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West Oxford Primary

West Oxford Primary

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Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)

This area covers the content and guidance for the new West Oxford Relationships and Sex Education curriculum.  At West Oxford School, we believe that children's health, happiness and wellbeing are just as important as their academic learning. Our PSHE and RSE curricula have been developed to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge they need to thrive throughout all areas of their lives. For the school's policy, which expands on the information given here, please refer to the policies section of our website.

From September 2020, the government has released new advice on teaching about relationships and puberty in primary schools. This is an incredibly important aspect of PSHE, allowing children to develop positive relationships and be prepared for changes that will occur from KS2 onwards. For an overview of the principles West Oxford's RSE curriculum is based on, have a look at the document below.

If you have any questions or concerns about this curriculum, please contact the school office and it will be answered by the headteacher, Emma Goodes, or PSHE lead April Howard. You may also choose to speak to your class teacher.


rse principles poster.pdf

Government Guidance

Below, you will find a link to the governmental guidance around RSE. From September 2020, Relationships education has been compulsory in primary schools. Whilst sex education is not compulsory, it is recommended that primary schools teach about changing bodies and adolescence in a way that is 'tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils'. You can find FAQs on the government website here. For more governmental guidance, please see the link below:

rse guide for parents.pdf

Our relationships education curriculum

Relationships education has already been taught across the school, but is now made more explicit in the curriculum and is a greater priority for teaching. 

As set out in the guidance, our relationships curriculum focuses on "teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other peers and adults. Respect for others [is] taught in an age-appropriate way, in terms of understanding one’s own and others’ boundaries in play, in negotiations about space, toys, resources and so on."

The aim of relationships education is to help children develop their own positive relationships and notice when existing relationships aren't healthy. This is taught across all year groups  with new objectives introduced each year.

Our sex education curriculum

In primary schools, sex education does not refer to sexual intercourse, but rather to the changes associated with puberty. Whilst the average age for onset of puberty is 11 for girls and 12 for boys, it can begin any time from 8/9. West Oxford has therefore implemented a sex education curriculum about puberty that begins gently with two sessions in Year 4, five sessions in Year 5 and seven sessions in Year 6. 

What our RSE curriculum covers 

In 2019 the Department for Education published statutory guidance about what should be covered in schools in terms of Relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education.

This guidance listed a number of target statements for the end of primary school which fell under the following headings for RSE: Families and people who care for me, Caring friendships, Respectful relationships, Online relationships, Being safe.

For Health education the target statements fall under the following headings: Mental wellbeing, Internet safety and harms, Physical health and fitness, Healthy eating, Drugs, alcohol and tobacco, Health and prevention, Basic first aid, Changing adolescent body.

The document below shows all these target statements and which lessons from our curriculum work towards these aims. 

rse and pshe statutory guidance mapping document.pdf

Right to withdraw

In primary schools, parents and carers have the right to withdraw their children from sex education. This does not extend to relationships education or the aspects of puberty covered in the science curriculum.

If you would like to withdraw your child from sex education in Term 5 (Summer Term 1), please contact the headteacher. Before granting any such request, according to government guidance, the headteacher will discuss the request with parents and, as appropriate, with the child to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. However, you will automatically be granted the right to withdraw.

Children who do not take part in sex education will work with a teaching assistant on other aspects of the PSHCE curriculum during these sessions.

Talking to your children

Whilst we will cover all major areas of puberty in our school lessons, it is very likely that your children will have questions they prefer to discuss at home. Attached here are some resources you may use to discuss further anything raised in school. If you have any questions about discussing things at home, do talk to the RSE lead or your child's class teacher.

For children with autism - https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/family-life-and-relationships/sex-education/parents-and-carers

A timeline of what to discuss when - https://www.talkwithyourkids.org/talk-with-your-kids-timeline

Guides for parents of older children - https://www.bishuk.com/parents/