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Sex and Relationships Policy

1. Context

Awsworth Primary and Nursery is situated in the village of Awsworth an old mining village, situated close to the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire border.  Both the school and the nursery draw pupils from a wide area; in the Autumn Term 2010, 21% of our pupils are from outside the designated catchment area.  FSM and pupils with behavior or learning difficulties is below the national average with pupils from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.  The school also has a very low proportion of ethnic minority pupils.

Background

 

SRE Guidance – DfEE 2000

“Sex and Relationships Education is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development.  It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care.  It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health.”

 

Awsworth Primary & Nursery School has achieved Healthy Schools Gold Status and is committed to maintaining a high level of provision to support, develop and maintain the health and well-being of pupils, staff and other relevant members of the school community. In line with legal requirements (Education Act 1996, Learning and Skills Act 2000) the governors at Awsworth Primary & Nursery School have overseen the production and development of the SRE policy which will be made available to parents* and have decided to deliver the SRE programme in addition to that which is part of the statutory Science Curriculum.

 

* The term parents is used throughout this policy to describe all adults who have the responsibility for caring for a child within the school.

 

Rationale

 

The school recognises the contribution that SRE in the primary school can make to government health targets around the reduction of teenage pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections.  SRE in the primary school builds the foundations of knowledge, skills and attitudes which help young people to make positive, informed and safe choices about their health and well-being both now and in later life.

 

In Nottinghamshire the rates of teenage pregnancy are above the national average.  There are few support services for young people in the local community and therefore we must do all we can to support the health and well-being of children within the school.

 

Policy Formulation

 

This SRE policy has been developed using a whole school approach in line with the requirements of the National Healthy Schools’ Programme. Consultation has taken place with representatives from all members of the school community.  A working group was set up comprising: the Head Teacher, Healthy Schools and PSCHE co-ordinator, a parent, the lead governor for SRE, the school nurse, School Council representatives and a lunchtime supervisor. 

 

Initially the group sent out questionnaires to parents and staff to gain their views on current SRE provision and what they might want/feel is necessary in future.  Pupils’ views were sought via discussion in class groups led by the relevant School Council representative and via a needs assessment questionnaire which sought to find out pupils’ current knowledge and understanding level in relation to SRE issues. 

 

The group worked on a first draft of the policy using national guidance and good practice and the results of the consultation exercise to inform the content.  The draft was then circulated for consultation to the aforementioned groups. The policy was also taken to a meeting of the other schools in the family to ensure that the policies and programmes of the primaries were similar in approach and content and offered continuity to that of the secondary.  A final version of the policy was created incorporating feedback from the consultation process.

 

The policy will be reviewed every three years.  This review will be led by the PSCHE Co-ordinator and will be informed by: staff and pupil evaluation of the programme, any relevant local/national issues, relevant changes in the law/good practice guidance, the results of parent questionnaires, new resources becoming available, requirements of the maintenance of our Healthy Schools’ Gold status and pupil needs.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The name of the PSCHE Co-ordinator is: Mrs Jane Mainprize

She has the following responsibilities:

Ø  To lead the three yearly review of the SRE policy;

Ø  To ensure that resources used are relevant and appropriate to the needs of the children, in line with legal requirements (Learning and Skills Act 2000);

Ø  To lead on the evaluation of the SRE policy and programme;

Ø  To ensure that staff have the necessary skills, confidence, knowledge, and resources in order to deliver effective SRE.

 

The name of the PSCHE Governor is: Mrs Marilyn Reed

She has the following responsibilities:

Ø  To ensure that an up-to-date SRE policy is in place and is made available to parents and for inspection;

Ø  To ensure that the SRE policy and curriculum are in line with the DfEE SRE Guidance 2000;

Ø  To ensure that the policy and programme reflect a whole school approach particularly in relation to consultation.

 

All staff have the responsibility to ensure that they, or anyone working in their classroom to deliver/support SRE, is doing so in line with the school’s SRE policy, and other relevant school policies.  Teaching staff contribute to the evaluation of the programme.  They are also responsible for assessing children’s progress against the agreed learning outcomes and providing reports to parents.

 

 Links to other relevant policies:

 

The SRE policy links to the following school policies:

Ø  Bereavement;

Ø  Equalities;

Ø  PSCHE;;

Ø  Confidentiality ;

Ø  Safeguarding;

Ø  Drugs Education;

Ø  Special Educational Needs.

 

2. Aims and Objectives

 

Aim

 To equip children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable them to manage the responsibilities associated with adult life and to form and maintain positive and fulfilling relationships.

 

Objectives

 Ø  To develop an awareness of the importance of relationships and enable children to practise skills that will help them to build and maintain them;

Ø  To provide factual information on human reproduction and birth;

Ø  To encourage respect for difference and diversity;

Ø  To prepare young people for the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty;

Ø  To provide a positive and open view of sex and sexuality and support sexual self-acceptance;

Ø  To ensure that all young people know who can support them and how to access this support;

Ø  To work in partnership with and support the role of, parents;

Ø  To model positive relationships throughout the school;

Ø  To actively challenge stereotypes and prejudice and give children the skills to critically analyse media messages;

Ø  To give opportunities for pupils to develop and practise decision-making skills with regard to the range of possible consequences;

Ø  To promote and encourage children to make healthy lifestyle choices;

Ø  To use agreed terminology to discuss sexual body parts throughout the school.

 

 3. Moral and Values Framework

Through the SRE curriculum, both formal and informal, and the modelling of positive relationships throughout the school, Awsworth Primary & Nursery School aims to promote and foster the school’s agreed set of morals and values.  These are as follows:

 

Ø  Everyone has a right to express their views and be listened to;

Ø  Everyone in the school should behave in a way that shows care, consideration and respect for themselves, other people and things, and the environment;

Ø  Everyone has responsibility for their own actions;

Ø  All members of the school community are equally valued;

Ø  Disputes and disagreements will be resolved peacefully;

Ø  The diversity of individuals, families and relationships will be accepted and celebrated;

Ø  Love, commitment, trust, loyalty, respect are important for close relationships.

 

 4. Equal Opportunities

 Awsworth Primary encourages respect for all regardless of gender, ethnicity, ability, faith, culture, sexuality, sexual orientation, disability, home background or other personal circumstance.  Within our provision of SRE we will ensure that resources used and teaching styles employed reflect and support the diversity of our pupils and wider society.   All members of the school community will feel safe, valued and respected.  (See also Equalities Policy).

 

Throughout the school there will be consistent challenging of homophobic attitudes, behaviour and language. 

 

We recognise that children at the school come from a range of family backgrounds, these include: children whose parents are not married; children whose parents have divorced or separated; children in public care; children living with foster parents, grandparents, parents of different ethnicities, disabled parents, same-sex parents and single parents.  We will endeavour to ensure that children see these family groupings and relationships represented and affirmed within the SRE curriculum and resources.

 

5. Working with Parents

We recognise that parents are key partners in our delivery of a comprehensive SRE programme for pupils at the school.  The SRE we deliver is designed to support the important role of parents in this area.

 

When a child starts at the school the parent/carer receives a ‘quick-read’ version of the SRE policy outlining the main points.  The full version is available to parents on request from the school office and on the school’s website.  Before a unit of work on SRE begins we will write to parents outlining the content of the unit and when the sessions will be delivered.  Parents are welcome to view any resources to be used by asking their child’s teacher.  A brief outline of the SRE policy is also contained within the school prospectus.

 

If parents have concerns about any of the content to be covered we ask that these are addressed to the Head Teacher.  Legally parents have the right to withdraw their children from SRE that takes place outside of national curriculum science.  Any parent wishing to take this course of action should send a letter to the Head Teacher outlining their concerns.  The parent will be asked if they would like to meet to discuss this further.  We will do our best to address any worries that the parent may have.  In the event of a parent still choosing to withdraw their child we will provide alternative PSCHE work on a different topic.  Parents will be offered the chance to borrow resources should they wish to deliver SRE at home.

 

The school has purchased a number of books covering sex and relationships issues, including story books, which parents are able to borrow should they wish to update their own knowledge or use them to follow up the work that is taking place within the school.  To look at and borrow resources parents should contact the school office.

 

 6. Consultation

This policy was developed following a substantial consultation process.  In order to ensure that the SRE policy remains relevant and incorporates the views of all key stakeholders there will be an ongoing process of consultation.  The following mechanisms will be used and these will feed into the three yearly policy review:

 

Ø  Staff – through the policy review process;

Ø  Parents – questionnaires issued at each policy review;

Ø  Governors – the SRE policy/programme and feedback received from consultation are presented at a governors meeting in line with the three yearly review;

Ø  Pupils – through the completion of evaluation forms at the end of topics and via the School Council.

 

 7. SRE Curriculum – Planning, Content, Delivery and Monitoring

 Planning

 In planning the SRE programme we have used learning outcomes suggested by Ofsted in their report on SRE (2002).  These incorporate the statutory elements of sex education that come within the Science curriculum.  We have also consulted the manual ‘Laying the Foundations’ SRE in primary schools and given due regard to the SRE guidance issued by the DfEE in 2000.

 

The programme has been developed in consultation with other schools in the family in order to ensure continuity.  All primary schools in the family have used the Ofsted Learning outcomes as a framework for planning their programme.

 

Planning has taken account of the diverse needs of pupils and sessions will be differentiated as appropriate. 

 

Content

 SRE will be delivered to all pupils in the school at an appropriate level through the following themes:

 

Ø  Male and female/body parts, reproduction and birth;

Ø  Growing and changing;

Ø  Similarities and differences;

Ø  Feelings;

Ø  Keeping safe;

Ø  Keeping yourself clean and healthy;

Ø  Someone to talk to;

Ø  Friends;

Ø  Families of all kinds;

Ø  Choices and consequences;

Ø  Gender stereotypes (KS1) / Gender and sexuality (KS2).

 

Note:  KS1 does not cover birth in theme 1

 

Content and delivery will be matched to the age, maturity, understanding and needs of the pupils in each year group.  We will use various methods at the beginning of each year to assess children’s current knowledge, understanding and skills in order to ensure that the content of the programme is relevant.

 

In order to promote common understanding amongst the children we make use of the correct terminology to discuss sexual body parts in school.  Whilst we acknowledge that children have different family names for sexual parts we teach and encourage the use of the scientific names.  The words we will use include: penis, vagina, testicles, breasts, nipples.  This language is reflected in the resources used to deliver SRE.  Children will be introduced to this terminology in key stage 1 if it is felt age appropriate with them at the time.

 

See PSCHE Scheme of Work for more detail on the SRE programme.

 

Delivery

 

The formal SRE programme will be delivered in each year group through the PSCHE sessions.  It will also be delivered through broader topic-based work and through other curriculum subjects, for example science, and RE.  There will also be opportunities for more informal SRE through assemblies, circle-time, story-telling, role-play.  Children will be encouraged to recognise and apply the knowledge and skills they learn in PSCHE to other contexts both within, and outside of, the school setting.

 

We recognise that SRE sessions require the use of a range of practical and interactive teaching and learning strategies in order that children have the opportunity to develop skills, explore attitudes and values and acquire knowledge.  The range of teaching and learning strategies employed in the delivery of SRE at Awsworth Primary & Nursery School include watching videos, discussion, role-play, quizzes, drama, case studies, matching exercises, drawing and debates.  Individual teachers will ensure that all pupils are able to access the activities to be employed.  Extension activities will be provided for pupils who need these.

 

Children will be made aware of the intended learning outcomes of each lesson/topic so that they can assess their own development and make progress.

 

SRE will be delivered in the main by class teachers, with support from the school nurse and relevant outside speakers.  For the puberty sessions in Year 6 we will endeavour to ensure that male pupils have access to an appropriate male member of staff who can give information and answer questions.

 

We ensure that both male and female pupils receive information on the emotional and physical changes of the onset of puberty in both genders.  We consult with pupils on whether they prefer this information to be taught in single gender or mixed gender groups.  There may be occasions where groups of children, particularly those with additional learning needs, are taught SRE in smaller groups or individually in order to maximise their learning.  They may also have additional support from a learning support assistant.

 

Resources

Resources are chosen by the PSCHE co-ordinator who ensures that they reflect the needs of children within the school.  The PSCHE co-ordinator consults national and local guidance on appropriate SRE resources and then judges their suitability for use with our children. 

 

We are currently using the following resources to support our delivery of SRE:

Ø  Channel 4 Living and Growing Videos Units 1, 2 and 3;

Ø  Lesson plans within Laying the Foundations – NCB;

Ø  QCA units of work.

 

We will remain flexible in our choice of resources and may select others to suit the needs of particular individuals/groups.  Teachers will adapt resources to fully address the needs of all children within their class.

 

Answering Children’s Questions

Children are naturally curious and we believe that if a child asks a question they require an honest and factual answer.  This is true of questions asked in all curriculum areas and at other times during the school day. 

 

All staff in the school will answer children’s questions around sex and relationships issues in line with the following guidance which is based on that given by the Local Authority:

 

Ø  Questions will be answered in a factual manner without any personal bias and with reference to the age and understanding of the children;

Ø  If the answer to a question isn’t known the class teacher will suggest that the class do some research to find out the appropriate information;

Ø  In some situations staff will sensitively turn the question back on the pupil to establish what they already know, for example, “That’s a very interesting question, I wonder why you are asking that,” or ask the rest of the class whether they know the answer, “Does anyone else know the answer to that question?”;

Ø  Pupils will know that it is not appropriate to ask personal questions of others in line with the negotiated class group agreement;

Ø  If it is felt that it is not appropriate to answer a question in a whole class setting the teacher will explain this sensitively and will give an answer to the child individually at the end or refer the child to the school nurse;

Ø  In all PSCHE/SRE sessions an anonymous question box will be available so that all children feel able to ask questions and receive appropriate answers.  All questions that are placed in the box will be answered in an age-appropriate, factual manner.

 

Use of Outside Visitors

Puberty sessions in Year 6 will be co-delivered by the class teacher and the Head Teacher.  The Head Teacher will run a separate session with girls in Year 6 on the practical issues around menstruation, i.e. sanitary protection methods, how to dispose of waste, etc.

 

We also use the following PDL Team workshops to support the SRE curriculum:

Ø  Being Friends Year 1

Ø  Keep it in the family Year 4

Ø  Puberty Year 6

 

Any outside contributors will be required to work in line with the School’s ‘Visiting Speakers Policy’.

 

Our School Nurse has recently completed the National PSCHE CPD Certification and therefore is seen as a particularly valuable resource in terms of the contribution she can make to both the planning and delivery of the SRE curriculum.

 

Absences

Because the school’s SRE provision puts an emphasis on re-visiting themes over a number of sessions, it is unlikely that a child will fall behind significantly if they miss one lesson.  In the event of a child being absent for a longer time period we will provide opportunities for the child to ‘catch-up’ with any missed SRE sessions.  It is planned that the Head Teacher or a Teaching Assistant will support the child in this instance.

 

Staff Training

Staff training on SRE is co-ordinated by the PSCHE/SRE co-ordinator.  All staff received training on SRE from the Local Authority PSHE Consultant in June 2006.  Future training requirements will be identified through the three yearly review process or through a teacher expressing individual needs to the Head Teacher.  There may also be occasions where training needs are identified through our process of lesson observation.  Appropriate training will then be sought to fulfil the needs of the staff member.  Anybody who attends training will be required to provide an outline of any relevant information to other staff members via the regular staff meeting.

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

At the end of each lesson Teachers will use a range of informal methods to give pupils the opportunity to reflect on their learning and development.  

 

Throughout each topic a range of methods will be used to assess the extent to which pupils are achieving the intended learning outcomes.  Pupils will be assessed on the following three areas: knowledge acquisition, clarification and exploration of attitudes and values and skills development.  This will be carried out in line with guidance issued by the QCA on Assessment in PSCHE in 2006.

 

 8. Safeguarding Children, Confidentiality and Child Protection

All staff members at Awsworth Primary & Nursery School have a duty to safeguard the well-being of children. 

 

At Awsworth Primary & Nursery School we recognise that the open discussion associated with PSCHE/SRE may lead to children making disclosures about things that they are worried about or about abuse.  There may also be occasions when a Teacher may hear things or observe activity/behaviour that may raise concerns of a child protection issue.  In these situations the Teacher will consult the school’s Child Protection co-ordinator.  The Child Protection co-ordinator will then work in line with the relevant school policies in terms of any further action that may be taken.

 

We use group agreements within PSCHE/SRE sessions in order to ensure that children are aware that Teachers cannot offer complete confidentiality in all instances. 

 

Where a staff member has to disclose information to another party, this will be undertaken following discussion with the pupil.  Sensitive information is only disclosed internally or externally with careful attention to the rights and needs of individuals.

 

For more detailed information on the processes for child protection please consult the school’s Safeguarding Policy.

 

9. Provision for young women’s menstruation needs      

Some female pupils may begin menstruation before the main puberty sessions in Year 6 and we therefore feel it is appropriate to inform pupils about menstruation from Year 4 upwards as necessary.  This will be done in an age-appropriate fashion and without causing alarm.  We recommend that parents also talk to their female children about menstruation, the school nurse is able to supply parents and the school with information and support.

 

Sanitary disposal units are available in the female staff and the disabled toilets.  When appropriate, female pupils are informed that sanitary protection and spare underwear can be obtained from the PSCHE co-ordinator or the Head Teacher in the event of a pupil starting menstruation when at school.  Supplies are kept within school to deal with emergencies, however parents are expected to send pupils to school with adequate sanitary protection for the day.  Both male and female pupils are educated about periods through the SRE curriculum to encourage empathy.

   

10. Information for Staff and Pupils on Local Support Services

It is hoped that pupils will feel able to approach parents, staff, or the school nurse with any concerns or worries that they may have regarding sex and relationships.  School staff will always encourage pupils to discuss issues with parents.

 

However we recognise that some pupils may feel more comfortable accessing other agencies / sources of information.  The Head Teacher and PSCHE co-ordinator will provide such information to pupils as necessary.

 

Through the comprehensive PSCHE curriculum pupils are provided with knowledge and are able to practise skills to enable them to seek appropriate help and support.

 

All staff within the school are able to signpost children to age-appropriate support agencies, and are kept updated on local services by the PSCHE Co-ordinator via staff meetings.

 

11. Dissemination

There is a copy of the SRE policy on the staff shared T-drive.  Copies are also available from the school office and on the school’s website.  Staff are encouraged to consult school policies on a regular basis and to consider them to be working documents.  All staff were briefed on the final version of the SRE policy at a staff meeting.

 

The PSCHE Co-ordinator has briefed the whole Governing Body on the main points of the policy and this will be repeated if / when changes are made to the policy.  Governors are provided with an electronic copy of school policies or can request a hard copy via the school office.  It is also available via the school’s website for governors to access.

 

A brief statement regarding the SRE policy is contained in the school prospectus.  Parents are able to access the full SRE policy on request from the school office or via the school’s website.

 

Documents Referenced in this Policy:

The following documents were referenced during the development of this policy:

  • Sex and Relationships Education Guidance DfES 0116/2000;
  • Sex and Relationships Education, Guidance for Nottinghamshire primary, secondary and special schools;
  • National Curriculum Science orders and PSHE Framework;
  • Learning and Skills Act 2000;
  • Ofsted Report on SRE 2002;
  • Laying the Foundations – SRE in primary schools – NCB, 2006.

                     

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