About our School

Woodside School is a large primary school serving the border market town of Oswestry. It has a Nursery and eighteen classes throughout the primary range. The school is a member of the Shropshire Education Improvement Partnership, has an Early Learning and Childcare Centre and and a Sure Start Family Centre on the site.

Our Governors value the importance of a whole school approach to learning about growing up and this policy outlines how we approach sex and relationships education through an integrated curriculum throughout the age range.

How this policy was formulated

This policy was originally formulated after a thorough review of previous policy and practice by a working group of governors, staff and the headteacher. Parents/carers, teachers and relevant health workers were fully consulted and the policy was finally agreed upon by the whole Governing Body after this consultation process was complete during the Autumn Term 2005. A review of the policy took place during the Summer Term 2012.

The Aims of this Policy

  • To foster a culture of acceptance and openness where questions and discussion can take place without embarrassment
  • To counteract misleading folklore, myths and assumptions
  • To help children to understand the variation in rates of growth and development
  • To help children to understand that birth, growth, reproduction and death are all part of the richness of the human life cycle
  • To provide reassurance that change is part of life’s cycle and to give support in adjusting to these changes
  • To understand the value of family life, of loving relationships and the implications of parenthood and the need for the proper care of all young things
  • To develop skills in personal relationships e,g, communication, assertiveness, decision making, making appropriate choices etc
  • To build and develop self esteem and positive self image
  • To help our children understand their rights and to be able to resist unwanted touches or advances and to communicate their feelings
  • To challenge stereotypes, sexism and prejudice
  • To promote equality and equal opportunities for all

The Five Outcomes

The five outcomes that are most important to children and young people are:

  • Being healthy
  • Staying safe
  • Enjoying and achieving
  • Making a positive contribution
  • Achieving economic well-being

These five outcomes are universal ambitions for every child whatever their background or circumstances. Improving outcomes for all children underpins all of our work.

Children learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged and educational achievement is the most effective route to meaningful employment and economic independence and well-being later in life.

The moral and value framework of this policy

We believe that our children should learn about growing up within a well planned, empathetic framework which stresses the importance of responsibility, understanding and the ability to make reasoned, informed choices and decisions.

We believe that our children should learn about the importance of the family and the crucial role of parents/carers in their moral development.

We believe that our children need the knowledge and awareness of the importance of individual and collective moral responsibility and the ability to make informed choices about their own moral, emotional, physical and sexual health and development.

We believe that an important element of their Personal Social and Moral Education is the question of personal integrity and safety and an awareness of the importance of the moral and legal framework which must exist in society.

We believe that Sex and Relationships Education must form an important element of a whole school approach to moral and health education. It needs to be part of a wider moral framework of encouraging sensible, informed choices in relation to the child’s future physical, emotional and spiritual development and well-being.

Teaching Sex and Relationships Education through Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship

There are four strands in effective PSHE+C teaching and learning:

  • Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of children’s abilities
  • Preparing to play an active role as citizens
  • Developing a healthy, safer lifestyle
  • Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people

Children are entitled to learn and practice key like skills which should include:

  • Emotional skills
  • Managing emotions confidently
  • Developing empathy for others
  • Independent thought and behaviour
  • Social skills
  • Developing and maintaining relationships
  • Taking responsibility for their own and others’ emotional, physical and sexual health

Communication skills

Participating

Listening

Asking questions

Expressing emotions and opinions

Negotiation skills

Resisting peer pressure

Managing and resolving conflict

Practical skills

Caring for self and others

Accessing support and advice 

Decision making skills

Managing dilemmas

Assessing risk

Making informed choices and being able to act upon them

By exploring and challenging attitudes and values, children can be helped to develop a positive attitude towards emotional, physical and sexual health and well-being through:

  • Developing a positive values and moral framework that will support their decisions, udgements and behaviour
  • Developing a critical awareness of value systems represented in the media and amongst peers
  • Recognising that prejudice, discrimination and bullying are harmful and unacceptable
  • Understanding that all rights have responsibilities and all actions have consequences

Why we teach Sex and Relationships Education

Children pick up information about sex from pre-school age onwards. They do so through observation, overheard conversations, friends and relatives, the media, other children’s whispers, wild stories, rude jokes and so on. Taken together, these sources provide a hotchpotch of mixed messages which can confuse and mislead children and, in some cases, even provoke acute anxiety and guilt. Given that it is impossible to protect children from these sources of misrepresentation, and given every child’s entitlement to accurate information, we believe that we have a duty to offer sex and relationships education.

How we organise Sex and Relationships Education

We organise our curriculum through a cycle of topics which give all our children access to a broad curriculum differentiated to meet their needs. It is a spiral curriculum that develops and progresses as the child moves through the school. The theme of “Growing Up” is revisited throughout the child’s education and the knowledge, skills and concepts they experience are :-

In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 (FS1, FS2 and KS1)

  • to be able to name parts of the body including the reproductive system
  • to understand the concept of male and female
  • to understand the idea of growing from young to old
  • to know that people develop at different rates
  • to know that babies have special needs
  • to acquire skills of caring for young animals
  • to know that there are different types of family and be able to describe the roles of individuals within the family
  • to know about the rituals associated with birth, marriage and death and talk about the emotions involved
  • to appreciate ways in which people learn to live and work together
  • to describe roles of individuals within families
  • to know about personal safety, eg know that individuals have rights over their own bodies
  • to know that there are differences between good and bad touch
  • to be able to talk about emotions
  • to develop skills of listening, discussing and sharing

Key Stage 2 (Years 3,4,5,6)

  • to know the basic biology of human reproduction
  • to begin to know about, and have understanding of, the physical, emotional and social changes at puberty
  • to know how children develop from birth to 5+
  • to understand the importance of good parenting
  • to understand some of the skills necessary for parenting
  • to know about some of the needs of the old/ill and understand death
  • to understand what is meant by ‘relationships’ within families, between friends and in the community
  • to know that there may be many patterns of friendship
  • to be able to talk about friends and friendship with significant adults
  • to know about helping agencies which can support families and individuals in different circumstances

Our topic planning cycle allows us to plan the delivery of Sex and Relationships Education in depth and within a developmental, spiral curriculum.

Children have access to appropriate resources throughout their school career within the framework of well planned, sensitive teaching.

External agencies may be involved in our planning and teaching throughout our Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship (PSHE+C) programme.

Our teaching is well planned, appropriate and matched to the needs of the children. We aim to develop all children’ self esteem and sense of responsibilty.

Sensitive issues are dealt with in an empathetic, unbiased, unsensationalised way as they arise, whilst adhering to the legal framework within which all teachers operate.

Equality/Equal Opportunities

Through our work on sex and relationships education and growing up we offer children the opportunity to develop and clarify their attitudes and values relating to gender roles and stereotyping. We aim to develop their self-esteem and to equip them with assertiveness and decision making skills. We encourage all of our children to be open and honest in order to develop the trust and confidence to talk openly with chosen, trusted adults in our school.

We strive to always teach appropriately so that all children have equal access. It is sometimes appropriate to use mixed and sometimes single sex groupings for different children at different times.

Inclusion : providing effective learning opportunities for all children

When planning and teaching the curriculum we have due regard to the following principles:

  • Setting suitable learning challenges

We give every child the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve as a high a standard as possible. The National Curriculum Programmes of Study set out what each pupil should be taught at each Key Stage, but Year Groups/teachers teach the knowledge, skills and understanding in ways that suit individual children’s abilities. This may mean teaching knowledge, skills and understanding from earlier and later Key Stages, so that individual children can make progress and show what they can achieve.

For children whose attainments fall significantly below the expected levels at a particular Key Stage, a much greater degree of differentiation will be necessary. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to use the contents of the Programmes of Study as a resource or to provide a context in planning learning appropriate to the age and requirements of the child.

For children whose attainments significantly exceed the expected level of attainment within one or more subjects within a particular Key Stage, we plan suitably challenging work as well as drawing on materials from later Key Stages or higher levels of study, we plan further differentiation by extending the breadth and depth of study within individual subjects, or by planning work which draws on the content of different subjects.

Responding to Children’s Diverse Learning Needs

When planning, we set high expectations and provide opportunities for all children to achieve, including:

  • Boys and girls
  • Children with Special Educational Needs
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children from all social and cultural backgrounds
  • Children from different ethnic groups including travellers, refugees and asylum seekers
  • Children from diverse linguistic backgrounds

We are aware that all children bring to school different experiences, interests and strengths which influence the way in which they learn. We plan our approaches to teaching and learning so that all children can take part in lessons fully and effectively.

We are mindful of the requirements of equal opportunities legislation which covers race, gender and disability.

We respond to children’s diverse learning needs by:

  • Creating effective learning environments
  • Securing their motivation and concentration
  • Providing equality of opportunity through a range of teaching approaches
  • Using appropriate assessments
  • Setting targets for learning
  • Overcoming Potential Barriers to Learning and Assessment for Individuals and Groups of Children

Some children may have particular learning and assessment needs which go beyond the provisions described above and, if not addressed, could create barriers to learning. These needs are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having a special educational need or disability, or may be linked to a child’s progress in learning English as a second language.

Our planning and assessment for children with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child. In many cases, the action necessary to respond to an individual’s requirements for curriculum access, will be met through greater differentiation of tasks and materials. A smaller number of children may need access to specialist equipment and approaches or to alternative or adapted activities.

We work closely, where appropriate, with representatives of other agencies who may be supporting the child (e.g. Behaviour Support Team, Educational Psychologist, Learning Support Advisory Teacher etc.)

Not all children with disabilities will necessarily have special educational needs. Many children with disabilities learn alongside their peers, with little need for additional resources beyond the aids which they use as part of their daily life e.g. wheelchair, hearing aid or equipment to aid vision. We ensure that any child with a disability is enabled to participate as fully and effectively as possible, within the National Curriculum and the Statutory Assessment Arrangements.

Children for whom English is an additional language have diverse needs in terms of support necessary in English language learning. Planning should take account of factors such as:

  • The child’s age
  • Length of time in this country
  • Previous educational experience
  • Skills in other languages

Careful monitoring of the child’s progress in the acquisition of English language skills and of subject knowledge and understanding will be necessary to confirm that no learning difficulties are present.

The ability of children for whom English is an additional language to take part in the National Curriculum may be ahead of their communication skills in English. We take specific action to help children who are learning English as an additional language by:

  • Developing their spoken and written English

Ensuring access to the curriculum and assessment

Access to this Policy

Parents/carers were fully consulted during the development of this policy. A statement about Sex and Relationships Education is contained in our School Handbook and all parents/carers have access to the complete policy in school.

An open meeting for all parents/carers in Years 5/6 is held each time the children in these year groups undertake the more detailed topic of “Living and Growing” which is part of our KS2 Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship Scheme of Work.

We encourage feedback from parents/carers on all aspects of our practice.

The parents/carers’ right to withdraw their child

from Sex Education

Under the 1994 Education Act parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from Sex and Relationships Education lessons. This right does not apply to those elements of sex education encompassed within Science in the National Curriculum.

If a parent/carer wishes to exercise this right of withdrawal in relation to their child then they need to inform the headteacher of their decision in writing. The class teacher will then plan alternative activities for the child. These activities will be well planned, pertinent and appropriate.

Revised Summer Term 2012.