In March 2017 the Bishops’ Conference produced a document called Learning to Love: An introduction to Catholic Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) for Catholic Educators. As a result of this the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle has produced Relationships and Sex Education Guidance for Primary Schools. As a Catholic School we are duty bound to follow this guidance,
Our policy links directly to the National Primary PSHE and RSE curriculum framework that cross references Personal Social Health Education and RSE.
At Sacred Heart, Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) is an integral part of the school curriculum and is taught in a sensitive manner appropriate to the needs of the individual child. It aims to help children understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. It is intended to provide the children with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their lives whilst allowing them to explore feelings about themselves and others, and their place in the family and wider community. Topics covered include:
- Safety in school and out of school including internet safety
- Dealing with emotions
- People and their work
- Keeping healthy
As a Catholic School it is important that we deliver a programme that relates to the teachings of the Catholic Church, that develops the essential skills required for self-understanding, an awareness of spirituality and one which places a high value on family life. We recognise that “Family” can be very different for different people and this must be treated with tolerance and respect.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values.” As a result we have revised our PSHE scheme to include Promoting British Values. For more information click here.
In 2015 ‘The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act’ was updated. The’ Prevent Duty’ is an aspect of this Act. The Prevent Duty is not about preventing students from having political and religious views and concerns but about supporting them to use those concerns or act on them in non-extremist ways. It covers such areas as:
- Discussing different groups and communities
- Respect equality and be a productive member of a diverse community
- Respect and protect the environment.
In Years 5 and 6 PSHE programme of study is Sex and Relationship Education (SRE). We believe that values and attitudes come, first and foremost, from the home. The best place, therefore, for Sex and Relationship Education is in the context of a loving and caring family. It is not intended in any way to take away from parents the responsibility which they rightly have for helping their children to grow in knowledge of and respect for themselves and their own sexuality. Rather, the School sees itself and parents as partners in this most essential of tasks. In partnership with the NSPCC we deliver the underpants rule in Reception and Year 3 and their Child Line school service programme in Year 5 & 6. This reflects our emphasis on living true to the document “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (2016) Each of our junior year groups takes part in a residential trip each year, this builds on their personal skills and development.
We aim to offer learning opportunities across and beyond the curriculum, in specific lessons as well as in assemblies, circle time, relevant school projects and other activities that enrich children’s experiences. We encourage children to grow into confident and emotionally secure individuals who know that the decisions they make will affect both themselves and others. Our overall aim is to provide children with essential life skills so that they leave us as well-rounded and confident individuals who are respectful and tolerant.
To take a look at our policy click here -> PSHE Policy
SMSC – Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
Some assume spiritual development is just about religious exploration or faith, but this is not the case. The spiritual in SMSC is concerned with developing the non-material aspects of life, focusing on personal insight, values, meaning and purpose. Our Catholic belief helps provide perspective on life that helps with children’s spirituality. Creativity and imagination is important, as is a sense of fascination, awe and wonder. At Sacred Heart we try to provide children with high quality learning opportunities, which along with our religious beliefs encourages children to be reflective and reach the highest possible achievements in all subjects. To this end the Arts including French, Music and Art have a prominent feature in our curriculum.
The moral element is largely about choices, behaviour and how you live your life. It’s also about personal and societal values, understanding the reasons for them and airing and understanding disagreements. Sessions in class or assemblies, explore the consequences of decisions, other people’s needs, and ways of learning from experience. We promote the strength of our positive relationships where adults act as good role models for the children. We also learn to listen to and respect the views and opinions of others.
Social development shows pupils working together effectively, relating well to adults and participating in the local community. This element of SMSC includes a significant area of personal growth, ranging from engagement in school to the skills for successful personal relationships. Sacred Heart is built on the importance of relationships reflecting respect for self and one another.
Cultural development is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures. We try to create opportunities for pupils to experience art, theatre and travel. We value and respect our cultural diversity and challenge racism and all forms of discrimination. We are lucky in that Sacred Heart is culturally diverse so we can celebrate the diversity within our community.
As our culture continues to change ‘The Prevent Duty’ was introduced. This is a duty on all schools and registered early years providers to have due regard to preventing people being drawn into terrorism. In order to protect children in our care, one must be alert to any reason for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. This includes awareness of the expression of extremist views.
The Equality Duty replaces the previous three sets of duties on schools to promote disability, gender and race equality through having equality polices and action plans for these groups.
Click here for more information on our Equality Policy.