RSE change to curriculum

Monday 13 January 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

As you may already be aware, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), along with Health Education, will soon be forming part of the National Curriculum. This change begins as of September 2020.

The Courtyard elected to become an Early Adopter school, which means the school has started to incorporate the new statutory health, relationships and RSE guidance and requirements into the Programme of Study for PSHE education before it becomes statutory in all schools from September 2020.
As a result, your child has started to receive lessons on relationships, sexual health and personal safety as part of our school’s wider Personal, Social and Health Education programme. So far, the lessons in both KS4 and KS5 have focused on understanding friendships, healthy relationships and online bullying but in future will include lessons on: intimate relationships; families; growing and changing, including puberty; personal hygiene; changing feelings; becoming more independent; keeping safe and consent; developing self-esteem and confidence. Pupils will also have opportunities to ask questions that help prepare them for relationships of all kinds in the modern world.

Schools are required to consult with parents when developing and reviewing their policies for Relationships Education and RSE, which will inform schools’ decisions on when and how certain content is covered. The new RSE policy is currently under review by the school board of governors and will be published on the school website in place of the current SRE policy as soon as it has been approved.

The purpose of the new curriculum is to provide knowledge and understanding of safe and healthy relationships based on respect. This is to encourage the development of safe and healthy relationships throughout life. The subject is designed to help children from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain.

You will be made aware of the content of lessons in The Courtyard Weekly Newsletter which is emailed every Friday.

You do have a right to withdraw your child from Sex Education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, will be granted up to three terms before your child turns 16. At this point, if the child themselves wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements for this to happen in one of the three terms before the child turns 16 - the legal age of sexual consent.

There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education at secondary level and we believe the content of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught. However, we are confident you will share our enthusiasm for the successful implementation of the new PSHE curriculum, which we feel will benefit all of our students. We are looking forward to sharing further information in due course.

You are welcome to contact me to discuss the programme further.

Yours sincerely,
Mrs Healy

Deputy Head – Teaching and Learning

St Mary Magdalene Church Gardens
Holloway Road
N7 8LT

Tel: 0203 859 6350

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