In UK law, it is compulsory for all secondary schools to deliver Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) to its pupils. The Government does recognise that a faith school such as ours is able to teach this part of the curriculum in the context of our distinctive faith perspective.
So then, as a Seventh-day Adventist school, our Christian beliefs and values underpin RSE such that
- Sex education is taught in the context of marriage and family life.
- Sex education includes learning about physical and emotional development.
- Sex education is part of a wider social, moral, and spiritual education process.
While recognising that RSE is a concerning and contentious issue for many parents, at Stanborough we see RSE as part of our wider responsibility to help our pupils develop in following the example of Christ.
Our goal is for our pupils to have:
- A positive and secure personal identity and sense of their own value
- Attitudes of respect and concern for others, founded on Christ’s example of selfless giving of love
- Acceptance of those who differ, yet challenging those behaviours and attitudes which exploit others and do not reflect Christian values
- Reconciliation and forgiveness.
Definition of Relationships and Sex Education
RSE stands for “relationships and sex education” and as part of Relationships and Health Education is a new approach to teaching children about relationships and health.
The Relationships Education, RSE, and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 have made Relationships Education compulsory.
All secondary school children will be required to learn about:
- Physical health and mental wellbeing
Schools will have a lot of freedom to decide how to teach the new curriculum but must teach in a way that is:
- Appropriate for children’s ages and development stage.
- Sensitive to the needs and religious backgrounds of the children in the school.
Why is there a new RSE curriculum in 2020?
The current curriculum has not been updated for 20 years. So much change has happened since then. Children need to learn what is relevant to them and the world they are growing up in.
The new Relationships and Health Education 2020 curriculum is designed to:
- Help all children grow up healthy, happy and safe.
- Give all children the knowledge to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships.
- Support all children to manage the challenges and opportunities of modern Britain.
- Prepare all children for a successful adult lives.
Right to withdraw:
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the sex and relationship education provided at school except for those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum (see section 3). Schools should make alternative arrangements in such cases. The DfEE will offer schools a standard pack of information for parents who withdraw their children from sex and relationship education.
The right of withdrawal reflects the fact that issues around Sex Education are sensitive and a wide variety of viewpoints exist amongst parents. The right of withdrawal from Sex Education is a means of preventing parents’ views being undermined by schools. In the areas of the curriculum where there is no automatic right of withdrawal, it is therefore even more important that we do not promote viewpoints with which parents may disagree: teaching must be “objective, critical and pluralistic.
The INTENT of relationship and sex education (RSE) at our school are to:
- Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
- Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
- Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
- Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
- Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies