“Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.”(DfE, 2019, Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education)
RSE is an integral part of personal, social and health education (PSHE) and ensures that pupils receive the appropriate information, develop skills and explore attitudes at the time when they are able to best respond in order to grow in confidence with their bodies and their relationships.
From September 2020, Relationships and Health Education became compulsory in all primary schools in England. This DfE guidance clearly states the statutory requirements, i.e. what children MUST be taught by the end of primary school. Health Education includes learning about ‘the changing adolescent body’ to equip children to understand and cope with puberty. The National Curriculum for Science (also a compulsory subject), includes learning the correct names for the main external body parts, learning about the human body as it grows from birth to old age and reproduction in some plants and animals. (which could include human beings). So, Relationships Education, Health Education and Science are compulsory subjects and parents/carers do NOT have the right to withdraw their children from these subjects.
If, however, it is taught within PSHE/RSHE parents have the right to request their child is withdrawn from these specific lessons. The DfE recommends, ‘that all primary schools should have a Sex Education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils.’
We believe this work is an important part of safeguarding children, as knowledge empowers them, helping them to stay safe and cope with puberty understanding why their bodies will change. The Jigsaw PSHE Programme includes lessons on ALL aspects of compulsory Relationships and Health Education, designed in a sensitive, spiral, age-appropriate curriculum. It also has a few lessons on human reproduction in Key Stage 2 to ensure children know the accurate facts concerning this before going to secondary school, and to ensure children understand why the body changes in adolescence.
“Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory Relationships and Sex Education” DfE Guidance p.17. At Kippax Ash Tree Primary School, puberty is taught as a statutory requirement of Health Education and covered by our Jigsaw PSHE Programme in the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle (unit). We conclude that sex education refers to Human Reproduction, and therefore inform parents of their right to request their child be withdrawn from the PSHE lessons that explicitly teach this i.e. the Jigsaw Changing Me Puzzle (unit). The parents 'right to withdraw' form can be found in the appendix of the PSHE and RSE Policy.
Our RSE Policy can be found on our Policies and Information page.