News - Human Relationships & Sex Education Policy

Human Relationships & Sex Education Policy

Human Relationships and Sex Education  Policy


1. Introduction.

This document should be used after the Governing Body has undertaken discussion and extensive
consultation with parents, staff and students, as appropriate. This process should be documented and
briefly commented on within the policy.

Primary schools begin this process at different points of development and it is important to recognise that some schools will already have a robust policy that simply needs updating or resubmitting to the Education Service in light of the Service’s programme of study and policy guidance.

2. Vision and Mission.

The vision and mission of the school should be stated alongside and understanding of how this vision
supports the Church’s teaching about human relationships.


Sacred Heart R C Primary School seeks to promote,
in partnership with Parents and the Church,
the spiritual, moral, social, physical
and academic development of the pupils
in a caring Christian community
in which the beliefs and values
of the Catholic Church
are taught, understood and practised.

Our School Mission

“Love one another as I have loved you”

The mission of our school is to be a Christ-centred community in which joys and sorrows are recognised and shared as an expression of God’s love. We ensure staff and pupils feel loved and valued and that their full potential is realised within a secure, stimulating and happy environment.

Aims of the School

Our aims underpin every aspect of school life. To help achieve these aims our school offers a happy, safe and welcoming atmosphere.

We are a community of believers aiming to provide for the children in our care an excellence of education, rooted in and sustained by our shared commitment to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Children are encouraged to learn through first hand experiences in a stimulating environment. Staff development is a high priority at Sacred Heart, and the school boasts a professional team with considerable expertise.

Our school aims to prepare children for living and learning responsibly in society and provide the highest standards of Catholic education by:

• Recognising that all children are at different stages in their faith journey and their individual needs.

• Developing an awareness of the love of God through regular prayer and worship.

• Enabling each child to progress towards the realisation of their full potential, regardless of their background, and we acknowledge each person to be equal in the eyes of God and therefore worthy of respect.

• We say sorry, support and forgive each other just as Jesus showed us.

• Recognise that parents are the first educators and encouraging a three-fold partnership between home, school and parish.

• Monitoring our performance to maintain and promote high standards.

• To foster understanding of and participation in the worldwide global community.

• To recognise and share the joys and sorrows of daily life as an expression of God’s love.

Children’s aims

• We aim to be friends with everyone in our school

• We want to love one another

• We will always help each other

• We will never leave anyone out

• We will never give up

3. Procedures

The following groups have been consulted as part of producing this policy.
– staff
– governing body
– parents
– Diocesan Education Service

In consultation with the Governing Body, the policy will be implemented in 2017, reviewed every two years by the Head teacher, HRSE Co-ordinator, the Governing Body and school Staff. The next review date is July 2018.

The policy will be circulated to all members of the Governing Body and all members of staff. The school
prospectus should contain a statement about HRSE teaching and details of where to obtain a full copy of
the policy upon request. The Education Service will be sent a copy of the school’s HRSE policy and it is theduty of the Governing Body to ensure that this is up to date.

4. Rationale

As a primary school in the Diocese of Lancaster Education Service, we use the term Human Relationships and Sex Education (HRSE) as it believes that relationships education is about all aspects of growing a fulfilled and happy life, sexual education is a dimension of this greater whole.

The defining belief of Christianity is that God took on human form. This endows the human form with an extraordinary dignity that goes beyond that of all other forms of life and shows that humanity alone can embrace this relationship with God. Therefore, our relationship with our own bodies is not casual but infused with the Holy Spirit. Any teaching about love and sexual relationships in school must be rooted in this belief which is expressed in the Church’s teaching about relationships, marriage, sex and family life. The Church offers education to young people as it is part of complete human formation. Education about human love is no less a part of a Catholic schools responsibility than teaching about mathematics or English. At Sacred Heart we teach young people about how to form relationships, including understanding loving relationships and acknowledging that children’s first experience of love is in the home. We encourage children from the earliest age to recognise that they are all children of God and that each person shares a God given dignity. As children mature, we encourage them to follow the example of Jesus and live lives  inspired by the Gospel virtues, enabling them to follow His commandment to “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31). This is the basis for all relationships in our school. Teaching about relationships in our schools is supported by Christian virtue teaching as outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in line with ‘Fit for Mission? Schools’.

The Department for Education (2000) suggests that sex and relationship education should build on the
children’s own experiences, be sensitive to the specific domestic contexts the children come from, form
attitudes and values towards relationships, develop personal and social skills and increase the knowledge and understanding of each young person as they grow about their relationships and well being, including sexual health. The Diocese of Lancaster supports all these aims in educating about relationships and sex education though recognises that the Church’s objectives in this are about complete human formation.

5. Statutory framework.

The statutory framework that surrounds education about human relationships largely falls within three key areas.
• The National Curriculum (2014)
• Statutory Guidance: ‘Sex and Relationships Education Guidance’ (2000)
• The Children’s Act (2004)
Additionally, non statutory guidance directs policy and guides the work of OFSTED as it seeks to promote what is perceived as best practice, which may go beyond the limits of statute.

6. Virtues and Values

Gospel virtues and values underpin the HRSE curriculum. The Christian tradition describes behaviours or habits that lead to happiness, human flourishing and a closer relationship with God as virtues. These virtues are described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and fall into two groups. The theological virtues of faith, hope and charity (sometimes love is used instead) are about developing the habits of being open to the work of the Holy Spirit and developing a deeper relationship with God through living a balanced and happy, good life. The cardinal virtues of practical wisdom (prudence), justice, fortitude and temperance help people develop habits of reason, fairness, emotional resilience and self mastery. They are human virtues and, as such, are part of the development of people of all faiths or none as they learn how to flourish, thrive and to have a life supported by strong and caring relationships. The cardinal virtues are drawn from the teachings of Plato and Aristotle and are held in common with people of many faiths and secular beliefs. St. Thomas Aquinas attributes the theological virtues as having their foundation in God, they complete the cardinal virtues and are the way people can reach “the abundant life” (John 10:10).

Whole Curriculum
We offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based* and which:
-promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical
development of pupils at the school and of society;
-prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Personal, Social, Health &Economic Education
Department for Education: All schools should make provision for PSHE, drawing on best practice. Schools are free to develop their own PSHE programme to reflect the needs of their pupils.

Any school that provides SRE has a statutory duty to have due regard to Sex and Relationships Education Guidance DfEE 2000. National Curriculum Statutory sex education forms part of the science programmes of study across Key Stages 1-3.

Sex and Relationships Education Policy
DfEE Guidance (2000) states that all schools should have an up to date SRE policy available for inspections and on request for parents or carers. SRE policy is advisable but not compulsory.

7. The Aim and Objectives of HRSE.

The aim of HRSE is part of our aim to educate the complete human person. This is expressed in Fit for
mission? Schools (2009).

The fundamental needs of the human person are the focus of Catholic education – intellectual,
physical, emotional, social, and spiritual, and eschatological (Our eternal destiny). These
fundamental needs can only be truly fulfilled through a rich and living encounter with the deepest
truths about God and the human person.

This is why Christ and His Gospel must be the foundation of the educational project of each school
and college, because He is ‘the perfect Man in whom all human values find their fullest
perfection’ (Congregation for Catholic Education, The Religious Dimension of Education in a
Catholic School). Therefore, the Catholic school or college is called to keep the Gospel whole and
alive amongst pupils, families, and staff.

– HRSE should deepen the following areas of understanding.
– To develop self respect and love of self.
– To invite young people to develop and deepen a loving relationship with God.
– To invite young people to understand that their life has a purpose.
– To invite young people to develop and deepen relationships with each other based on mutual
respect and care and to understand this can be an expression of God’s love.
– To foster an understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church about how to live a full life, a life
of virtue, and the place of human sexuality in living a full life, marriage and parenthood.
– A strong awareness of their own safety and the nature of consent.
– To have an understanding of the law in England about Equality and Marriage, appropriate to age
and maturity.

HRSE will develop attitudes, personal and social skills and knowledge and understanding.
• We will seek to develop attitudes of awe and wonder for the gift and beauty of self, respect for each
other as children of God and rejoice in the goodness of God’s creation.
• We will seek to develop attitudes of responsibility towards ourselves and others, recognising the dignity
in all.
• We will seek to enable children to understand the choices they make and how they can help or harm
themselves and others.
• We will encourage children to learn about expressing their own emotions and being respectful of the
emotions and behaviours of others.
• We will encourage the whole school to be like a loving family recognising God as a merciful and
generous father as Jesus taught in the Lord’s prayer.
• We will encourage everyone in the school to recognise their part in the school family and work together
for reconciliation when relationships in the school falter.
• We will encourage everyone in the school to value humility, mercy and compassion and to respond with empathy to the problems of others.
• We will develop children’s knowledge of when to say ‘no’ to behaviours or attitudes that harm their
dignity or the dignity of others and to be responsible for their own safety.
• We will develop children’s experience of what it is to be happy so that they begin to understand the
difference between happiness and gratification and value patience.
• We will teach children about the media and their choices, about what to watch, what games to play,
what rules apply and that the dignity of all does not just apply to people who are physically seen, it
applies to online relationships too.
• We will support children when relationships in their lives are challenging and teach them that there are
people in school who will listen if they are experiencing changes that make them frightened or
• We will foster an atmosphere in school which celebrates the work of the Trinity through the life of the
school and its relationship with the Church.
• We will teach children about the beauty of the Church’s teaching about love and God’s love for them
which is shared in the Sacraments.
• We will sensitively share the Church’s teaching about the importance of marriage and family life as a way to live in loving relationships with others and with God.

8. Inclusion

At Sacred Heart we identify that young people mature in different ways. Our teaching about relationships and sexuality is respectful of each child’s starting point, their faith, culture and sexual orientation. Lessons are framed by this understanding and young people encouraged to respect difference and develop an approach of dialogue.

9. Equality

The governing body has wide obligations under the Equalities Act 2010 and will work to ensure that Sacred Heart endeavours to do its best for all of the pupils, irrespective of ability (physical and mental), race, ethnicity, nationality, maternity, pregnancy, sex, gender identity or orientation or whether they are looked after children. (Please see the separate Equality policy).

10. Programme of study

The Diocese of Lancaster has a programme of study for its family of schools. The programme ranges from ages 2-19 years and provides suggested areas of study and outcomes for the young people it serves. It is envisaged that this programme will be taught in discreet lessons, in cross curricular lessons, particularly R.E. and science and fundamentally embedded in the ethos of the school through assemblies, classroom discussions and the centring of all relationships in school on the person of Jesus Christ. The programme of study is based on the teachings of the Church and aims to help young people develop their sense of purpose and character. It should be taught as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and allow children to express alternative beliefs and viewpoints where they hold such views. The programme of study will be supported by published resources, recommended by the Diocese, as well as those created by the school. A list of recommended resources is available on the Education Service website.

11. Parents

The Church recognises parents as the first educators of their children. We support parents in this task. The role of the school should be that of assisting and completing the work of parents, furnishing children and adolescents with an evaluation of “sexuality as value and task of the whole person, created male and female in the image of God”. (Educational Guidance in Human Love (1983) Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education n69) Children’s first experience of relationships and love are in the home. At our schools we seek to work with parents and support them as their children grow and begin to develop their own character as well as experiencing changes in their physical appearance. Parents have been consulted about this policy before it was ratified by the governing body.

Parents are informed of their right to withdraw their children from HRSE lessons, however, they are not able to withdraw their children from statutory science lessons.

Information about HRSE is contained in the school prospectus and the majority of the programme of study is developed through the ethos of the school. However, at times, areas of particular sensitivity, such as puberty, will benefit from additional parental support and at such times, letters will sent home and parents may be invited into school to discuss the content of HRSE lessons.

12. Teaching HRSE

All staff are involved in fostering attitudes, living Gospel virtues and shaping behaviour base on a Christian understanding of how to lead a good life. Staff are called to be role models of the school’s ethos in their relationships with other staff members, their conduct towards parents and their care for the children in the school. All staff must conduct their behaviour in school in accordance with
the vision and mission of the school.

Teaching and learning about human relationships will be part of the life of the school. However, the
programme of study will be taught through cross curricular dimensions where appropriate, such as R.E.,
science and computing.

Sometimes, the children’s learning will be best supported by using other agencies, such as the school
nurse, or other visitors to school. Such visitors will be guided to read the protocol for visitors at Sacred Heart and agree to follow the its instruction.

13. Supporting children and young people deemed to be at risk.

Sensitive subjects in HRSE always need to be framed so that the young people who are participating know that there is pastoral support if any of the issues discussed make them feel the need to talk further or share confidential information. This should always be done within the safeguarding framework of the school and it is paramount that all staff teaching HRSE have up to date safeguarding professional development.

Questions asked by students that are a cause for concern for the teacher, for example because of their explicit or graphic content, should be addressed in accordance with the school’s safeguarding policy and confidentiality procedures.