At The King's we truly believe in the benefits of RSHE education and this is reflected within the change to our curriculum for 2023-2024. The RSHE curriculum is now delivered over 2 hours across our two-week timetable. This consists of one 30-minute form time lesson per week led by the form tutor, as well as a 1 hour curriculum lesson every two weeks, delivered by an RSHE teacher. As well as this, we have planned assemblies that focus on National events or days of the year such as Anti-Bullying week, Black History Month and the Holocaust. We also invited external agencies in to work with our pupils, to offer planned elements of the curriculum, and from experience and feedback these are powerful learning experiences that last a life time. Who we invite in and who they deliver to is based on a needs analysis, through discussions with parents, pupils, heads of year and the safeguarding team, and this can be whole year groups, key stages or selected students. RSE lessons are set within the wider context of the RSHE curriculum and focus on the emotional aspects of development and relationships, although the physical aspects of puberty and reproduction are also included. The Science National Curriculum is delivered by staff in the science department. These lessons are more concerned with the physical aspects of development and reproduction, although the importance of relationships is not forgotten. The content of the science curriculum which deals with sex is compulsory.
Our RSHE curriculum aims to equip learners to become lights within their world and are equipped to be able to respond to Modern Britain. They are encouraged to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives. Learners are encouraged to shine by being supported in making effective decisions, positive learning, career choices and in achieving economic wellbeing. Learners are provided with opportunities to reflect on, clarify their own values and attitudes, and explore the complex and conflicting range of values and attitudes encountered now and in the future. Learners will also develop inter and intra personal skills allowing them to develop teamwork and personal skills ensuring they shine and are not hidden.
Behaviours such as grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour, is also be addressed sensitively and clearly. As well as addressing the physical and emotional damage caused by female genital mutilation (FGM). Pupils are taught where to find support and that it is a criminal offence to perform or assist in the performance of FGM or fail to protect a person for whom you are responsible from FGM. As well as addressing this in the context of the law, pupils may also need support 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).
Parents role: Supporting your child through their learning
"Parental engagement is a powerful lever for raising achievement in schools"
Harris & Goodall, University of Warwick
Parents are a very important influence on their teen’s decisions about relationships and sex. When parents communicate frequently and openly, teenage children feel closer to them and more able to communicate. Talking about relationships and sex shouldn’t happen as a one-off “sit down talk”. By regularly talking about RSE topics at home you will help to take away some of the stigma by making it part of the everyday. You’ll also help your teen understand the differences between what they may see online versus what they experience in real-life:- in some cases the contrast can be extreme. An easy way to get comfortable with RSE topics is to watch television aimed at teenagers. Using television is a great way to talk about sensitive issues because it shifts the focus from your teen to imaginary characters, making it much easier for them to express opinions without feeling it’s personal and about them.
Right to withdraw your child
You cannot withdraw your child from Health Education or the Relationships Education element of Relationships and Sex Education, because it is important that all children receive this content, covering topics such as friendships and how to stay safe. If you do not want your child to take part in some or all of the Sex Education lessons delivered at school, you can ask that they are withdrawn. This can be done by emailing RSHE@thekingscofeacademy.org
The principal will consider this request and discuss it with you, and will grant this in all but exceptional circumstances, up until three school terms before your child turns 16. At this age, your child can choose to receive Sex Education if they would like to, and the school should arrange for your child to receive this teaching in one of those three terms (unless there are exceptional circumstances). The science curriculum in all maintained schools also includes content on human development, including reproduction, which there is no right to withdraw from.