Whitegate End Primary school Parents forum Summer 2019
Today we held parents meeting to discuss the new Relationships Education policy. If you weren’t able to attend we would really appreciate you taking time to read the updated information regarding the new Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex education and Health Education policy which will be phased in from September 2019 and becomes statutory from September 2020.
I have enclosed some information for you and would appreciate your comments and feedback regarding the content. Please feel free to e-mail school on the school’s office e-mail address or send in any questions or comments. We will endeavour to answer all of your questions and use your comments when updating and amending our school policy in light of the new legislation. If anyone wishes to meet with either myself or Mr Scott (PSHE lead) please contact the office to arrange an appointment. Mrs J. Conway
Relationships and Sex education (RSE). Primary schools in England are required by law to teach relationship education. Some elements of sex education are compulsory and covered during science lessons. This new guidance becomes mandatory from September 2020. Schools will be starting to introduce this from September 2019.
The focus in primary school should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.
This starts with pupils being taught about what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them. From the beginning of primary school, building on early education, pupils should be taught how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy. Establishing personal space and boundaries, showing respect and understanding the
differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact – these are the forerunners of teaching about consent, which takes place at secondary.
From the beginning, teachers should talk explicitly about the features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships which young children are likely to encounter. Drawing attention to these in a range of contexts should enable pupils to form a strong early understanding of the features of relationships that are likely to lead to happiness and security. This will also help them to recognise any less positive relationships when they encounter them.
Teaching about families requires sensitive and well-judged teaching based on knowledge of pupils and their circumstances. Families of many forms provide a nurturing environment for children. (Families can include for example, single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures.) Care needs to be taken to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances and needs, to reflect sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them; e.g. looked after children or young carers.
The national curriculum for science includes subject content in related areas, such as the main external body parts, the human body as it grows from birth to old age (including puberty) and reproduction in some plants and animals. It will be for primary schools to determine whether they need to cover any additional content on sex education to meet the needs of their pupils. Many primary schools already choose to teach some aspects of sex education and will continue to do so, although it is not a requirement. This is at the discretion of the RSE lead and headteacher as there may be times especially with regard to safeguarding where this is appropriate.
It is important that the transition phase before moving to secondary school supports pupils’ ongoing emotional and physical development effectively. The Department continues to recommend therefore that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. It should ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings and – drawing on knowledge of the human life cycle set out in the national curriculum for science - how a baby is conceived and born. As well as consulting parents more generally about the school’s overall policy, primary schools should consult parents before the final year of primary school about the detailed content of what will be taught. This process should include offering parents support in talking to their children about sex education and how to link this with what is being taught in school.
Unlike sex education in RSE at secondary, in primary schools, head teachers must comply with a parent’s wish to withdraw their child from sex education beyond the national curriculum for science. Schools must also ensure that their teaching and materials are appropriate having regard to the age and religious backgrounds of their pupils. Schools will also want to recognise the significance of other factors, such as any special educational needs or disabilities of their pupils.
Further information has been uploaded below.
Mrs J Conway
Many thanks to the parents who visited school today.
We discussed several aspects of school life.
Mrs J. Conway
We hold termly Parents' Forum meetings to share information about the school and hear opinions of the parents and carers.
We greatly value the constructive and positive support that parents provide.
We are always striving to make Whitegate End the best place for your child to learn. If you have any constructive ideas please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.
During 2016-17 academic year we held several parents forums.
Parents were consulted regarding our new Always system, the National Curriculum, Pupils voice/well being, how school reports to parents and when. In addition parents came with their own individual and group questions for senior staff to answer. During the year each meeting was held by Mrs Conway and also attended by other staff including: Mrs Bingham(Deputy Head), Mr Scott (Lead Practitioner) and Mrs Burney(Learning Mentor).