Our school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment.
If you have any concerns regarding the safeguarding of any of our pupils please contact one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads: Mrs Sarginson, Mrs Hill or Mrs Dixon
Please see the safeguarding section of our website under Policies > Safeguarding.
Department for Education (DfE) statutory requirements for
Relationships and Health Education including non statutory Sex Education
From September 2020, all schools have to teach Relationships and Health Education. You can read about these changes in this DfE guide for parents here:
The DfE also strongly encourages primary schools to deliver sex education to help prepare children for their transition to secondary school.
Most schools are already delivering very effective Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and the new guidance is simply about ensuring that all children get the information they need and want. The lessons will help children to learn about their bodies including the changes that take place at puberty, and will help keep them safe, so they can form healthy relationships (friendships) with others, now and in the future.
At Hopwood Community Primary School, we have chosen to use the SCARF scheme of work to deliver RSHE. We were already using SCARF to deliver our PSHE curriculum so it made sense to use their SRE resources to teach the additional content identified in the new statutory requirements and rebrand the subject to RSHE.
More information about Coram Life Education and SCARF can be found on their website:
Current government Sex and Relationships Education guidance states that children should learn about puberty before they experience it, but clearly this isn’t happening in some schools – one of the reasons why making this subject statutory in all schools is so important.
We also know that RSE has a protective factor when it comes to safeguarding children. 1 in 20 children are sexually abused and 1 in 3 of these not report this to an adult. Sexual abuse can happen to any child; the best way to safeguard children is to ensure that they receive information on naming parts of their body, knowing the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touch, and having the skills and confidence to find and talk to a trusted adult to report any abuse.
Research now shows that children with better health (including mental health) and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically. By learning about positive relationships, respect for themselves and others, and behaving appropriately and safely online, they are better able to enjoy their friendships and therefore focus more at school.
There is sometimes concern that RSE in school might promote sexual experimentation or cause confusion about an individual’s sexuality. Research on quality Relationships and Sex education in the UK by the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles team consistently shows that men and women who reported that lessons at school were their main source of information about sex were more likely to have started having sex at a later age than those for whom parents or other sources were their main source.
We recognise that parents play a vital part in their child’s RSE, and we encourage you to discuss these themes with your child at home as well. If further advice or support is required, or if you have any questions about the programme or would like to view the resources, please don’t hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher or the Head teacher.
PSHE & RSE Policy
Our current draft PSHE & RSE policy will be ratified by governors in the Summer term full governing board meeting following consultation with parents.
Parents are encouraged to read our RSE policy and curriculum overview (below) and communicate via this google form:
What are we planning to teach?
At primary school, Relationships Education and Health Education is statutory. It’s important that parents know this and that there is no option to withdraw from these subjects.
The DfE guidance (pg. 23):
"The national curriculum for science also includes subject content in related areas, such as the main external body parts, the human body as it grows from birth to old age (including puberty) and reproduction in some plants and animals."
"It is important that the transition phase before moving to secondary school supports pupils’ ongoing emotional and physical development effectively...It (the sex education programme) should ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings and – drawing on knowledge of the human life cycle set out in the national curriculum for science - how a baby is conceived and born."
As above sex education includes puberty, conception, reproduction and birth. Puberty is already statutory under Health Education and National Curriculum Science (so there is no right to withdraw). Birth and reproduction are also included in Science (again, no right to withdraw) and so this leaves conception. By definition 'how a baby is conceived' means what happens during sexual intercourse before an egg and sperm meet (reproduction).
Parental concerns and withdrawal of students
Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of the non-statutory Sex Education our school teaches but not Relationships Education. They do not have a right to withdraw their children from those aspects of Sex Education that are taught in the statutory National Curriculum Science and Health Education. Parents are invited to view our resources and discuss any concerns with our staff.
Before granting a request to withdraw a child/ren, the head teacher will invite the parent to discuss the request with them to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. The head teacher will discuss with the parent the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on their child. This could include any social and emotional effects of being excluded, as well as the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in the classes, rather than what was directly said by the teacher. The school is responsible for ensuring that should a child be withdrawn, they receive appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.
It is statutory for our school to show parents examples of the resources we plan to use. Parents can view examples sex education content through the year group pages on the school website. Communication with parents about what is planned to be taught and when, is provided through half termly curriculum parent leaflets emailed home and uploaded to the school website. We advise parents to view the resources in order to support them in carrying out their responsibilities relating to providing RSE at home. It is valuable for a child’s development to learn about its own families values in regards to relationships and sex alongside the information they receive at school.