Sex and relationship education (SRE) is an integral part of personal, social and health education (PSHE) and ensures that pupils receive the appropriate information, develop skills and explore attitudes at the time when they are able to best respond in or der to grow in confidence with their bodies and their relationships.
SRE outcomes will also be addressed in other parts of the wider and national curriculum. For example, national curriculum science outcomes include naming body parts, understanding the human life cycle and human reproduction, and religious education includes work on families and values. Effective SRE is integrated across the curriculum but it is also important to deliver some identified SRE lessons so that pupils can learn about the human life cycle in the context of learning about themselves and their relationships. A comprehensive SRE programme will ensure that schools meet these requirements. It is important that the content within the programme is age appropriate for pupils and that this is developed and built on as the pupils move up through the school. The table below shows an example of the coverage of SRE in primary schools across Islington.
Planning and adapting for your children
We follow the Islington Scheme of Work for SRE. There are lesson plans available which aim to address the sex and relationship education requirement for primary schools, including the relevant national curriculum science outcomes. They contain a lot of detail and can be used as a step by step guide to delivering a sex and relationship education lesson. The plans use a variety of teaching methods and aim to appeal to a variety of learning styles. The detail is intended to identify issues and challenges that may arise as you go through the lessons and guide you to avoid or address them. Some of the lesson plans include additional or alternative activities.
These are to support teachers considering differentiation, extension or how to consolidate learning. It will be important for all teachers to consider whether the plans or activities need adaptation for use with a particular class. For example, a year 6 class that has not benefited from SRE in the past may need to start with some Year 4/5 work. In other classes you may need to adapt or change activities to address the learning styles or needs of your pupils. Teachers who feel confident about delivering sex and relationship education may prefer to use these plans as a source of resources and activities rather than to follow them as written.
Effective SRE addresses knowledge and information, attitudes and values and social and communication skills. The symbols below show which is being addressed in each lesson.
Effective sex education is an important part of the strategy to reduce teenage pregnancies
Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (1999)
Primary schools … should ensure that both boys and girls know about puberty and how a baby is born…
DfE Sex and Relationships Education Guidance (July 2000)
Assessment and Evaluation
These lessons include activities that will enable the teacher to establish what the children already know, assess their learning and correct any misinformation. It may be necessary to do additional needs assessment with your class.
Some ideas are:
- Asking pupils to write down what they know about a particular subject before a lesson, and then at the end of a lesson write or say what they have learnt
- Asking pupils to advise or teach others about a particular theme
- Working individually, in pairs or groups to complete a task such as labelling a human body without any input from the teacher until completed.
- At the end of the lesson, do a round where each pupil finishes off a sentence such as, ‘Today I have learned …’
- At the end of a lesson or a piece of work review the learning by talking to the class and asking questions or writing down key questions for them to answer. These questions might include questions that will need factual answers, information about developing personal skills and about what they may do or think in various situations. For other ways to assess and evaluate SRE you can use Assessment Evaluation and Sex and Relationships Education (Sex Education Forum, NCB), a toolkit based on work from Islington and Camden. You can also use quizzes and worksheets from Living and Growing (Channel 4) Units 2 and 3.
We welcome and encourage partnership and co-operation with parents. Parents have a right to withdraw their children from lessons dealing with SRE but we will do our utmost to enable parents to discuss concerns they have with the school before making that decision. Lessons which deal with the biology of Sex Education are statutory.
If you would like further information on how SRE is taught in each year group please click here for the full programme.