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Rationale

A caring and developmental Sex and Relationship Education Programme must include teaching both the biological facts of reproduction and aspects of relationships such as behaviour, emotions and sexuality.

S.R.E. is taught within the Sciences and P.S.H.C.E. curricula. All staff who teach S.R.E. should be experienced and appropriately trained.

Pupils need to feel they can express opinions and ask questions without concerns over trust or lack of respect for their views. They need clearly established boundaries for both courtesy and confidentiality.

An essential outcome for all pupils is for them to develop self-esteem and to take progressively more responsibility for their own welfare and actions. Young people who have positive self-images are much more likely to look after themselves and form caring, non-exploitative relationships with others.

Objectives

  • To provide pupils with a secure environment where opinions can be expressed and questions can be asked and answered without embarrassment but with clearly established boundaries for courtesy and confidentiality.
  • To help pupils develop the skills and understanding they need to make decisions about relationships.
  • To enable pupils to be aware of the external factors that may attempt to influence their decisions (media, internet, peer-group etc) and to become independent decision-makers.
  • To help pupils develop the ability to form positive, non-exploitative relationships.
  • To provide pupils with the knowledge of the physical and psychological changes before, during and after puberty.
  • To give pupils the biological facts of reproduction.
  • To develop pupilsí understanding of sexual morality and the value of stable, monogamous relationships.
  • To provide pupils with the facts regarding sexual activity and the law.
  • To provide pupils with alternative sources of advice and information.

To promote the following values:

  1. Self-respect and respect for others.
  2. An acceptance of the need to take responsibility for oneís own actions and behaviour.
  3. Honesty and loyalty in relationships.
  4. Sensitivity and tolerance of the differing needs and opinions of others.
  5. Recognition of the physical, emotional and moral risks and implications of all types of sexual behaviour including S.T.D.s, H.I.V. and A.I.D.S.

Assessment

Pupilsí progress towards learning outcomes is regularly assessed. Pupilsí understanding, ability to express opinions and effort are all graded on various occasions.

Learning Outcomes

Pupilsí knowledge and understanding of sex and relationships will be dependent upon their emotional maturity and academic ability. Within the M.L.D. environment there is likely to be a wide variation of these factors within a particular year group. Pupils will not necessarily achieve the learning outcomes of their chronological Key Stage.

By the end of Key Stage 3 pupils should be able to:

  • manage changing relationships
  • recognise the risk to personal safety in sexual behaviour and be able to make safe decisions
  • ask for help and support
  • explain the relationship between their self-esteem and how they see themselves
  • develop skills of assertiveness in order to resist peer pressure and stereotyping
  • see the complexity of moral, social and cultural issues and be able to form a view of their own
  • develop good interpersonal skills to sustain existing relationships as they grow and change and to help them make new relationships
  • be tolerant of the diversity of personal, social and sexual preference in relationships
  • develop empathy with the core values of family life in all its variety of forms
  • recognise the stages of emotions in relation to loss and change caused by divorce, separation and new family members and how to manage their feelings positively

Pupils will know and understand:

  • that fertilisation in humans is the fusion of a male and female cell*
  • the physical and emotional changes that take place during adolescence*
  • about the human reproductive system, including the menstrual cycle and fertilisation*
  • how the foetus develops in the uterus*
  • how the growth and reproduction of bacteria and the replication of viruses can affect health*
  • how the media influence understanding and attitudes towards sexual health
  • how good relationships can promote mental well-being
  • the law relating to the sexual behaviour of young people
  • the sources of advice and support
  • about when and where to get help, such as at a genito-urinary medicine clinic

Pupils will have considered:

  • the benefits of sexual behaviour within a committed relationship
  • how they see themselves affects their self-confidence and behaviour
  • the importance of respecting difference in relation to gender and sexuality
  • how it feels to be different and to be discriminated against
  • issues such as the costs of early sexual activity
  • the unacceptability of prejudice and homophobic bullying
  • what rights and responsibility mean in relationships

By the end of Key Stage 4 pupils should be able to:

  • recognise the influences and pressures around sexual behaviour and respond appropriately and confidently seek professional health advice
  • manage emotions associated with changing relationships with parents and friends
  • see both sides of an argument and express and justify a personal opinion
  • have the determination to stand up for their beliefs and values
  • make informed choices about the pattern of their lifestyles which promote well-being
  • have the confidence to assert themselves and challenge offending behaviour
  • develop qualities of empathy and sympathy and the ability to respond emotionally to the range and depth of feelings within close relationships
  • work co-operatively with a range of people who are different from themselves

Pupils will know and understand:

  • the way in which hormonal control occurs, including the effects of the sex hormones, some medical uses of hormones including the control and promotion of fertility*
  • the defence mechanisms of the body*
  • how sex is determined in humans*
  • how H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted infections affect the body
  • the link between eating disorders, self image and sexual identity
  • the risks of early sexual activity and the link with alcohol
  • how the different forms of contraception work and where to get advice
  • the role of statutory and voluntary organisations
  • the law in relation to sexual activity for young people and adults
  • how their own identity is influenced by both their personal values and those of family and society
  • how to respond appropriately within a range of social relationships
  • how to access the statutory and voluntary agencies which support relationships in crisis
  • the qualities of good parenting and its value to family life
  • the benefits of marriage or a stable partnership in bringing up children
  • the way different forms of relationship including marriage depend for their success on maturity and commitment

Pupils will have considered:

  • their developing sense of sexual identify and feel confident and comfortable with it.
  • how personal, family and social values influence behaviour
  • the arguments around moral issues such as abortion, contraception and the age of consent
  • the individual contributions made by partners in a sustained relationship and how these can be of joy or benefit to both
  • the consequences of close relationships including having children and how this will create family ties which impact on their lives and those of others

* denotes aspects covered in the Science curriculum