Personal, Social, Health, Economic Education (PHSE & Relationships & Sex Education. (RSE)

What is PHSE & why is it taught?

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is both the explicit and implicit teaching of knowledge, skills and attributes which children need to manage their lives, now and in the future. When taught well, PSHE helps children to become independent, confident, healthy and responsible members of society prepared for life and work in modern Britain. PSHE teaching aims to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of every child in accordance with the Education Act 2002. At The Chalet School, PSHE is a core subject, underpinning all other aspects of learning. Throughout each school day we strive to bring out the best in every child enabling them to manage the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they face both now and in the future.

Why is RSE Needed

Now more than ever before, children are exposed to representations of sex and sexuality through the media/ social media and the social culture around them, so we need to present a balanced view of RSE and help them to be discerning and stay safe. Research shows that most parents say they want the support of schools in providing RSE for their children.

What are the aim's of RSE

There are four main aims for teaching RSE within the context of Primary School PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education):

  • To enable young people to understand and respect their bodies, and be able to cope with the changes puberty brings, without fear or confusion.
  • To help young people develop positive and healthy relationships appropriate to their age, development etc. (respect for self and others).
  • To support young people to have positive self-esteem and body image, and to understand the influences and pressures around them. 
  • To empower them to be safe and safeguarded.

How do we teach PHSE

The Chalet school curriculum is based on the frameworks of the National Curriculum and the PSHE Association planning framework for pupils with SEND, with reference to the Health Education and Relationships Education guidance and the SEND code of practice with more detailed long and medium-term planning developed by the PSHE Coordinator. The PSHE curriculum is split into six key themes. Topics are revisited across the key stages, and understanding is deepened. This allows for progression and retention of key skills and knowledge, and also the introduction of some concepts at an age-appropriate point.

The Theme's for this term are: 

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Self - Awareness Healthy Lifestyles Managing Feelings The World I live in Self - Care, Support & Safety Changing & Growing

  Changing & Growing Topic

Since September 2020, Relationships and Health Education is compulsory in all Primary Schools in England. Health Education, in keeping with the statutory content from the Department for Education, includes: 

  • Learning about ‘the changing adolescent body’ to equip children to understand and cope with puberty.

In addition to this the National Curriculum for Science (also a compulsory subject) includes:

  • Learning the correct names for the main external body parts 
  • Learning about the human body as it grows from birth to old age 
  • Learning about reproduction in some plants and animals

The Chalet School PSHE and RSE scheme of work, alongside the Science curriculum, covers all of the above using content and methods appropriate to the child’s age and developmental stage, building on the previous years’ learning.

Parental Right of Withdrawal from September 2020

The statutory guidance for Relationships Education and Health Education will come into effect in all primary schools from 2020.

In primary education from September 2020:

  •  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)
  • Headteachers 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 headteacher discussing with parents the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child’).

If you do not want your child to take part in some or all of the lessons on Sex Education, you can ask that they are withdrawn. At primary level, the head teacher must grant this request.

Please click  here to download a Headteacher withdrawal Form. 

Why should i talk to my child about relationships, growing up & sex?

The family is the place where children first learn to love and care for themselves and others. Children absorb spoken and unspoken messages from birth about relationships, growing up and sex. These influence the kind of adolescents and adults they become and the choices they later make.

Just as you help your child's healthy growth and development in all other ways, consciously supporting the development as they grow and their bodies change will help them achieve the attitudes, values and skills they need in order to have healthy relationships with themselves and others and keep themselves safe.

Here are some tips for talking to your child:

  • ALWAYS use correct terminology: Be scientific and factual: it helps that children aren’t confused by hints, euphemisms and innuendo; use correct terminology whenever you can, especially for body parts. This is hugely important for safeguarding too. Please note: in school we refer to the female gender parts inside her body as vagina and or between her legs vulva. 
  • Ensure your child is aware of the 4 parts of their body no one should touch unless for a medical reason and/or is asked permission: The genital area (penis, vagina/vulva), bottom, chest and mouth.
  • Reassure your child that they can come to you if ANYONE touches them or asks them to keep a secret (surprises are ok, secrets are not): This is taught in school in RSE lessons. 
  • Be honest: If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest and say so. Tell your child that you will need to find out and that you will get back to them with more information soon.
  • Remember that children are curious and want to know and understand: We tend to place our adult perspective on children’s questions and comments, allowing our brains to fill up with all the possible horrors that an innocent question could be about, when actually a child just wants (and needs) a very simple, matter-of-fact answer. This answer will not involve an ‘adult’ understanding of a topic – it needs to be at a child’s level, with opportunity given for the child to be able to ask further questions if needed. Give yourself time to respond by asking something like, “What do you think that means?” or “Why do you ask?” 
  • Keep lines of communication open: Having an open and honest relationship with your child can really help make conversations easier, so make sure that you are always willing to talk when your child needs you; if you can’t, explain why and find another time when it is more mutually convenient.
  • Answer questions and don’t be afraid to say: ‘I really don’t know – let’s work it out or look it up together’. Have a phrase for awkward moments, such as: ‘That’s a good question, and let’s talk about it once we get home’ (then make sure you do!).
  • Always respond: If you don’t, she or he may think it is wrong to talk to you about relationships, puberty or human reproduction and as a result you may find your child clams up when you raise the subject.
  • If it all feels too personal: Try talking about people in books, films and favourite television programmes.
  • Listen rather than judge: Try asking them what they think.
  • Work in partnership with the school: We understand that you want your children to be healthy and happy, we do too… and high quality RSE is part of this.

Further Support