What had you already done on Relationships Education policy?
We had already reviewed our old policy and published it on the school website but following an audit process we found that there were lots of new requirements from 2020 which weren’t reflected in the policy. We worked with one of our trust partner schools, using the PSHE Service Relationships Education Policy model to create a new policy which met the requirements.
Our PSHE leader was new to role and so this development and support provision was perfectly timed to get her up to speed.
How do you deliver the PSHE and Relationships Education curriculum?
We deliver PSHE as a designated lesson on our weekly timetable to all classes. In the main, it the class teacher who delivers the lessons. We use the Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme and so we know all our lesson materials are up to date and reflect the new statutory requirements.
We have a two-year rolling programme, so in the main, children meet this topic every two years. However, at Y5 and Y6 they have some input in both years, in order to ensure that they have the information about puberty before they need it.
What do your children think about PSHE and RSE?
We have not used the Primary Heath Related Behaviour Survey and the new PSHE leader has not yet been able to explore children’s views and needs. It is something we will look at when the units are delivered in the summer.
What do your staff think about PSHE and RSE?
We felt that a positive approach to developing teacher confidence would be to offer some whole staff training to build understanding and confidence about the content of our RSE units. Prior to planning the training, we asked staff to share their views and attitudes towards RSE.
It was really pleasing to find that the majority of staff were very supportive of RSE. Most agreed with statement like ‘We should teach personal skills and develop attitudes, as well as giving facts.’ And ‘I recognise the value of teaching RSE for our pupils.’ Whilst most disagreed with statements like ‘RSE should be left to parents/carers.’ And ‘Children just need to know about the biology before they go to secondary school.’
Staff were not very confident in identifying what was classed a s ‘sex education’, sourcing resources or interactive strategies. They felt the greatest barriers to delivering high quality RSE were pressure on curriculum time, lack of staff knowledge and skills and lack of staff confidence.
What tools did you use to review your provision?
We used a staff survey to gauge needs and then used a review tool to assess the effectiveness of the training. We found that following the training the confidence levels in sourcing resources, understanding what was age appropriate and responding to children’s questions had increased. We used an audit tool to review our Relationships Education Policy.
What changes or activities are you planning?
The new PSHE leader will continue to support colleagues as they familiarise themselves with the RSE resources. We will also review our medium term plans to make sure that the RSE topics is delivered at a good time for the pupils.
We also plan to revisit our parental consultation on the policy after RSE has been delivered next. We feel that parents might be a bit more informed now and might be able to offer further views on our provision and what they need to partner us in their children’s RSE.
What recommendations do you have for colleagues who are reviewing their RSE and PSHE provision?
When we held our staff training, we found it really helpful to include our support staff. Often they are the people who children will go to with questions and it is great to know that all adults in school will now be able to offer consistent answers, or at least know who to speak to about a question.
We also found it really helpful to work with another school in the trust on our policy.