordance with the school’s Child Protection Procedures.


Pupils’ confidentiality is respected in all RSE lessons and pupils are made aware of the fact that what they say in RSE lessons will not be repeated to anyone else unless a member of staff suspects that

the child or anyone else is at risk from harm in accordance with the school’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

Informing parents/carers and parents right to withdraw their child

Before each year group embarks upon its explicit RSE Curriculum, parents are informed by letter of their right to withdraw their child from RSE lessons and given an overview of the topics the child will be covering. Parents are also reminded that they can have a copy of the school’s RSE Policy on request, from the school office. Parents should be invited to a meeting, where they can view all teaching resources that will be used in the delivery of their child’s RSE.

Procedures for pupils who are withdrawn from sessions

Provision is made for pupils whose parents wish their child to be removed from RSE lessons to work in another classroom while their class’ RSE is being delivered.

Child Safeguarding Procedures

∙ The school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead is Mrs Corryne Peace, Headteacher and Mrs Allen and Mrs Tolcher are the Deputy Designated Safeguarding lead. If a teacher suspects that a child is at risk from harm or neglect, they need to inform this person and record any evidence that supports their concerns. This is in accordance with the school’s Child Protection Policy.

∙ As part of RSE ground rules teachers need to make it clear to pupils that if they suspect that anyone is at risk from harm, they will need to tell another adult and this should be explicitly restated before each lesson.

Pupils’ Access to Help and Support

In RSE lessons and assemblies, pupils are reminded that if they ever find themselves where something is happening that they feel they cannot do anything about, they are to keep finding an adult to tell until someone does something to help with the situation.

Female Pupils Who Begin Periods Whilst Co-op Academy Portland

Girls who start their periods at school are supported by the staff at school. Provision has been made by using a ticket, kept in the office, for girls to access support without having to describe what they need. All girls in the school and staff are made aware of this provision once parental permission has been sought to inform the pupils of this. The office staff will provide sanitary protection and be sensitive to the amount of support the individual seems to require. Sanitary bins are provided in the girls' KS2 toilet and female staff toilets.

Potentially Controversial and Sensitive Issues.

All staff are aware that everyone has views on RSE related issues. However, while it is respected that everyone has the right to their own viewpoint, all RSE issues are taught without bias. Topics are presented in a way that considers all viewpoints so that pupils are able to form their own, informed opinions but are also encouraged to respect the fact that others may have quite different viewpoints.

Viewpoints that have a negative impact upon another person or group of people such as prejudice are always challenged.

Dealing with Sexually Explicit Questions

∙ Direct “sex-education” (e.g. Puberty and Body Awareness) topics should begin with a “Big Picture Lesson”. The teacher should make it clear which objectives will be covered in the sessions and allow the pupils to take part in a “What I definitely know” and “What I’d like to know”.

∙ It should be made clear to pupils, by means of ground rules, that personal questions should never be asked by pupils or the teacher, which are aimed at either staff or other pupils. A question box will be provided while the RSE Curriculum is being delivered and the pupils will be told that if there are any questions considered too explicit for that age group, they would not be answered. The judgement about which questions could or could not be answered would be based on whether or not it was closely relevant to the Curriculum the school has decided upon.

∙ Pupils will be told that during any RSE lesson, only questions that relate directly to the RSE lesson being covered will be answered. Any other questions should be placed in the questions box. This will allow the teacher to teach the objectives

∙ If several children start to ask questions about a particular topic (perhaps due to media coverage) then the RSE Curriculum can be adapted to deal with this issue so as to prevent pupils from becoming misinformed or receive biased information. However the teacher must maintain a clear, objective-led point of view of consult with the PSHE coordinator/Headteacher prior to coming away from the Curriculum.

∙ If the child shows inappropriate sexual knowledge, child protection procedures would be consulted.

∙ If a pupil asks a question relating to RSE issues at any other time, if the question is related the RSE covered in the child’s year group, the child will be told that they will learn the answer in RSE. If not, it will be suggested that the child asks his or her parents/carers.

Policy Management and Monitoring and Evaluation Procedures 

Dissemination of the policy

Staff at the school have actively been involved in reaching consensus on the content of the RSE policy and are aware of its content through discussion of the initial draft. Parents have been invited to view the policy, via a letter, and a copy is always available for parents in the school office. Parents/carers will be kept informed of any developments or opportunities in RSE. Governors have responsibility to the RSE policy and the policy is not in place until undersigned by the Chair of Governors.

Arrangements for Monitoring and Evaluation

The PSHE co-ordinator will be responsible for reacting to the responses of the whole school community to the RSE policy and Curriculum which will be investigated every two years by means of a questionnaire, for parents and less formal methods for pupils. A formalised evaluation exercise will be completed by staff every two years in line with updates of the policy.

Appendix 1

Science Objectives which link to RSE

Key Stage 1

Animals including humans

-identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense

-that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults

-Find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)

Lower Key Stage 2

Animals including humans

-identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition in order to grow, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat.

Upper Key stage 2

Living things and their habitats

-describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals

Animals including humans

- describe the changes as humans develop to old age

- Pupils should draw a timeline to indicate stages in the growth and development of humans. - They should learn about the changes experienced in puberty.

Evolution and inheritance

-recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.

Appendix 2: