Apple Orchard School
Sex Education Policy
The intention of this policy is to make everyone concerned with the students at Apple Orchard School familiar with the philosophy, approach and content of the Health and Sex Education Curriculum and give a consistent approach to our work with the students in this area.
This policy is for all staff, parents, carers, other professionals and visitors.
WHAT IS HEALTH AND SEX EDUCATION?
Traditionally health and sex education has been aimed at imparting ‘necessary’ information concerning human reproduction, contraception and sexually transmitted disease within the context of biology lessons. However it is now recognised to be much wider than that dealing with ‘LIFE’ issues, health, social and moral education.
Health and sex education should be an integral part of the learning process, beginning in childhood and continuing into adult life. It should encourage exploration of values and moral issues and consider sexuality and personal relationships and the development of communication and decision-making skills.
The aim of health and sex education is to assist the overall development of students as members of society by fostering positive and reflective attitudes about themselves and relationships, and to life and health issues. It is and entitlement for all students
The work undertaken by the school aims to meet the requirements of the 1988 Education Act which provides the school with a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, including the spiritual, moral cultural, mental and physical development of the students. It also requires us to prepare students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
The 1993 Education Act leaves it to the discretion of the governing body whether to include sex education in the curriculum. We as a school feel strongly that within the context of our unit of study cycle and cross-curricula work opportunities that sex education is integral to our planning and teaching. This is particularly true for the unit of study ‘Myself and the Animal Kingdom’ where the science curriculum addresses issues about the body and human reproduction and life cycle at a level appropriate to the students’ understanding. It is also important for students to have an annual ‘discrete’ block of sessions covering issues about puberty and growing up to help prepare them for the changes that occur, both to their bodies and surrounding environment.
The class teacher will inform carers and therapists prior to starting a programme of sex education.
– to foster self-esteem and self awareness and understanding of ones own body.
– to foster a sense of moral responsibility and the skills to make judgements and
– to explore friendships and relationships, and enhance awareness of emotions and
– to look after themselves both emotionally and physically, and to empathise with
– to have an understanding of growing up, and different generations particularly
relating to their own family life experiences.
– to respect and be aware of similarities and differences between people and societies.
Within the Health and Sex Education Curriculum we are committed to:
- Promoting equal opportunities and positive race relations, avoiding and actively tackling discrimination against anyone for reasons of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour, nationality or ethnic origins.
- Valuing different cultural traditions and making connections with their own lives in a meaningful way.
- Challenging stereotypes and giving students the understanding they need to recognise and reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
- Using teaching styles and resources that take account of students’ cultural backgrounds.
- All students having full access to all elements of the health and sex education curriculum including relevant educational visits as appropriate.
- Encouraging, supporting and helping all students to reach their potential.
Health and Sex Education at Apple Orchard School
There are two dimensions of sex education:-
- The social skills dimension fits very neatly into our school’s PSE and Citizenship curriculum, included within the ‘self help’ and ‘interpersonal’ areas.
- The attitudes and values dimension slots into our approach to the R.E. curriculum within the ‘spiritual development’ area including :- awareness of self and others, personal needs and those of others, reflecting on life and the world around us.
Method, Organisation and Resources
At Apple Orchard School a range of teaching strategies and techniques are employed dependent on the specific needs of the students concerned. Each class teacher is responsible for planning and developing activities to cater for individual needs and the teaching of skills within his/her planning. Some staff members are more comfortable with teaching some elements of the health and sex education curriculum and staff work collaboratively together to make use of individual expertise.
The school has a good range of resources for teaching elements of the health and sex education curriculum.
The policy document for Health and Sex Education will be reviewed every three years by the Science and PSE coordinators in consultation with all staff.
Scheme of Work / Guidance –
for HEALTH AND SEX EDUCATION
The intention and purpose of this Scheme of Work introduction is to make everyone working with the students at Apple Orchard School familiar with the philosophy and approach taken to Health and Sex Education within the school.
The document outlines the basic structure and ethos of the work undertaken and should direct people to other resources and ideas to extend activities already in practice.
This document is for all staff members, parents, carers, therapists and interested visitors.
GUIDELINES FOR ALL STAFF
When working in the area of personal care and development:
* Treat every pupil as an individual, with dignity and respect.
* Relate language and behaviour to the chronological age of the pupil.
* Do not use derogatory or demeaning language even if you believe it to be in fun.
* Reinforce the ‘private’ concept in all situations.
* Discourage inappropriate behaviour in students, but still bear in mind the emotional needs of the individual within a professional relationship approach.
* Never demean the student’s activity or make them feel ‘naughty’ because of
* Remember we are there to help the student learn and develop in all aspects of their education.
SEX EDUCATION AND THE LAW
The 1988 Education Act states that the curriculum provided in school must promote “the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students.” It also requires that schools prepare students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
It is the responsibility of the Senior Leadership Team to determine the schools policy and the organisation and content of sex education offered in school. For primary schools it is left to the discretion of the governors whether to include sex education in the curriculum. The staff of Apple Orchard School feel strongly that a “Broad and balanced curriculum” is an entitlement for all students and that sex education is an integral part of the whole Social and Personal curriculum on offer. We feel that within the context of a unit of study-based approach which is cross curricular in nature that issues can be sensitively and appropriately taught to Apple Orchard School students, whilst considering their educational and emotional needs.
WHAT IS SEX EDUCATION?
Traditionally sex education has been aimed at imparting ‘necessary’ information concerning human reproduction, contraception and sexually transmitted disease within the context of biology lessons. However it is now recognised to be much wider than that dealing with ‘LIFE’ issues, health, social and moral education.
Health and sex education should be and integral part of the learning process, beginning in childhood and continuing into adult life. It should encourage exploration of values and moral issues and consider sexuality and personal relationships and the development of communication and decision-making skills. Teaching should foster self-esteem, and self-awareness and personal responsibility.
There are three dimensions of sex education:-
2) Social Skills
3) Attitudes and Values
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1) The overall aim of a Health and Sex Education curriculum is to help each child towards a satisfying life style through the development of :-
Hygiene and personal care skills Body Awareness
- self-awareness and feelings of personal identity. (Who am I? What can I do?)
- sensory awareness and perceptual discrimination.
- basic self-help skills.
- deas about how people grow.- exploration of the environment.
interaction and communication skills. – making choices and decisions.
awareness of body parts and gender.
2) To enable students to explore what they know and feel about themselves, and to appreciate their own experiences in a way that will contribute to their feelings of self worth.
3) To be encouraged to develop to their full potential, physically, sexually, socially and emotionally.
4) To relate to their own life experiences and what they know best – themselves, their immediate school environment, home and local community.
CONTENT AND ORGANISATION OF THE CURRICULUM
The health and sex education programme we offer at Apple Orchard School has been planned to take account of students’ age, maturity and physical development. It will develop slowly throughout the time the students are in school, using well proven methods which allow time for repetition, practice and reflection.
The 5 identified areas are –
- GROWING UP THE BODY
- GOOD HEALTH/ HEALTHY LIVING
- SELF CARE AND HYGIENE SKILLS
- RELATIONSHIPS AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
(These areas are not mutually exclusive and there is overlap)
This format is structured to allow for the option of working within one focus or to develop a topic/theme that can include more than one. For example, a class may focus purely on the ‘self care and hygiene’ aspect with individual objectives appropriate to the needs and levels of experience and understanding of the students. Or alternatively work on a topic such as ‘MYSELF’ and work on each of the 5 focuses.
OUR HEALTH AND SEX EDUCATION PROGRAMME IS INTEGRATED INTO THE WHOLE CURRICULUM but is also taught separately.
ASSESSMENT AND RECORDING
Records are maintained termly in accordance with the whole school policy. Students who have individual education plans (IEPS) indicating targets that may include PSE skills. Additional individual curriculum learning outcomes would be found under the ‘PSE’ heading of students’ curriculum record sheets in their individual files. Records of Achievement and where appropriate samples of work are compiled for all students. Annual Reviews are completed for each pupil.
STAFF ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
There is a teacher who has responsibility for the PSE and CITIZENSHIP curriculum, of which Health and Sex Education is a part. He/She is responsible for developing and extending resources to assist the delivery of the curriculum, maintaining a curriculum file of up to date and relevant information, and for coordination policy development and practice with the whole school.
Teaching staff are expected to support each other in both content and delivery of the curriculum, as great importance is attached to shared expertise and knowledge. Each term a staff meeting is held in which the group can share ideas for the next term’s topic across all curriculum areas. All staff are encouraged to contribute.
Class teachers are responsible for planning and delivery of the curriculum relevant to their own class groups and the needs of individual students within the group. They are responsible for keeping records to indicate topic coverage over the course of the school year and for maintaining individual records in line with school policy guidelines.
All staff have a responsibility for assisting the students in all their learning objectives, including Sex Education. However if a member of staff has a strong objection to one element of the programme being followed then their views would be respected as far as is practicable. All staff are responsible for the maintenance and care of all school teaching resources and information resources.
Regular training to enable staff to fulfil their role will be implemented through regular staff development, workshops, or courses as relevant to the needs of the school, its staff and the students.
OUR POLICY ON SPECIFIC MATTERS;-
SEXUAL ABUSE – We are aware that many of our students have experienced abuse, but do not accept that this is a reason for avoiding issues about sex and personal matters. Indeed, it makes it more essential as such teaching may help students avoid some abusive situations.
If disclosure takes place the school child protection guidelines and procedures should be followed. Such situations should be treated in a calm and supportive manner without causing further stress and anxiety. Teachers should have up to date Safeguarding training.
PARTNERSHIP WITH CARE STAFF/THERAPISTS – We place great importance on sharing equal and joint responsibility with carers for their student’s education in sexual matters. We will do our best to find out from parents (as appropriate) any religious or cultural views they may have which may affect the health and sex education they wish to be given to their children, although we would consider carefully any request which compromised our equal opportunities policy.
To be reviewed: 2 years