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Relationships and Sexuality Education

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Say No To Bullying Sept 2022

We understand that Relationships and Sex Education may cause some anxieties for some parents.  Please be assured that conversations and questions are dealt with sensitively and lessons and topics are age-appropriate.  
Please have a look at the guidance on these pages.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.  

Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) within the new Curriculum for Wales

 

The rollout of the Curriculum for Wales framework commenced this September 2022. Within this, headteachers and governing bodies are under a legal duty to include mandatory Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in their curriculum. The mandatory requirements are set out in the RSE Code, meaning schools must follow it and this is supported by statutory guidance. The RSE Code and guidance can be found here: Cross-cutting themes for designing your curriculum – Hwb (gov.wales).

 

RSE is intended to help children to develop healthy relationships and behaviours with their friends and families, based on kindness, empathy and respect. This is important for them to develop as ‘healthy, confident individuals’ with positive social, emotional and mental well-being.

 

RSE is also intended to keep children safe and to protect their well-being. This is critical as technology and society continue to change rapidly. RSE helps children recognise relationships and situations that might put them at risk of harm. It can support all children with what they need to know and what to do to keep safe and how to seek help.

 

In law, schools and settings must provide pluralistic information about RSE. This means that they must teach children that there are a range of different views on different issues. They must make sure different views are presented and discussed in a critical way and they cannot teach these matters in a way that is biased. That also applies not just to the content of RSE but also the way it is taught.

 

The Curriculum for Wales requirements were the subject of extensive consultation, and the RSE Code and accompanying statutory guidance were subject to public consultation respondents raised a diverse range of views and perspectives. The summary of the consultation responses was published in November 2021. Since 2018, RSE has been through full and wide-ranging consultation and through the scrutiny process in the Senedd. 

 

The RSE Code and statutory guidance were developed with teachers, working with organisations who champion children and women’s rights, including: the office of the Children’s Commissioner in Wales; NSPCC and Welsh Women’s Aid.

 

The statutory guidance on RSE, which all schools must consider, emphasises the importance of engaging with parents and carers: recognising the critical role parents and carers play in this sensitive aspect of the curriculum. However, schools are legally required to develop and adopt a curriculum and teach according to the Code.

 

Schools are legally required to ensure that learning is developmentally appropriate for every learner – in practice, that means learners must not be exposed to learning they’re not ready for. In making decisions about what is developmentally appropriate, schools must use the RSE Code to consider the broad age ranges of when learning is likely to be appropriate. The ages set out within the Code indicate broadly when practitioners should start to consider whether learning in a phase is developmentally appropriate for their learners. This means that the Code gives a minimum age for when children should be taught specific learning, but it gives teachers freedom to teach it later, depending on the specific children.

 

Schools must also consider a range of factors to make judgments about whether learning is developmentally appropriate for specific children. This means schools are legally required to take account of a range of factors including the learner’s age; knowledge and maturity; any additional learning needs and their physiological and emotional development. If at any point any parent is concerned that something proposed or taught isn’t developmentally appropriate, then they should raise your concerns with the school straight away.

 

The Code recognises that different children of the same age will be at different points in their development and allows schools to tailor their approach to ensure all learners receive the learning appropriate to them.  Schools will have strategies for achieving this and this is something parents may wish to discuss further with your school. 

 

Our youngest learners will be taught about friendships and families, they will absolutely not be taught about romantic or sexual relationships: this is prohibited by the RSE Code. The law is crystal clear: teaching of RSE must be developmentally appropriate for each and every child.

 

Schools are at the start of their new RSE curriculum journey and are encouraged to take their time to build their RSE curriculum sensitively and constructively so that RSE is embedded effectively for the long term. This will include making sure lesson plans are developmentally appropriate for their learners.

 

Welsh Government RSE statutory guidance, which all schools are legally required to consider, emphasises the importance of schools engaging with parents about RSE. Schools are encouraged to communicate proactively with parents and carers on an ongoing basis. We ask that parents engage schools respectfully and consider carefully what schools are proposing to teach.

 

Supported by school improvement services, schools will use resources that are reputable and developmentally appropriate, and they will use these in a way that is sensitive to children’s needs.

 

Click here for a statement by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language. The Welsh Government has also published materials to help parents and carers understand the changes to RSE and you can find these here: Repository - Hwb (gov.wales)

We have a robust anti-bullying policy.  We teach children kindness to each other in every aspect of school life.  Our school motto is:  Be Kind, Be The Best You Can Be.

Have a look at our policy and an assembly that was led for the children by Mrs King in the second full week of school.

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