At Fairmead school, RSE (Relationship Education and Relationship and Sex Education) is taught as part of our PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) curriculum. Our PSHE+RSE curriculum also incorporates our equality and safeguarding duties, the government’s British Values agenda and our students’ SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development. These are all important factors when working towards our overarching goal of preparing all our students for safe, successful and happy futures in which they can enjoy healthy relationships and are able to integrate confidently and appropriately with their communities, locally, more widely and online.
As a SEND school, we are aware of the diverse needs of our students and recognise that they may be more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues, both in the real world and online. With this in mind, we have designed our PSHE+RSE curriculum to address our students’ highest priorities with regards to their safety and wellbeing both now and in their futures as independent adults.
Although many of our students are working below the academic level of their mainstream peers, they face the same life challenges and often have greater difficulties managing these challenges due to their SENDs. Recognising that they need to learn about realistic life challenges and to develop the skills to manage these, we teach age, not stage, appropriate content. Guidance on what is suitable for each age group is taken from the RSE statutory guidance and the PSHE Association’s curriculum framework.
Students in our lower primary classes are not yet able to access formalised learning. To ensure they have the opportunities to develop their relationships and health and well-being skills through their play-based provisions, we have devised our own Lower Primary PSHE+RSE framework. This is informed by the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, the AET Autism Progression Framework and The Early Years Developmental Journal.
In addition to the formalised PSHE+RSE curriculum content that is delivered through timetabled PSHE+RSE lessons and assemblies, we teach many of the Relationship and the Health and Wellbeing strands of the curriculum through our daily interactions with students.