Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) is seen by the whole school community as an important part of a child’s development. It is part of lifelong learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. Here are Whitehall Park School, we emphasis our focus on teaching our pupils about relationships and health.
Children need to expand knowledge and skills in order to make informed decisions. RSHE supports the statutory social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of a child and is also a key aim of the national curriculum to prepare children for life.
Why is RSHE important?
Relationship and Sex Education (RSHE) is an integral part of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and ensures that pupils receive the appropriate information, develop skills, and explore attitudes about changes to their bodies and relationships.
RSHE 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 RSHE is integrated across the curriculum but it is also important to deliver some identified RSHE lessons so that pupils can learn about the human life cycle in the context of learning about the changes that will occur within themselves, as well as their relationships.
How do you deliver RSHE?
At Whitehall Park School we use Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, as our chosen teaching and learning programme and tailor it to the children’s needs.
Jigsaw is fully compliant with the DfE Statutory Relationships & Health Education Guidance. The way the Jigsaw Programme covers these is explained in the mapping document (see example below):
Whilst the Relationships unit in Jigsaw covers most of the statutory Relationships Education, some of the outcomes are also taught elsewhere in Jigsaw e.g. the Celebrating Difference Puzzle helps children appreciate that there are many types of family composition and that each is important to the children involved. This holistic approach ensures the learning is reinforced through the year and across the curriculum. In addition, RSHE is delivered through other areas of our curriculum including Science, RE, PSHE and Literacy.
We use a range of teaching methods which involve children’s full participation, these include the use of videos, discussions and drama, all with a great focus on relationships. (Please see our policy for more information.) The plans are age specific with relevant content for children of all ages. Sessions are sequenced to promote progression and teachers consider whether plans need adapting for classes, especially for those who have not yet received RSHE learning. Adapting sessions also involve consolidating prior learning before delivering new content to the children. We teach our pupils to be mature and respectful about content, ideas, opinions, and discussions whilst enabling a safe space to openly discuss topics about relationships that are driven by the children’s interest.
How do respond to children’s questions?
Because children are all different and will ask different questions at different ages, questions and answers are not categorised by the age of the child. We start with a simple answer and build from that. For more information please click on the image above.
Is Relationships and Sex Education as Statutory requirement?
Relationship education is compulsory, health education is compulsory But Sex Education is at school’s discretion
At Whitehall Park School we focus on the teaching Relationships and Health Education.
“Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.”
“This is why we have made Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools in England…as well as making Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools.”
“In primary schools, we want the subjects to put in place the key building blocks of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy.”
Secretary of State Foreword DfE Guidance 2019 p.4-5