1. Overview

At Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary, we consider Relationships and Sex Education to be an integral part of the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship curriculum, and is linked to that for Science. We aim to offer pupils a carefully planned programme on human development, relationships, sexuality and family life within a safe, comfortable atmosphere and in a relaxed relationship between teacher and pupil. The programme is set within a moral framework and matched to the pupils’ level of maturity. This policy reflects the learning outcomes for DfE Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education that became statutory from September 2020.

**The DfE published an updated Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum on 16th May which has an 8 week consultation period. This policy will be updated once the final guidance is published**

2. Relationship and Sex Education Curriculum Intent

The intent of our RSE curriculum at Carleton Endowed CE (A) Primary is to:

  • Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
  • Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
  • Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
  • Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
  • Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
  • Recognise that parents/carers are the key people in teaching their children about relationships, growing up and sex. We aim to work in partnership with parents/carers and pupils, consulting them about the content of programmes.
  • Recognise that the wider community has much to offer and we aim to work in partnership with health professionals, social workers, other mentors or advisers

3. Relationship and Sex Education Curriculum Implementation

RSE is taught within the personal, social, health and education (PSHE) curriculum and biological aspects are taught within the science curriculum. Although it is more concerned with the physical aspects of development and reproduction, the importance of relationships is inextricably linked within the delivery of programmes and our school ethos.

Year 5 and Year 6 Pupils also receive stand-alone sex education sessions delivered in same-sex groups during the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. Parents are consulted about the content of what is taught and may discuss any concerns with teaching staff.

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
  • Assertiveness
  • 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

These skills are taught within the context of family life.

At Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary, we follow the North Yorkshire PSHE and Citizenship Guidance for schools including the Curriculum Entitlement Framework. We also use scheme You, Me, PSHE and other resources to compliment this. These schemes are clear and comprehensive and in line with the National Curriculum. They incorporate the DfE Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education learning outcomes that will become statutory from September 2020.

Any PSHE lesson may consider questions or issues that some will find sensitive. Before embarking on these lessons ground rules are established which prohibit inappropriate personal information being requested or disclosed by those taking part in the lesson. When pupils ask questions, we aim to answer them honestly, within the ground rules established at the start of the sessions. When it is felt that answering a specific question would involve information at a level inappropriate to the development of the rest of the pupils, the question may be dealt with individually at another time. Issues which are raised outside these lessons will be dealt with appropriately and sensitively within a trusted and safe environment.

4. RSE Curriculum Impact

Effective RSE makes a significant contribution to the development of communication and personal skills needed by pupils in order for them to establish safe relationships, where they value love and respect. It also enables young people to make responsible and informed decisions about their health and well-being.

5. General

Inclusion Ethnic and Cultural Groups

We intend our policy to be sensitive to the needs of different ethnic, cultural and religious groups. We encourage parents/ carers to discuss any concerns with the Headteacher.

Pupils with Special Needs

We will ensure that all pupils receive age appropriate sex and relationship education, and we will offer provision appropriate to the particular needs of all our pupils, taking specialist advice where necessary.

Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation

We aim to deal sensitively and honesty with issues of sexual orientation, answer appropriate question and offer support.

Right of Withdrawal of Pupils from Relationship and Sex Education

From September 2020, there is  legislation which means that:

  • Parents will not be able to withdraw their child from Relationships Education in primary school.
  • Parents will be able to withdraw their child from primary school classes which address sex education - i.e. those that do not sit within the Relationships Education curriculum.
  • Maintained primary schools are required to teach National Curriculum science, which includes some elements of sex education. Parents do not have a right to withdraw from this.

Schools will continue to be required to publish policies on these subjects for parents, and statutory guidance will continue to set out that schools should consult parents on those policies to ensure they are feeding in their views.


It should be made clear to pupils that all adults in school cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality. This should be made clear when forming the class Ground Rules.


A child under 13 is not legally capable of consenting to sexual activity. Any offence under The Sexual Offences Act 2003 involving a child under 13 is very serious and should be taken to indicate a risk of significant harm to the child. Cases involving under 13s should always be discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

Under the Sexual Offences Act, penetrative sex with a child under the age of 13 is classed as rape. Therefore, in all cases where the sexually active young person is under 13, a referral should be made to Social Care Direct identifying the young person, and the sexual partner if known. Following this, a Strategy Meeting or discussion will be held. The meeting will involve a Team Manager, Social Worker, Police, Health Worker, Education and Welfare and other relevant agencies, to discuss appropriate next steps.

Where the allegation concerns penetrative sex, or other intimate sexual activity occurs, there would always be reasonable cause to suspect that a child, whether girl or boy, is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. All cases involving under 13s should be fully documented including detailed reasons why decisions were made not to share information.

Health professionals in school are bound by their codes of conduct but have a duty to share information with relevant others, if they believe that a child is suffering abuse.

These procedures should be read in conjunction with our Child Protection Policy.

Reviewed: May 2024

To be reviewed September 2024