Relationship and Sex Education (RSHE)
Relationships Education is taught within the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum. Pupils learn about the characteristics of healthy relationships, safety in forming and maintaining relationships, how relationships may affect physical and mental health (Health Education). The education must be age appropriate.
Biological aspects of RSHE are taught within the Science curriculum. Relationships education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships including: families and people who care for me, caring friendships, respectful relationships, online relationships and being safe. These areas of learning are taught within the context of family life taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances (families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: looked after children or young carers). The government has made Relationships Education a statutory part of the curriculum and we agree that this is a crucial aspect of the primary curriculum.
We want children to develop the skills to make positive, caring, respectful and healthy relationships; in their friendships, within their families and with other children and adults. We recognise that many children in primary school already have active online lives and that the knowledge and skills they learn in Relationships Education will enable them to navigate the online world safely and understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour. Through Relationships Education, pupils also gain the knowledge they need to recognise and report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse and to keep themselves safe. For all these important reasons, the government has made Relationships Education a compulsory part of the school curriculum in which all pupils are required to participate and parents do not have the right to withdraw them.
Health Education is mandatory under Relationships Education. This will give pupils the vital skills and strategies and awareness to manage their own mental health. Topics include: physical health benefits to mental health, sleep, first aid, positive and emotional wellbeing and learning when and how to get help and tackling the stigma of mental health. Importantly it outlines the link between physical and mental health and how one can impact on the other.
One of the main reasons we use Heartsmart as the backbone of our relationships and health education and also our RHSE curriculum is that it aligns well with our School Christian values of Love, Respect, Courage.
The Heartsmart 'high fives' (used as hooks throughout the resources):
Don't forget to let love in! (Love)
Too much selfie isn't healthy! (Love/Respect)
Don't rub it in, rub it out (Courage/Resilience)
Fake is a mistake (Courage/Respect)
No way through isn't true (Courage/Resilience)
Our Relationships Education programme aims to help children:
- develop the confidence to talk about relationships
- develop the skills to make and maintain healthy and respectful friendships and family relationships
- recognise unhealthy or unsafe relationships, including friendships (and online), within the family and with known or unknown adults
- recognise the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe contact, physical or otherwise, and to know how to report it and get help.
- understand the importance of respecting others even when they are different from them
- understand and respect different types of families, including families with one parent, with same sex parents, families that foster and adopt children
- recognise bullying and discriminatory language based on race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation and develop the confidence to prevent it and report it
- challenge stereotypes and inequality and promote equality and respect in relationships
- know how to be safe online and behave respectfully and appropriately
- know where and how to seek information and advice when they need help
Please find below the link to the DfE guidance on RSHE: