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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do pupils with SEND have to learn about RSE?
All children are entitled to Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). Government guidance is clear that these statutory subjects must be accessible for all pupils - including disabled pupils and those with special education needs (SEND).
Q: Why is my child taught relationship and sex education in primary? This is too young.
We are introducing Relationship Education at primary, to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds. This will start with family and friends, how to treat each other with kindness, and recognising the difference between online and offline friendships. Primary sex education is part of national curriculum for science and is a statutory requirement. Please refer to our school policy for more information.
Q: Does the Relationship Education and RSE curriculum take account of my faith?
The subjects are designed to help children from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain. When teaching these subjects, the religious background of pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching, so that topics are appropriately handled. In developing these subjects, the Department of Education have worked with a number of faith organisations and representative bodies.
Q: Do I have a right to withdraw my child from Relationships and Sex Education?
Parents and carers have a right to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of RSE. Please refer to our PSHE+RSE policy for more information.
Q: Will these subjects promote LGBT relationships?
The Department for Education states that pupils should be taught about the society in which they are growing up. These subjects are designed to foster respect for others and for difference and educate pupils about healthy relationships. RSE should meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity – this should include age-appropriate teaching about different types of relationships in the context of the law. Pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. The Department for Education expect secondary schools to include LGBT content. Through the primary years LGBT teaching will be through teaching pupils about different types of family, including those with same sex parents.