“Our curriculum promotes social mobility;
we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly.”
Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those bits of good put
together that overwhelm the world.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Relationships and Health Education at St. George’s
At St. George’s, we believe that Relationships and Health Education (RHE) is an integral part of a child’s education. RHE is about understanding the importance of family life, stable and loving relationships and respect for others, love and care, alongside learning about the world around us and how to be a citizen in our world. It teaches about caring for our own physical and mental health through healthy choices. At St George’s we talk about our school family and children know they are part of this and how important this is to all of us. There is a strong pastoral side in our work to support both children and families being ready for learning. We take care to ensure there is no stigmatism of any child based on their home circumstances and we do not use RHE as a means of promoting any form of sexual orientation. Our curriculum for RHE meets statutory obligations for the new requirements from Spring 2021 (formerly 2020). We have a named governor for RHE and this governor also leads on PSHE and Mental Health as we can see the close links between the 3 areas.
By means of Relationships and Health Education we aim to teach pupils about:
a) the physical development of their bodies as they grow to adulthood
b) respect for the views of others
c) respect for their own and others’ bodies
d) the importance of family life
e) relationship issues.
RHE is lifelong learning about emotions, relationships and all health. It involves acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs, values and attitudes. This fits in with our school drivers, in particular Healthy Body, Healthy Mind where the children learn about their bodies, being safe and looking after themselves. Reach for the Stars celebrates their skills, special people in their lives and looking at people that help us and the job roles they may have. The Natural World also links with our forest areas and Basecamp and how the children have to work together to use the areas effectively. The Allotment not only links with the Natural World but also promotes the area of Healthy body, Healthy mind. Children work in the allotment and see the transfer of learning about produce, growing it and then eating it as part of our school dinner menu.
RHE has a key part to play in the personal, social, moral and spiritual development of young people. It begins informally in the home with parents and carers long before any formal education takes place at school. Young people’s entitlement to RHE is enshrined in the terms of the Education Act (1996). Cultural days help to support the learning of RHE and develop it further. Each term when we learn about a new country children look at the differences from our own country and celebrate the diversity seen through food, art, culture, language and celebrations. Each term we have a number of incentives that children can work towards and help them to take responsibility for certain areas of everyday life. This can include our Red Box assembly every half term where children can enter a prize draw for good attendance or tea with teachers every term. This will be an area that children need to work towards and each teacher gets to pick a child to take them for tea.
Each year the children in Key Stage 2 take part in the London Competition. They have the opportunity to design a London project of their choosing and if chosen can win a trip to London for the day. This supports many of the areas seen in RHE through aspirations and celebrating a child’s individual strength. It encourages support from home and if a child is chosen to go they get to experience a whole day of excitement visiting several famous landmarks.
During the Summer term we put transition sessions in place for Nursery children through to Year 6 children going to secondary school. Children can become quite anxious with this change in the year after spending a year with the same teacher. Sessions are put in place to support children with this change in school. Children spend a morning, afternoon and full day with their new teacher getting to know them and start building positive relationships. Children needing additional support are given extra check in sessions to help make the transition in September as easy as possible. We have close relationships with the local secondary schools to ensure children are ready to take that next step in their learning journey. Extra sessions are often arranged for vulnerable children and staff members will go with a group of children to the feeder secondary to spend some time in the new setting and pass on information about the pupils.
Our school dog Buddy is part of our St George's family and children love having him in school. In the future Buddy will be trained as a therapy dog. Buddy is helping to support the children with their emotional needs as well as teach them the responsibilities of how to look after him and care for him. Already children have shown a great deal of love and excitement having Buddy to visit and he is responding well to his visits. He has listened to children read, gone for walks and worked in the classroom – all of these activities help to support the children and teach them about relationships within our school family.
RHE is taught both within other curriculum subjects, and also as a discrete subject. Biological aspects are taught within the science curriculum, and other aspects are included in religious education (RE). Pupils also receive sex education sessions delivered by teachers well known to the children. Parents have the right to withdraw from this aspect of learning and we communicate this with families through letters. Across all Key Stages, pupils will be supported with developing the following skills:
· Communication, including how to manage changing relationships and emotions
· Recognising and assessing potential risks
· Seeking help and support when required
· Informed decision making
· Self-respect and empathy for others
· Recognising and maximising a healthy lifestyle
· Managing conflict
• Discussion and group work. RHE discussions are conducted in a sensitive, confidential manner. However, if a pupil discloses something that is cause for concern, the teacher/staff concerned will deal with the matter in line with the safeguarding policies of the school.
• The governing body has approved the RHE and PSHE policy and hold the Headteacher to account for its implementation. The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that RHE is taught consistently across the school and for managing requests to withdraw pupils from non-statutory / non-science components of RHE.
Staff are responsible for:
• Delivering RHE in a sensitive way
• Modelling positive attitudes to RHE
• Monitoring progress
• Responding to the needs of individuals
• Responding appropriately to pupils whose parents wish them to be withdrawn from the non-statutory components of RHE
• Pupils are expected to engage fully in RHE and when discussing issues related to RHE, treat others with respect and sensitivity.
At St George’s we follow the Discovery Education scheme on Health and Relationships which covers all of the curriculum areas within the following headings:
Staff have a number of resources in this scheme to help them with the lessons. These include videos, powerpoints and worksheets, all of which can be tailored for individual class needs. Staff have reported they have found these clear and effective and have helped to support learning for RHE lessons.
We will assess what the children have learned where it is possible to quantify this, but the real impact is qualitative: changes in attitude, awareness and aspirations. It is a basis for learning about the world in which we live and the people with whom we live, and successfully developing as valuable citizens of that world.
Data is taken at 3 points of the year December, March and July to monitor which children are on track and those falling below or exceeding in this area. The subject leader then looks for ways to support key classes and children whether it be through discussions, looking for extra expertise or finding additional resources. Pupil interviews are used by the subject leader to gain an insight from the children and the understanding they have gained from their RHE lessons.