Posted by Rebecca Jennings on 25.03.21 in Guest Blogs

RSE Educator, Trainer, Writer & Broadcaster, With over 18 years experience working with children & young people in educational settings teaching Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and most recently as a Subject Matter Expert designing the RSE curriculum training programme for the Department of Education I have the knowledge and skills to deliver this ever changing topic effectively .


PSHE Changes (Statutory RSE and Health Education)

Ultimately if a teacher isn’t confident in particular areas they should seek support from the school and colleagues. RAISE can support schools with every element of statutory RSHE, from direct delivery with pupils, policy support, parent workshops, lesson plans, and online staff training to ensure that staff are confident to deliver the more sensitive areas of this curriculum.


RSHE (Relationships, Health, and Sex Education) became a statutory subject across all schools in the UK, originally in 2020.  Primary schools can opt into the sex education element and Secondary schools are to deliver the full RSHE Curriculum.

The Department of Education has altered the timescales due to the impact of Covid-19 and schools should focus now on delivering elements of RSHE this Summer term based on the needs of their pupils, with the full statutory RSHE curriculum commencing in all schools from September 2021.

It is important to note that the RSHE curriculum is not prescriptive, schools have a list of topics they need to cover but ultimately, they choose how this is delivered and in which year group.  This means setting the flexibility to meet the needs of their pupils and community.

Schools choose how this is delivered and in which year group

As an RSHE Consultant, I work alongside many schools to support them with this transition and I felt it may be useful to speak about the advice I am giving to those schools based on my RSHE experience and recent work with the Department of Education.

Some schools may be struggling with potential subjects to teach this summer term to fill in any gaps missed over the lockdown period.  Relationships and friendships are certainly key areas as for many pupils the return to school has been somewhat daunting. 

Another gap which schools should consider this summer term is the delivery of puberty lessons, ‘changing adolescent bodies’ is a topic within Health Education and National Curriculum Science.  Sadly, many pupils will have started secondary school without the opportunity to discuss the emotional and physical changes in a safe space where they can dispel myths.

The online world isn’t the best place for RSHE related answers and quite often portrays unrealistic expectations around relationships and sex, and again this is a key area for secondary schools to deliver topics around consent sending nudes and the impact of sexualised images. 

The online world isn’t the best place for RSHE related answers

Many of the more sensitive topics are often the ones teachers feel they need more support around.  For many members of staff, this is a new topic and they often feel they don’t have the skills or knowledge to deliver age-appropriate RSHE.  My advice here is firstly not to panic, keep calm, and remember you don’t have to be a ‘Sexpert’. Take the topics in your stride, access training, and learn about the topic.  Ultimately your pupils will be looking for a safe space to navigate discussions, ask questions and understand the facts to therefore be able to make informed choices. 

It is also important that staff recognise their own values, we will all have our own values on some of the topics.  It is important to approach RSHE with an open mind and ensure you facilitate discussions within the classroom rather than direct or influence them.

Ahead of any lessons ensure that you set an agreement that keeps everyone safe when discussing sensitive topics.  The agreement can include things like ‘no personal questions’. This protects you as a teacher and alleviates the worry of personal comments.

Ultimately if a teacher isn’t confident in particular areas they should seek support from the school and colleagues.  RAISE can support schools with every element of statutory RSHE, from direct delivery with pupils, policy support, parent workshops, lesson plans, and online staff training to ensure that staff are confident to deliver the more sensitive areas of this curriculum.

For further information and support contact [email protected]

Website: www.raiseeducation.org.uk

0

Your Cart