Relationships, HEALTH and Sex Education
At St Mary's School we’ve always taught about healthy relationships as part of our PHSE (personal, health and social education) which remains non-statutory. From September 2020 there are new statutory guidelines covering relationships and health education. Our work on children's mental health which supports RHSE (relationships, health and sex education) can be found here. The statutory guidance ensures all schools show what healthy living and healthy relationships look like. As a school we've chosen a highly creative programme, endorsed by the Church of England for use in church schools, to deliver our statutory relationships and health curriculum. The programme is called Hearstmart.
The Church of England Education Office supports the approach taken by the government, including recommending an age-appropriate provision of sex education at primary level. Sex education is statutory from Key Stage 3. However, we have always chosen to deliver sex education in Year 5. Parents have a right to withdraw their children from sex education because it is non-statutory but not relationships, health education or science which is statutory.
The legislation makes it clear that all schools should approach relationships, health and sex education in a faith sensitive and inclusive way, seeking to explain fairly the tenets and varying interpretations of religious communities on matters of sex and relationships and teach these viewpoints with respect. All the activities in the Heartsmart church school version, include Bible verses to demonstrate how the concepts are rooted in scripture.
An overview of the Heartsmart relationships and health curriculum, organised by school year, can be found here. The teachers at St Mary's will use their professional judgement to select from these resources to ensure the objectives within the relationships and health education curriculum are delivered. The teachers will also supplement these activities to deliver other areas of PHSE not covered by the Heartsmart relationships and health programme and sex education (with support from the school nurse).
We believe the Heartsmart programme helps children grow into caring, reflective adults who are well equipped to navigate modern life.
USEFUL LINKS & RESOURCES
How does Heartsmart link to the school's Christian values?
One of the main reasons we chose Heartsmart as the backbone of our relationships and health education and also our PHSE curriculum is that it aligns well with our Mission Statement 'Growing Together in God's Love to Achieve Excellence.' and our Christian values of trust, hope, friendship, perseverance, forgiveness and peace'.
The Heartsmart 'high fives' (used as hooks throughout the resources):
Don't forget to let love in! (love)
Too much selfie isn't healthy! (love)
Don't rub it in, rub it out. (forgiveness)
Fake is a mistake. (friendship/trust)
No way through isn't true (hope/perseverance/peace)
Individual videos explaining the 'high fives' as well as other activities can be found at Heartsmart Family.
Should you wish to understand more about our relationships, health and sex education curriculum please email the school office.