Dear Parents and Carers,
As you may be aware the statutory guidelines for RSE were supposed to be changing from September 2020. Due to lockdown this has now been moved to September 2021. As we are ready to run with our new curriculum we have taken the decision to start in September 2020 as previously planned. As a part of your child’s education at Brooklands Middle School, we promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensive Personal Development (formally known as PSHE) education programme. Personal development education is the curriculum subject that gives children the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their full potential.
I am writing to let you know that over your son/daughter’s time at Brooklands, they will be taking part in lessons which will focus on the relationships and sex education (RSE) aspect of this programme.
Lessons in year 5 and 6 will include pupils learning about: Healthy relationships, including friendships; families; growing and changing, including puberty, human reproduction (yr 6); personal hygiene; changing feelings; becoming more independent; keeping safe; developing self-esteem and confidence,
Lessons in year 7 and 8 will include sex education, and contraception (different types).
All topics, for all year groups are on the website on the following link http://www.brooklandsschool.co.uk/website/personal_development/335403
Pupils will also have opportunities to ask questions. Personal development education is taught throughout the school in every year group and is monitored and reviewed regularly by the staff and governing body. Please visit the school’s website (www.brooklandsschool.co.uk) for more detail about our personal development curriculum. All schemes of work can be asked for on request for the specifics of each lesson. All personal development teaching will take place in a safe learning environment and are underpinned by our school ethos and values.
With the new statutory framework, the rights of withdrawal has changed. You can see the DfE guidelines for parents at
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-sex-and-health-education-guides-for- schools?utm_source=4e32b008-7c1e-40eb-b0ee-d3d05e10d9a7&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk- notifications&utm_content=immediate
In primary education (Years 5 and 6) from September 2021 parents will not be able to withdraw their children from any aspect of Relationships Education or Health Education (which includes learning about the changing adolescent body and puberty). Parents will be able to withdraw their children from any aspects of Sex Education other than those which are part of the science curriculum. (Note that sex education will not be statutory in primary schools, however the new statutory guidance makes clear that schools should still provide a programme of age appropriate sex education). Head teachers in primary schools must grant requests to withdraw a pupil from sex education, other than where it is part of the science curriculum (although the guidance makes clear that good practice is likely to include the head teacher discussing with parents the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child).
In secondary education (Years 7 and 8) from September 2021 parents will not be able to withdraw their child from any aspect of Relationships Education or Health Education. Parents will be able to withdraw their child (following discussion with the school) from any or all aspects of Sex Education, other than those which are part of the science curriculum, up to and until three terms before the age of 16. After that point, the guidance states that ‘if the child wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements to provide the child with sex education during one of those terms.’
If you do want your son/ daughter to be withdrawn for any of the above aspects please contact Mrs Hodgson directly in writing with your reasons to discuss this.
As a school community, we are committed to working in partnership with parents; recent verbal parental feedback has indicated that the overwhelming majority of parents continue to be highly supportive of the relationships and sex education programme. If you would like to find out more about what is being taught and also ask any questions please do contact myself or Mrs Hodgson.
Head of Year 7
Director of Sport and Wellbeing
The DFES report ‘Preparing Young People for Adult Life’ stated that ‘Society has a responsibility to help children and young people to meet the challenges of life by helping them to understand and value themselves, be optimistic about the future and life’s possibilities, and to develop positive self-esteem, confidence and to take increasing control of, and responsibility, for their lives and play an active part in their own communities. Personal, Social and Health Education, including Sex Education and Drug Education, provides a whole school strategy for working in partnership with parents and others to help children to overcome the social pressures they face and the barriers they present to learning and achievement’ (Preparing Young People for Adult Life – DFES).
PSHE education can be defined as a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. As part of a whole school approach, PSHE education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. The benefits to pupils of such an approach are numerous as PSHE prepares them to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in such rapidly changing and challenging times. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helping them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfil their academic potential.
PSHE Association July 2013
As of September 2020 relationship and sex education is compulsory in schools. Due to the Covid 19 this has now been moved back to Summer 2021. With these changes and the changes in OFSTED criteria towards Personal Development, here at Brooklands we have designed and implemented a whole new scheme of work for Personal Development using the guidelines suggested by the PSHE Association. Using these guidelines, all our pupils will have the opportunities to learn how to cope in and understand the ever changing society. The schemes are delivered by staff, specialists and outside agencies. Pupils also have access to outside agencies and specialist mentoring within school. The school has a trained therapeutic coach who pupils can be referred to.