SRE forms a core part of the Personal Wellbeing element of PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education).
Personal well-being helps young people to embrace change, to feel positive about who they are and to become confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
It is one of the key aspects of Every Child Matters.
What is SRE?
It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about understanding the importance of family life; stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health. It is not about the promotion of sexual activity but, as part of our policy on inclusion, we teach all students to respect each other and we do our very best to ensure that homophobic attitudes and bullying, which are deemed unacceptable, do not go unchallenged.
Why does SRE matter?
Our children learn about sex and relationships from a young age, even if we don’t talk with them. Some of the things they learn are incorrect, confusing and frightening. In a world where sex is used to sell everything from food to fast cars, and celebrities’ lives become everyone’s business, we must talk to young people to help them to make sense of it all.
As well as this, in the UK, we have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe and have very high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Effective SRE does not encourage sexual experimentation, but it does enable young people to mature, to build up their self-esteem and to understand the reasons for delaying sexual activity until they are ready.
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Teenage Pregnancy Strategy
Latest figures show that teenage conception rates across Cornwall are broadly in line with the England average. In 2010/11, 2% of the women giving birth in Cornwall were under the age of 18, slightly higher than the national average but significantly higher than for Europe as a whole. For 2011/2012 that figure had dropped to 1.6%, again on par with the England average & significantly higher than for Europe. Hence, effective SRE is vital, using a variety of methods and with support from a range of outside agencies including Brook .
What is delivered through the SRE Programme?
- factual knowledge about the physical aspects of human reproduction and sexual behaviour in a sensitive, non-sensational manner;
- information about HIV / AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections;
- encouragement to take personal responsibility and to be aware of the consequences of their actions, especially in relation to contraception and safe sex;
- arguments for delaying sexual activity and how to resist unwanted pressure;
- an awareness of differing moral, cultural and religious values;
- an awareness of the differing views and attitudes on abortion;
- an understanding of the range of attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviours in society. Promotion of tolerance towards those who are different or with whom we disagree;
- the meaning of ‘love’;
- the importance of loving and caring relationships, whilst recognising that students in our care are from a variety of home backgrounds, thus some may have limited experience of such relationships;
- strategies on forming healthy, safe & respectful relationships;
- preparation for the problems associated with puberty and adolescence;
- preparation for their future role as adults and potential parents; the nature of marriage and the value of a secure home environment for bringing up children;
- how to deal with a breakdown in relationships and the effects of loss and bereavement;
- what pornography is &; the law relating to it, challenging fantasy vs. reality, its impact on relationships and self-esteem, body image, sexual decision-making, etc.
Learning Outcomes for Key Stage 3: by the end of key stage 3, students will be tolerant of the diversity of personal, social and sexual preference in relationships and will have considered the importance of respecting difference in relation to gender and sexuality and the unacceptability of prejudice and homophobic bullying. All students will have an understanding of the nature of relationships and what ‘love’ means. They will be able to explain the main forms of contraception and have some knowledge of the reliability of each.
Learning Outcomes for Key Stage 4: by the end of key stage 4, students will have considered their developing sexual identity and feel confident and comfortable with it. They will also have considered the issues surrounding pregnancy, including abortion, and the importance of bringing up children within a stable and loving relationship. All students will have had the opportunity to discuss the prevalence & influence of pornography in society today, where so much can be accessed instantly & with relative ease on mobile devices.
Links to Every Child Matters
Healthy Lifestyles: students learn about the need to make informed decisions about behaviours and consider the short- and long-term consequences of their actions on themselves and others. This contributes to the ECM outcome to be healthy.
Risk: is an important part of everyday life. The ability to recognise, assess and manage risk is essential to physical safety and emotional well-being. The concept of risk is closely linked with that of healthy lifestyles and contributes to the ECM outcome to stay safe.
Relationships: the ability to develop relationships with a wide range of people is essential to being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, being able to make a positive contribution and to achieving economic well-being. The concept of relationships links with all the other concepts and is a constant theme through all of personal well-being. It contributes to all five ECM outcomes.
Feelings and emotions: in line with the National Healthy Schools programme (emotional health & well- being) SRE at saltash.net community school has clear opportunities for students to understand and explore their feelings.
Diversity: learning to empathise with others helps students accommodate difference in their lives and accept their responsibility to challenge prejudice and discrimination.
Policy into Practice
SRE is delivered in a relaxed, secure environment where students feel confident to ask questions and discuss issues freely. Students learn to work in groups, discuss sensitive issues and develop respect for each other’s opinions, values and beliefs, differences and diversity. The programme complements the important role played by parents/carers but recognises that some parents do not feel able to discuss such matters with their children.
The Head of PD, RE and Science are responsible for ensuring that the provision, delivery and necessary revisions of the programme of SRE are in accordance with the agreed policy.
It is recognised that those involved with the delivery of SRE should be willing and confident to do so. Where appropriate, experienced and qualified representatives from other agencies are invited into school to deliver aspects of the programme. When that is the case, teachers will remain in lessons and will work with the visitor on planned content, style and suitable approaches. Staff involved in the delivery of the programme will receive training appropriate to their needs, as the opportunity arises.
No student will be given individual advice on contraception or sexual behaviour. If students are judged to be at moral, physical or legal risk, they will be advised of this and urged to seek help from the appropriate agencies and experts. Where a child is under 16, parents will be involved, hopefully with the child’s consent, unless there is concern about the implications of so doing.
This policy, together with the programme of sex and relationships education, will be reviewed and updated annually by the school’s Leadership Group and the Head of PD.
Parents and SRE
In accordance with the 1996 Education Act, parents have the right to withdraw their children from parts of the SRE programme except for the relevant aspects of science teaching, which includes teaching the biological aspects of human growth and reproduction.
P. Wadsworth (Head of PD) May 2015