You will not be able to withdraw your child from any aspect of Relationships or Health Education. You can withdraw your child (following a discussion/meeting via telephone or in-person) from any or all aspects of Sex Education, other than those which are part of the science curriculum. Where pupils are withdrawn from sex education, schools should document the process and will have to ‘ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.’
You are able to withdraw your child up to and until three terms before your child turns 16. After that point, the guidance states
“If the child wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements to provide the child with sex education during one of those terms.”
As you may be aware our curriculum at Bowden House is a Stage not Age curriculum, this means that it has been professionally developed by lead teachers in liaison with the Head of Education to provide your child with a dynamic, age appropriate learning experience thus meaning that RSHE has been developed this way also.
As the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education guidance states:
“Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way. This is why we have made Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools in England and Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in all secondary schools, as well as making Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools. Our guiding principles have been that all of the compulsory subject content must be age appropriate and developmentally appropriate. It must be taught sensitively and inclusively, with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of pupils and parents while always with the aim of providing pupils with the knowledge they need of the law.
At secondary, teaching will build on the knowledge acquired at primary and develop further pupils’ understanding of health, with an increased focus on risk areas such as drugs and alcohol, as well as introducing knowledge about intimate relationships and sex. Teaching about mental wellbeing is central to these subjects, especially as a priority for parents is their children’s happiness. All of this content should support the wider work of schools in helping to foster pupil wellbeing and develop resilience and character that we know are fundamental to pupils being happy, successful and productive members of society. Central to this is pupils’ ability to believe that they can achieve goals, both academic and personal; to stick to tasks that will help them achieve those goals, even when the reward may be distant or uncertain; and to recover from knocks and challenging periods in their lives. This should be complemented by development of personal attributes including kindness, integrity, generosity, and honesty.
These subjects represent a huge opportunity to help our children and young people develop. The knowledge and attributes gained will support their own, and others’, wellbeing and attainment and help young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.”
As an RSHE department at Bowden House School, we are always happy to give advice when needing to have a sensitive or difficult discussion with your child and where possible we are willing to help to facilitate this. We may have all either been on the receiving end of one of these discussions or we have had to have one, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier when you need to have ‘that’ discussion with your own child.
It is important to try to create an environment where your child is comfortable to talk and ask questions, but we understand this can be a challenge.
It could be embarrassing or unconfutable for either parties involved but it is important that the discussions, whoever initiates them, are had and the necessary questions are asked or answered.
Please see below for some useful websites to help initiate these discussions;