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Relationships and Sex Education is taught at Egham Park to support all young people to be happy, healthy, and safe whilst growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives on and offline. We want to equip them for adult life and to help them make a positive contribution to society. 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.
The aim of RSE is to give young people the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their full potential. It is taught in a safe, non-judgemental, and open forum, allowing the pupils to discuss their opinions, pre-conceptions, and concerns. We tailor the curriculum as appropriate to that age group.
Egham Park endeavours to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It enables pupils to know what different relationships look like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague, and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship. It covers contraception, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex (and not applying pressure). It teaches what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships. This will help pupils understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed.
Staff teaching RSE ensure that core knowledge is broken down into units of manageable size and communicated clearly to pupils, in a carefully sequenced way, within planned lessons. The RSE curriculum will cover topics such as peer pressure, bullying and body shaming, consent, gender and identity, sexism, parenting, child sexual exploitation, relationship break ups and safe sex. Teaching includes sufficient well-chosen opportunities and contexts for pupils to embed new knowledge so that it can be used confidently in real life situations.
Pupils are taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health, and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way. Staff endeavour to ensure pupils feel that the content is relevant to them and their developing sexuality. Sexual orientation and gender identity are explored in a clear, sensitive, and respectful manner. When teaching about these topics, Egham Park recognises that young people may be discovering or understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity and provide an equal opportunity to explore the features of stable and healthy same sex relationships. In teaching Relationships Education and RSE, Egham Park ensures that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Egham Park ensures that we comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
Pupils are well informed about the full range of perspectives and, within the law, are well equipped to make decisions for themselves about how to live their own lives, whilst respecting the right of others to make their own decisions and hold their own beliefs. This includes a range of important facts and the rules regarding sharing personal information, pictures, videos, and other material using technology. This will help young people to know what is right and wrong in law, but it can also provide a good foundation of knowledge for deeper discussion about all types of relationships.
Key aspects of the law relating to sex which are taught include:
- The age of consent and what it is
- Violence against women and girls
- The definitions and recognition of rape, sexual assault, and harassment
- Choices permitted by the law around pregnancy.
- Grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour
- Internet safety – pupils are taught the rules and principles for keeping safe online, including how to recognise risks, harmful content, and contact, and how and to whom to report issues.
- Sexting – definitions, the law about distributing, possessing, or showing any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person.
Where to find support – 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) and strategies to manage this or access support for oneself or others at risk. Egham Park recognises that for pupils who are or have experienced unhealthy or unsafe relationships at home or socially, the school may have a particularly important role in being a place of consistency and safety where they can easily speak to trusted staff, report problems, and find support.
Right to withdraw
Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of Sex Education delivered as part of statutory RSE. If a pupil is excused from Sex Education, Egham Park will ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal. There is no right to withdraw from Health Education.
RSE and Health Education must be accessible for all pupils, therefore Egham Park delivers high quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised to ensure accessibility to all pupils. Egham Park is aware that some pupils are more vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and other issues due to the nature of their SEND. Egham Park ensures that our teaching is sensitive, age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate and delivered with reference to the law.
Roles and Responsibilities
Egham Park will ensure that:
- The teaching of RSE is monitored and delivered in ways that are accessible to all pupils with SEND
- Clear information is provided to parents/carers on the subject content and the right to request that their child is withdrawn
- If a pupil is excused from Sex Education, it is the school’s responsibility to ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.
- All pupils are offered the opportunity to explore ideas, situations, and feelings in an atmosphere of confidence and support
- All points of view that staff may express during teaching RSE are unbiased
- The emphasis of teaching RSE will always be the importance and understanding of personal relationships and the right of the individual to make informed choices.
- If a pupil has embarked on a course of action likely to place them at risk, staff will refer any potential concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Safeguarding, Reports of Abuse and Confidentiality
Keeping Children Safe in Education sets out that all schools and colleges should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including how to stay safe online, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. Egham Park pupils are aware of how to raise their concerns or make a report and how any report will be handled. All staff are aware of what to do if a child tells them that they are being abused or neglected. Please see Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.