THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION introduced compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education for all secondary pupils in September 2020. Wilson’s is an ‘Early Adopter’ school and we revised our PSHE curriculum to take account of the new guidance from September 2019.
The aim of RSE is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It should enable them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship.
It should also cover contraception, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex (and not applying pressure). It should teach what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships. This will help pupils understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed.
Pupils are taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way. All pupils should feel that the content is relevant to them and their developing sexuality. Sexual orientation and gender identity are explored at a timely point and in a clear, sensitive and respectful manner.
Pupils are informed about a full range of perspectives and, within the law, will be well equipped to make decisions for themselves about how to live their own lives, whilst respecting the right of others to make their own decisions and hold their own beliefs. Key aspects of the law relating to sex which are taught include the age of consent, what consent is and is not, the definitions and recognition of rape, sexual assault and harassment, and choices permitted by the law around pregnancy.
Grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour, are also addressed sensitively and clearly. Pupils are taught about the physical and emotional damage caused by female genital mutilation (FGM). As well as addressing this in the context of the law, pupils are also taught every year to recognise when relationships (including family relationships) are unhealthy or abusive (including the unacceptability of neglect, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and violence, including honour-based violence and forced marriage) and strategies to manage this or access support for themselves or others at risk.
Internet safety is also addressed in all Key Stages. Pupils are taught the rules and principles for keeping safe online. This includes how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how and to whom to report issues. Pupils will be taught to have a strong understanding of how data is generated, collected, shared and used online, for example, how personal data is captured on social media.
Pupils in all year groups will be taught RSE, predominantly as part of PSHE and Science (by teachers allocated to teach PSHE, Key Stage 3 Science, and Key Stage 4 Biology) but also as part of the curriculum in Religious Education. Pupils may also be taught about aspects of RSE by other qualified personnel including the school nurse and carefully selected visitors from other outside agencies.
Sex education will be taught in context, suitable to the age and development of the students according to the schemes of work that have been planned to ensure progression across Key Stages.
The Head of PSHE and Lead Teacher responsible for evaluating Relationship and Sex Education will continue to consider how pupil voice will be used in the on-going evaluation of PSHE and RSE in particular. Parents are welcome to contact the school at any time to ask further questions about how RSE is taught, contribute their views towards the on-going review of the school's policy and curriculum, and to see the resources that are used.
A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is: