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RSHE Response Letter

Dear Parents/Carers, 

Relationships, Sex and Health Education Parent Consultation– feedback 

The Relationships and Sex Health Education (RSHE) consultation closed last term on 26th March 2021. The purpose of the consultation was to gather feedback on our reviewed PSHE curriculum, which includes Relationships Education, and also share with parents and carers what the curriculum will look like entering the academic year 2021-2022. 

We have now reviewed these responses and would like to share them with you. I would like to thank all parents and carers who took the time to submit responses and completed the questionnaire. The responses gathered from parents were positive about the proposed changes to our curriculum and the overwhelming consensus was that these changes reflected modern family living, and current and respectful thinking. They also provided us with valuable information in order to assist the implementation of the new national guidelines that came into effect. 

  • The outcome of the consultation has informed us to take the following additional measures:  School will produce additional guidance for parents on how to speak to their child about relationships and health education issues (requests particularly relate to age appropriate conversations)  

  • Additional details of curriculum content will be made available and presented to parents/carers  on our website

  • Year group specific communication will be sent prior to delivery of curriculum content. We hope that this will enable parents to support learning and conversations that might occur at home, following any teaching.  

  • Details of the cross curricular aspect of RSE has been made clear i.e. Science Curriculum on our Curriculum Map for RSHE.  

  • Finally, please note full curriculum documents are available on our school website so that parents and carers are able to view them as appropriate.

RSE Consultation Response

How easy is the policy to understand?

Is there anything we can make clearer?

Comments

What school will do

All respondents said that the policy was clear and ‘easy to understand’ for parents, however, it was noted by some that there is a lot of material to get through and a concise version would be appreciated.

 

Some parents wanted more information regarding the content for each year group.

School will provide an overview of each topic for all year groups at the beginning of every half term as part of the half term curriculum overview for parents.

Two parents wanted more clarity on the approach that would be taken towards content regarding same sex relationships and LGBTQ.

Respect for all is at the heart of all our teaching about relationships. The children will be taught about the society in which they are growing up and they will be encouraged to  respect others including those from different backgrounds and ways of life in a way that respects everyone. 

LGBT content will be covered when teaching about different types of families. The religious background of pupils will be taken into account when planning teaching, so that topics are appropriately handled.


 

Are there any topics that we do not cover in our curriculum that you think we should be?

 

Most parents were happy with what was being covered. Some parents were particularly concerned about the following issues.


 

Comments

What school will do

  • Oral health

  • Obesity

  • Smoking / alcohol and drugs

  • Screen time

Physical health and mental health has been a priority at Field Lane for the past five years and will remain so.

 

The specific topics mentioned by parents are covered in the ‘Healthy Me’ topic taught in the Spring term. Content is revisited every year and age appropriate aspects are added as the children get older. For example, children in Y1 are taught that some substances including medicines can be harmful,  whereas children in Y6 will discuss the effects of drugs such as alcohol and nicotine have on the body, particularly the heart and lungs. We often have visiting speakers from the Police and health professionals to support this part of the curriculum

 

Throughout the PE curriculum, children are taught about the positive benefits of exercise and in science the children study what constitutes a healthy diet.

 

Y3 and Y4 take part in an oral hygiene project run by Leeds University and Batley Girls High School. General hygiene is taught in all year groups.

 

Online safety and appropriate amounts of screen time are 

  • Mental Health

  • Anxiety

Emotional wellbeing is our top priority for children, parents and staff. Our progress towards positive wellbeing for all is reported to the governors every half term. It runs throughout all aspects of school life:

  • Events such as National Mental Health Week

  • Course / workshops for parents

  • Two mentors for children should they need specific mental health / emotional  support

  • Staff training on topics such as Emotion Coaching

  • Jigsaw has a mindfulness exercise in every session

...the list goes on.

Two parents said they would welcome input from a religious perspective on topics such as alcohol, drugs and relationships. Teaching that promotes British Values needs to go hand in hand with religious identity.

We are fortunate in that our staff and governors come from a variety of religious / non religious backgrounds. We often discuss curriculum content with one another to ensure that we approach topics with sensitivity. Respect for one another is at the heart of all we do. 

  • Climate change and the impact of our actions on the planet

  • The benefits of being outdoors

We couldn’t agree more! This is covered in the Jigsaw topic ‘Being me in my world’ which all children study in the autumn term. Children explore their responsibilities as a citizen of the school, town, country and world. Many of our half termly concepts cover this too, such as, the KS1 topic ‘Under the Sea’; the Y3/4 topic ‘The Disappearing World’; and the Y5/6 topic ‘Notice: Caring for our World’.

Outdoor learning is a particular passion for most of our teachers at Field Lane. We are on a mission to make the outdoors an amazing learning space and with Liam, Mrs Hemingway and Mrs Cooper as the driving force, all our children embrace the outdoors. Improving our school environment has been one of school improvement priorities for the past two years.

Outdoor learning is an integral part of the free flow provision in Early Years.

  • Ambitions

  • Equal opportunities for all regardless of race and religion

  • Extremism in Y6

In addition to the ‘Dreams and Goals’ Jigsaw topic, we also run our ‘Reach for the Stars’ Project for Y6 in which speakers from different walks of life discuss their choices in life with children and parents. This culminates in a graduation event at Leeds Trinity University. Ambition is also one of school priorities for this year.

Racism and extremism are covered in the ‘Relationships’ and ‘Celebrating Difference’ topics, for example, in Y6 children look at how some seek to gain power and control in relationships and how technology needs to be used safely. Bullying is discussed at all ages.

We also ensure that we study authors, artists, scientists etc from a variety of cultures and backgrounds as positive role models. Our resources reflect a respect for diversity.


 

Are there any topics that we cover in our curriculum that you think we should not cover?

 

Half of the respondents were happy with the content. 

 

Comments

What school will do

More detail on how topics are to be covered was requested.

More detail will be provided on the curriculum overview that we send out to parents before we start each half term. This will be under the headings PHSE, PSE -EYFS

Some concern about the age appropriateness of some of the topics. 

Careful consideration has been given to the age appropriateness of all topics. We have used the Jigsaw programme for the past few years now and have adapted its content to suit our school and its community, for example, we do not teach all aspects of the ‘Changing Me’ section. 

Many of the issues explored in this safe and supportive environment need to be introduced to children at a young age in order to keep children safe, healthy and happy. The content is then built year by year as the children’s worlds open up more through mixing with new people (sometimes older friends and family), increased  access to the internet, and watching television. Leaving some content until KS2 or KS3 can leave children vulnerable. 

One parent commented that they as the parent should be able to choose content that clashes with religious beliefs.

As respect for others and ourselves is at the heart of this programme, none of the content should clash with religious beliefs. It can be explained that although a particular behaviour or concept is not seen to be part of someone’s culture or religion, everyone should be treated fairly and with respect.

One parent asked how we approach the discussion about different kinds of families in Reception. 

Our aim is to ensure that children understand and respect that families can be different: some families have different generations living together; there may be just one parent; some children live in adopted families or are fostered; some children’s parents live separately; some may have single sex parents; some children live between two houses and have two dads and two mums. Most of these family arrangements are experienced by children at Field Lane. Although some family arrangements may be different from their own, all deserve respect and quite often have a lot of similarities. There is no emphasis on any particular kind of family, just that there are many different kinds of family. It is not for us to ‘promote’ any one way of being above another.The children will have a developing respect for their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people. Our ethos and approach is to value all children and families and for all to be treated with positive regard.


 

What do you think is the most important subject to be taught at different ages / key stages?


 

Comments

What school will do

Safety:

  • Online safety

  • Exploitation

  • Bullying and how to prevent it

  • Recognising abuse - if children are aware of it, they are more able to protect themselves.

  • Recognise signs of grooming so that they know how to keep safe

We couldn’t agree more! Ensuring our children are safe and prepared to manage risk and danger is one of the most important things we can do. 

 

All of these topics are covered within our Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) curriculum but are also covered through assemblies, within other subjects and even in the playground. 

Most start in the early years with an emphasis on what makes a good friend, what is an appropriate way to behave with friends and so on. This is then built upon year by year with children exploring issues such as peer group pressure, how to say no, standing up for what is right, power within relationships, managing risk and so on in Key Stage 2.

Mental and physical health

Personal hygiene

Mental and physical health is our main priority as a school. 

Aspects are taught within other subjects as well as PSHE but are also part of the culture and ethos of the school.  Independence skills and self care are promoted through Ready for Nursery, Ready for Reception sessions for children and parents.

It is an ongoing focus for children’s development throughout theYFS.

Puberty:

Single sex, age appropriate puberty discussions so that children understand what is happening to them  

What is appropriate and inappropriate ways of physical contact.

Puberty sessions are taught in Y5 and Y6 in single gender groups. For several years now, we have invited mums / female relatives to join the girls’ session which has always been popular. Parents have said that this has been a very positive session that has often been the starting point of a conversation between mother and daughter.

It has helped dispel myths and anxiety around menstruation in particular. 

 

We use NSPCC materials to support our teaching regarding inappropriate touching.

Rights and responsibilities

How to face difficult situations in life

Although these topics are covered by the PSHE curriculum, they are also covered in subjects like history and literacy using real life examples such as Martin Luther King, Greta Thunburg and Frida Khalo to name but a few.

 

How confident do you feel that this curriculum will help to keep your children safe online?

 

All respondents felt that the children will be kept safe and well prepared for the dangers they may come across as they get older, however, one parent would like more detail on what content will be covered. This will be outlined in the curriculum overviews sent to parents every half term.

 

Parents were asked to make any further comments should they wish to do so. 


 

Comments

What school will do

Transparency is the key, particularly when religiously sensitive material is being discussed. School needs to be careful not to cause confusion or offence.

Staff and governors have always worked closely with parents and this is no exception. Having respect at the core of what we do ensures that no offence should be caused. The PSHE curriculum overview for each half term will be more detailed from now on.

In Y6 for example, the children will talk about the adverse effects of alcohol on the body particularly on the heart and liver. They will know that some choose to drink alcohol which is acceptable and legal in this country, however, some cultures / religions do not allow its consumption. Likewise, civil partnerships are legal in this country, however, not within some religious groups. Children are taught that we are all different and all deserve respect even though we may fundamentally disagree with someone else’s choice. 

School needs to ensure that there is a consistency of approach within the teaching staff to ensure that policies are adhered to. Clarity in terms of who is responsible for teaching would be useful and the amount of time for each session. Will these lessons be observed to ensure consistency?

The response to the survey will be shared with all staff and governors along with the expectation for clarity and transparency with parents this term.

Teachers deliver the PSHE curriculum. If anyone is concerned about the content or delivery of any lessons, parents are always welcome to come and discuss the matter with the Senior Leadership.

PSHE is usually taught for one hour per week although themes such as bullying, online safety, mental health and so on are referred to in many aspects of school life.

Senior Leaders will monitor PSHE lessons from September as a result of this survey. A Senior Leader and teacher are always present during the lessons on puberty.

The statements are fairly broad and it would useful to have more detail so that if children have questions they can be supported at home. Parental involvement is vital. More detail on the resources that will be used will be useful.

I appreciate that more detail is needed and our aim is to provide this on the curriculum overviews sent to parents prior to each half term. 

It would be useful to have experts to deliver some of the materials.

We involve experts when we can. Nurses deliver the puberty sessions alongside the class teachers and a member of the leadership team. 

We often have the police or fire service in to discuss safety.

 

At Field Lane, we use Jigsaw as our core programme for teaching PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, Economic Education including Relationships Education).

.

What is Jigsaw?

 

 

 

Jigsaw is a unique, spiral, progressive and effective scheme of work, aiming to prepare children/young people for life, helping them really know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.

The Jigsaw Structure

Jigsaw consists of six half-term units of work (Puzzles), each containing six lessons (Pieces) covering each academic year.

Every Piece has two Learning Intentions, one specific to PSHE (including Relationships and Health Education) and the other designed to develop emotional literacy and social skills.

Puzzles are launched with a whole-school assembly, with each year group studying the same unit at the same time (at their own level), building sequentially through the school year, facilitating whole-school learning themes.

The various teaching and learning activities are engaging and mindful of different learning styles and the need for differentiation and the Early Years (EYFS) planning is aligned to the National Early Years Framework (England).

 

Jigsaw’s Units of Work (Puzzles) are:

Being Me in My World

Being Me in My World

Includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising Learning Charters.

 Celebrating DifferenceCelebrating Difference

Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work.


Dreams and Goals

Dreams and Goals

Includes goal-setting, aspirations for yourself and the world and working together.


Healthy Me

Healthy Me

Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices.


 

RelationshipsRelationships

Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills.


 

Changing MeChanging Me

This puzzle includes sex and relationships education in the context of coping positively with change. (includes age-appropriate sex education). (This unit is not covered at Field Lane.)

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