Relationships, Sex and Health Education
At the Vale Primary Academy, we consistently ensure we promote spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental, and physical development in all our pupils. We define Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) as the fundamental building blocks to equip children with making safe, informed and healthy choices as they progress through adult life. At the Vale Primary Academy, we value personal safety, caring for others and building respectful relationships as well as friendships throughout school and in the wider community. This is alongside with teaching pupils about sex education, sexual harassment and online sexual abuse which will be covered in upper key stage 2. We understand that high quality, evidence-based and age-appropriate teaching of these subjects can help prepare pupils to develop resilience, to know how and when to ask for help.
The aims of Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) at the Vale Primary Academy are to:
- Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place,
- Prepare students for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene,
- Help pupils have the confidence and self-esteem to value themselves and others,
- Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships,
- Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies,
- Ensure the delivery of RSHE is factual, sensitive and balanced. Staff will avoid the subjection of personal beliefs,
- Recognise unsafe situations and be able to protect themselves and ask for help and support.
As part of the Vale Primary Academy curriculum offer, RSHE is seen as a crucial part of the development of the ‘whole child’. We have designed and we will deliver an inclusive RSHE curriculum, ensuring that all pupils are supported to navigate through young adulthood in a safe, healthy and responsible way. We feel it is an important journey of preparing our pupils for independent life as an adult. We recognise not only the high importance of teaching and assisting our pupils to understand, recognise and form healthy friendships and relationships, but also the vulnerability that our learners have in the community when it comes to matters of sexual harassment or online sexual abuse. Our aim is to provide support and guidance for children, so they are aware of how important it is to report harmful behaviour. We promote a culture where all kinds of sexual harassment are recognised and addressed, including with sanctions when appropriate.
Pupils will have the opportunity to ask question to develop their knowledge and understanding. We view questions as a positive sign that pupils are engaged with what is being taught and feel able to express natural curiosities about themselves, their bodies and relationships with others. In some lessons, a question box may be used to allow children to ask questions about potentially sensitive or embarrassing topics. We believe that an open approach to answering questions prevents pupils from learning inaccurate or harmful information online or from peers. We believe exploring issues with the whole class helps to reduce the stigma or misconceptions that can surround some of the issues explored in RSHE. Most importantly, we believe that children are better protected from harm and abuse when they can discuss issues openly with trained professionals in a safe environment.
At the Vale Primary Academy, RSHE is carefully planned and delivered primarily through our SMSC curriculum. SMSC/RSHE lessons are given a high priority and are timetabled every week for all key stages. Some aspects of RSHE feature across several topics, yet discrete RSHE topics are also planned and delivered, considering the timing of this as related to the age and maturity of our pupils. Additional teaching may also take place within assemblies, Science, RE, Computing, PE and other areas of the curriculum, but these will be part of our carefully planned approach to RSHE.
All teachers have access to a range of subscription websites which have a range of lesson plans and resources to use in their RSHE lessons.